I would never waste your time (and mine) relaying EVERY little idiosyncratic movement, gesture or mannerism of my EVERY waking thought. But this past Saturday I rode bikes with my buddy Dwight to Hoehn’s bakery on Conklin Street. We got there before 9:00 and the donuts were still hot. MAN-O-MAN, talk about some kinda wonderful. So me and Dwight ate like kings, and watched the parade of Donut Fans come and go.
And what a day it was. Bright sun. Biking around with all those early morning exercise “fiends”. You know, the women runners with that strain on their face. The guys with too much belly which they accentuate with lycra and fluorescent kicks. But, as you can see, we clearly OWNED the moment. Hey, life is good, is it not? That’s Dwight above.
This is me…
The ride back uptown was just as grand. I highly recommend hot Donuts with any bike ride, most especially in the winter. OK-OK, so we rode in the fall—-we got a jump.
So the other day I’m twiddling my thumbs hoping the sky don’t fall on me…when out the blue I get an e-mail from the Manhattan Theatre Works. It’s a generic e-mail for folks who’ve submitted plays. It says they have selected their finalists and semi-finalists. But I don’t see Alonzo’s name anywhere, so I’m not excited. And they say you need to check their Facebook page to see who’s been selected. So I go to the page, and I watch their Video, and I’m just about to click off the Video (cause I don’t see Alonzo’s name anywhere, so I’m not excited), but lo and behold around the 1:12 mark —- here comes Alonzo’s name. So now, I’m excited.
This was last year in Vermont. I loved the colors behind me, and frankly thought my shorts added to the overall “vividness” of the moment. So as my 2013 summer moves along there’s not much to report on the playwriting front. My door is, most assuredly not being beaten down. And this is cause for pause. I’m still writing “B-Side Man,” which is a delight and challenge. Layers have been added, and a certain calm reflection now dots specific portions of the script. But, as I mentioned to Nicole the other day…….(ain’t she a beauty)
I feel that a certain FATE has eluded me. Yes, that’s absolutely right. There’s no getting around it. That’s what I feel. Who knows what opportunity a new wind will blow my way. But by all accounts, I’ve done the legwork for it’s arrival. A few folks have asked “when’s your next play?” Hey, I wish I knew. Nicole and I have successfully mounted several productions under our Mumbo Jumbo Productions “company” (which is Nicole and Alonzo, folks), and that’s been fabulous. But we didn’t have the money or breaks to move forward. I love seeing my work. It’s a joy to behold. Nicole “saved” ZULU FITS when it was produced under the auspices (and “auspices” is putting it loosely) by the Baltimore Playwrights Festival. And Nicole has provided the impetus for “B-Side Man.” The more we talk the more we’ve both come to appreciate our collaboration and devotion to putting out something mind-blowing and original. However, “mind-blowing and original” aren’t always wanted commodities by the theatre-producing arms of the American Theatre Gods. I’m sure this has been echoed by many an artist on many an occasion. Well, such is life. So I don’t have any chuckles, smirks or good humor to pass along. When you’ve spent virtually your entire adult life writing plays well it’s not always peaches n’ cream in terms of what you hope to get back in return. There’s no small supply of arsenic and bitterness. Well, such is life.
I acknowledge who it was that put me into this position (Alonzo! Star of Life of Alonzo, dats who!), and you go about your days doing the things you need for mental survival. Riding a bike. Maybe baking some cookies. Reading. Watching the movies I love. “Pal-ing” around my lil sweet-ums (Nicole! Star of Wiffee Stuck Wid Alonzo, dats who) and things like that. I have say that one of the best days I can remember was reflecting on all this when I was in Maine a while back. It was a crisp day, but warm enough for a long walk. So I took one around the island of Vinalhaven, home of our dear Aunt Betsy. I walked and walked and when I stopped I took in this view and felt smaller than small. I’d been having the same thoughts on that day, too. But when I stopped and took a few deep breaths —- no, nothing magical happened. I just took it all in. The remorse or regret over not winning bigger grants, or getting bigger recognition, or having all these fantastic plays sitting around gathering dust didn’t seem all that real. Not in comparison to a sight like this…..
The brilliance of the sun. The stillness of the water and all that untamed forest that leads out to sea. How can depression hold up in the face of all that splendor? Trust me, it can. But I don’t make it a habit.