Bolsa Chica, Huntington Beach, breaking in the brand new wet suit which I mostly purchased so that I might pee in it.
Printer: you never use me and now you think you can just like, use me, because you’ve decided for once that you need paper? It’s like I’m not even here.
Me: okay, I’m sorry. I see you, and I appreciate you, and also I just really need you to print this script.
Printer: But it’s like what’s the point? I’m irrelevant.
Me: Hey, that’s not true. (Beat.) It’s kind of true.
Printer: I KNEW it.
Me: It’s not that you’re irrelevant, it’s more like, you have one task. One task. Which is to print things. And you barely capable of doing that. Like every other page you print you suck the paper in and jam up or you’re not detectable or compatible and it’s like, you have ONE TASK.
Printer: I’m doing my BEST.
Me: Okay. Prove it. Print this one thing. Print it. Show me that you can.
Printer: okay….I can do this…..
(PRINTER SUCKS UP ALL PAPER AND INKS AND RUINS EVERYTHING.)
Me: Hey. It’s okay.
Printer: One task. I have ONE task.
Me: Take a breather.
Printer: are you going to give me to Goodwill?
Me: (yes) No.
1.) someone please find the owner of above planner and punch her (him?) in the nuts.
2.) I am a sucker for productivity. Multi-tasking? Yum. But I really, really need to chill out. Hiatus is quickly approaching, and I no longer have 17 things to do, so this weekend, I’m going to attempt this thing which is not knowing what you are doing every second, but instead, rolling with it. I have things I need and want to get done, but I am going to perhaps meander and float from thing to thing instead of obsessively stacking them on top of each other. WISH ME LUCK BUT LIKE DO IT FAST BECAUSE I HAVE TO BE SOMEWHERE IN TEN MINUTES!
I dunno about you, but I like to remember a song from my youth and then listen to it over and over over over the course of 72 hours until it has been thoroughly murdered to death. Crawl inside it, memorize it, remember every time I ever listened to it, car dance to it, sing badly with it, kill it til it’s quite dead. This week, it’s this Michael Jackson song from the Free Willy soundtrack, Will you Be there. YES. YES MICHAEL AND ALSO WILLY, YES, I WILL BE THERE. In fact, I am already here.
1. HOW GREAT IS THIS?
IT IS LITERALLY CALLED JEALOUSY.JPG. She’s so mad because she’s like, But I SAID I WAS GOING TO WEAR BEIGE.
2. It’s really important to me that I’m accessible via the internets, so that anyone, anywhere, anytime, if they’re working on something I wrote, can email me with questions. I like being forced to answer questions about what the H I was trying to say and do. I just got a message with some questions about a play I wrote years ago — People Don’t change (they just change their hair) – for an — evening of plays that raised funds for breast cancer research? Yes. That. Then, I was beyond fixated on Hot. Like, what it means, what it doesn’t mean, how to be it, why to not be it, the power it gives, it’s fleeting nature, etc etc etc. I dug through the old hard drive, sifted through old plays, elephants and bible camp and carbon emissions, and found it. It is thrilling and weird to visit your brain, eight years ago.
ABBY: Okay so then how. HOW do I be hot.
JEN: You have to find it inside of yourself.
JEN: I’m serious.
ABBY: Like in my belly button?
JEN: In your soul, stupid.
ABBY: My soul is not hot. My soul eats a lot of doughnuts.
JEN: Tell it to stop.
ABBY: It can’t.
JEN: Train it to eat carrots instead.
ABBY: But I want to be happy. I want to be happy. And also hot.
JEN: You have to start with Happy.
ABBY: And carrots.
JEN: No. Start with: I love myself.
JEN: No. Abby. Look in the mirror.
JEN: Come on. Look at yourself. Really look at yourself.
ABBY: I don’t want to. It hurts.
ABBY: Not even my mom thinks I’m hot. If my mom doesn’t think I’m hot, who will?
JEN: You want your Mom to think you’re hot?
ABBY: I want to be beautiful.
JEN: Look. Look.
ABBY looks in the mirror. Tears come to her eyes.
There is no one else like you.
JEN: And that’s beautiful.
ABBY: I’d rather be you.
JEN: You don’t wanna be me.
ABBY: Yep – yes I do. I want to have affairs with violinists. I want them to write me songs –
JEN: And then be done with me –
ABBY: Buy me organic dinners –
JEN: And then use me –
ABBY: Kiss me without me having to ask –
JEN: Show me off to their friends –
ABBY: Wake up in their lairs filled with string instruments –
JEN: You own yourself. You have control over yourself.
ABBY: But that’s pretty much it.
JEN: But at least you have that.
ABBY: You don’t?
JEN: I belong to every person who’s ever touched me. I don’t belong to myself anymore. I wish I was you.
ABBY: I wish I was you.
JEN: I wish I was you.
ABBY: It’s exhausting. All the time we spend wishing we were each other.
My boss told me that today, in the room, since everyone higher up than me is covering set, runnin’ round, doing various writerly tasks, I’m Alexander Haig (Reagan’s first Secretary of State, she also informed me.) She probably meant that I am the person who inserts themselves into a position of power when everyone else is otherwise engaged, as Haig did when Reagan was shot, but I prefer to take things deeply literally.
And so, today, I am an old white man in a crisp suit my wife picked out for me with a passive smile that I am secretly scheming behind, and I am shouting NO WAIT, I AM PRESIDENT NOW! and inviting myself to parties and banging gavels on things? and tripping on carpets and looking to make sure no one saw, and nightmaring about Nam and kicking the dog on purpose and then resigning 3 years before the gig is up and resolving to write a very important book about my life, and nightly cuddle the crap out of my purple heart.
AND IN SUMMATION, THE FUTURE! – things that old white politicians say?
My co-worker took me to see Janelle Monae at the Hollywood Bowl last night, and seriously, if she is performing even remotely near you, just GO. She is a tiny, soulful, feisty woman who can sing her face off, who does not sexualize herself, who makes everything a theatrical song party of rhythm and feelings. Also, there is a tiny chance she will totally randomly BRING STEVIE WONDER ONSTAGE TO SING JAMES BROWN WITH HER BECAUSE LAST NIGHT, SHE DID.
If you’re curious, it IS possible to simultaneously feel equal parts most centered, grounded person there ever was, and total douchebag. Yesterday, I patroned the LA Float Center, where you go to just — float, a la the womb, a la the dead sea. You give them a mildly palatable amount of money, that is not so much that you won’t do it, but just enough to make you seriously question your priorities. They first show you a short informational video about floating, in which a woman tearily tells you that floating is how she ‘truly met herself.’ You are then provided with a float pod, and then you just float.
For an hour, you just — float.
I genuinely struggle with shutting my brain off, opening my mind to thoughts that don’t involve my immediate world, so after about 10 minutes of obsessively re-positioning myself and making a mental checklist of the things I should think about / work on while floating (since the float itself was initially suggested to me when working on my Heaven play — as a way to get me closer to, well, there) — I finally shut down, and just floated. I can’t say I had any profound thoughts or poems, but I did relax. Pondered things, not to the point of epiphany, but still. I then emerged, covered in salt, equal parts centered person and total (relaxed, happy) douche.