Thus revealed, the creature buried its nose in the tire-tilled soil...
December 30, 2018
The Actor’s Nightmare, Idealized.
Category: Dreams

Sooo last night I had a really great version of the actor's nightmare. I was backstage in a cuddle pile that was moving in the direction of an orgy, when in the midst of a flirtatious chat with the actress nearest me it occurred to me to inquire when I was due onstage. I was under the impression that my only scene was much later in the play -- well after intermission, even -- but as I retrieved and flipped through the script it became clear to me that I appeared in far more scenes and had highlighted far more lines than I'd realized. Another actor was standing over the cuddle pile in full costume (I was not in costume; most of us in the pile were half-dressed at best) waiting for his cue; I looked up at him and asked, "When do I go on?"

He responded nervously, "You're supposed to be out there now."

For a moment I felt overtaken by a wave of anxiety -- but only for a moment. Then all of the sounds around me subsided, and I listened: the play was going on just fine without me. As I flipped through the script, I realized that I didn't know any of my lines or the blocking. I couldn't recall having attended any of the rehearsals; I didn't even know which play we were performing. I would be terrible out there and potentially mess everything up. But the show was going on without me, and the audience was laughing and applauding, and everything was fine as it was.

I turned back to the actress beside me, found her mouth with my own, and put the play out of my mind entirely.

-posted by Wes | 9:17 pm | Comments (0)
December 20, 2018
Shouts in the night
Category: Miscellany … Travels

So last night was the first time I ever shouted (in part) out of fear.

First, let me note that I've never properly understood screaming or yelling in terror. Like, I get that it could have certain altruistic advantages -- warning others of danger, for instance. It might also be useful for driving back certain kinds of danger. But also -- at least insofar as the danger isn't right on top of one -- it alerts danger to one's location and betrays one's fearful state. Making noise has never been my instinctive answer to a threat. And when I think about that response, particularly as it relates to my own situation, it seems... unwise.

But last night I was at a stoplight in downtown Baltimore, my thoughts occupied with serious subject matter as I stared into the distance... and then suddenly a face loomed large to my right and a hand seemed to be reaching toward me. I was definitely startled; I jerked back in my seat threw up my hands as if to defend myself. And even before I had consciously registered what this figure was or what was happening, I was waving my arms back and forth and shaking my head and yelling, "Ahhhh! No! No! NO!!!!"

The guy had already squirted and begun to wipe down my windshield, but he held up a hand by way of apology and silently retreated back to the curb.

-posted by Wes | 6:38 pm | Comments (0)
December 2, 2018
Currently pondering: knit ties
Category: Miscellany

Currently pondering: knit ties. I don't have any yet and would like to own one or several (I do have one wool tie that I break out on occasion), but I'm curious about how I'd make it work for me. Like, I rarely see knit ties knotted in ways I find compelling (though they often look nice enough), and even the pages I just read via a google search recommended smaller, simpler knots with knit ties. And the reasoning makes sense enough -- a bulky knot would probably look bad with most knit ties -- but I'm just not in love with the result. Whenever I do acquire a knit tie (and assuming the resultant look isn't awful), I imagine I'll use it as a rare excuse to wear an Onassis knot. I'm not generally a fan of that one (it's not *really* a knot IMO), but I think here it'd work. (more...)

-posted by Wes | 6:42 pm | Comments (0)
Plattsburgh knot achievement earned!
Category: Miscellany

So because I mostly approach tie knots as sets of moves rather than by name -- and because I tend to tie them according to my mood while preparing for a given outing -- it's possible for me to tie a knot and venture forth without knowing precisely which knot I've tied. Upon reviewing the maneuver I executed this morning with reference to a thorough list of knot names, I've determined that today was likely the first day I ever wore a Plattsburgh knot out in public. (more...)

-posted by Wes | 12:02 am | Comments (0)
November 28, 2018
Brief Death-related Q&A
Category: Miscellany

So someone on this political discussion group on Facebook posted a series of questions about death, presumably motivated by the recent death of his neighbor. I answered the questions and figured I'd post those answers here as well.

Q: Is it appropriate for me to take my 6 year old daughter to the wake?

A: Others have way better answers than this. I'd ask if your 6-year-old daughter knew the dude and/or liked the dude, and if she didn't then I wouldn't make her go. Wakes are weird.

Q: When you die, do you want people to know how you died?

A: I expect I know precisely how I'm going to die, and I totally want everyone to know. If I'm feeling especially darkly performance-inclined at the end, I may even want them to watch.

Q: What's the best funeral you've been to? Do you have specific requests for your funeral?

A: I've never actually been to a funeral (though I have been to two wakes). I haven't thought tons about specific requests for my own, but I pledge to wise fwom my gwave... er, casket... and start smacking people with my stiff dead hands if it takes place in a house of worship and any clergy is involved. It'd be nice if a few of my favorite songs got played during the service or if one or two of my poems got read. (I'd probably have written at least one specifically for the occasion.)

Q: What would you want in lieu of flowers?

A: I think I'd prefer people take things rather than bring them. I have a pretty sizeable collection of toys, and I might like it if everyone who wanted to remember me took a souvenir to that end. (I guess if people wanted to donate money to get some of my writings self-published posthumously in print form, that would be cool.)

Q: Are you getting buried?

A: Nope! I want to be cremated and placed in a cool urn that incorporates some of my action figures into it. Then I can become a nifty collectible like the ones I so loved in life. 😛

-posted by Wes | 6:12 pm | Comments (0)
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