I became insane with long intervals of horrible sanity.
Edgar Allen Poe
The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.
- H. L. Mencken
Many people would sooner die than think; In fact, they do so
What I have been telling you, from alpha to omega, what is the one great thing the sigil taught me — that everything in life is miraculous. For the sigil taught me that it rests within the power of each of us to awaken at will from a dragging nightmare of life made up of unimportant tasks and tedious useless little habits, to see life as it really is, and to rejoice in its exquisite wonderfulness. If the sigil were proved to be the top of a tomato-can, it would not alter that big fact, nor my fixed faith. No Harrowby, the common names we call things by do not matter — except to show how very dull we are ...
-James Branch Cabell
September 24, 2016 - 2:28 p.m.
It's feast or famine; after days of doing nothing worth writing about yesterday I did many things worth writing about. Don't worry I'll still tell you what I ate as I know that's why you read Wise Madness.
My first stop yesterday was seeing a play with Honor, Crackskull Row Did all the Jonathan Coulton fans just think of Skullcrusher Mountain? I did It's an Irish play by Honor Malloy; that's not the Honor I went with so I'll call her Honor not Honor. I've known Honor for years yet every time I write of doing something with Honor I think of Nixon's, "Peace with honor." My mind has some well-worn ruts in it. Funny as I usually say that I don't have a brain.
I had trouble getting to the show on time. For some reason the 1:03 bus from City Island just never showed and the next bus is half an hour later. After I realized that it wasn't that the app didn't show the bus but that it wasn't there I asked Jane to give me a ride to the subway; she's a doll so she did. What a strange expression; why is a doll nice? Dolls aren't capable of being nice or mean. That just hit me.
I met Honor at the theater and found our seats. It was general admission with some saved but the guy taping the show let us sit in two of the reserved seats. It wasn't a full house which is a shame.
Crackskull Row is not light entertainment. It's exceedingly dark. It's also exceedingly complex. It takes place in different times and most things are not what it seems. Yet there is comic relief. The play takes place in Dublin and I'm not sure it's meant to be funny but when characters mentioned moving to Maspeth it got laughs; from the audience not just me.
MaspethHey I'm provincial, mention my natal borough and it makes me happy.
That is not representative of most of the play, it's a tale of a spectacularly dysfunctional family and murder. Parts made me think of Stranger Things. Edgar Allen Poe would feel at home. It could be written as a Gothic Novel. It's heavy lifting.
After the show Honor and I discovered that we interpreted some parts quite differently. The best thing I can say about it is that we did discuss it afterward. We wanted to discuss the characters and situations.
After the show we went to our usual place for coffee and conversation. Hey that's a great name for a morning talk show or YouTube series. We always have fun conversations that go all over the place including therapy.
Then I was on to Bryant Park for a square dance featuring The Calamity Janes. I haven't seen them in months and now I saw them twice in eight days. It's the biggest dance I've been to, it filled most of the lawn of Bryant Park. It was a three-hour dance and I got there about an hour after it started. If I'm at a dance I want to dance. I'm not there to watch. The problem is, what do I do with my sling bag. It's heavy and awkward to dance with it on. There aren't lockers. I'm out in a park where anybody can go, I didn't want to just leave it somewhere. My solution was very me. I went to the "backstage" area. It was those movable metal barriers with signs over them. I reach around and left my bag, "backstage" next to the barrier. That meant it as out of sight of everyone but the people on the stage. I know them so I figured I could trust them.
The next challenge was finding a dance partner. That I developed the nerve to ask strange women to dance with me is a continual source of surprise for me. It isn't easy but I do it. My first choice was not wise. She was a French woman that was lovely but she had to leave in the middle of the first dance. My other partners proved more steadfast. I had so much fun. We did a lot of dances I haven't done before. I have low standards for dances like this. Any dance where nobody gets hurt is a success. I'm not great at square dancing, I'm not even good, but I'm not terrible. I do a credible job and my partner has fun; that's the most important part.
For the last half an hour there was no dancing, the Calamity Janes did a concert. I was right down front for that but first I rescued my bag. It had not been stolen.
There were hundreds of people there and was disappointed that nobody I know was there. Then after the Janes stopped singing I looked at a woman looking at me. I thought she looked familiar. It as Emily Mure a musician I had met at NERFA. She's the one that figured out who I was before I figured out who she was. She even knew me name. You can thank Facebook for that. We talked for a while and she introduced me to her friend Mady. Then Emily wanted to say hi to Steph, from the Calamity Janes, and as that was what I was planning on doing we went backstage. Steph was talking to someone so I started talking to David who called the square dance. He mentioned that he teaches math and lives in Queens so he's my people. I had to ask him what and where he teaches. Among other thing he gets to teach Games Theory in high school! I'm jealous. Of course John Nash found his way into our conversation.
I then got to talk to Steph for a while; said goodbye to Emily and Mady, and headed home. I walked over to Grand Central Station to catch the . That's an easier trip home than usual for me.
Tonight I'm seeing Dar. Months ago I asked a friend to go with me but she got a new job and now has to work tonight. Then I asked another friend yesterday. She said yes; Then later said that she didn't feel up to it. So I asked another friend who said, "yes." And then this morning he was feeling under the weather so I had to find someone else. When it' the same day I asked multiple people at the same time. The first to get back to me, got the tickets. So often I get no one. Today three said yes. I feel bad for those I asked that I had to disappoint.
I'm not sure what I'm going to do about writing the rest of the week. The WFUV pledge drive starts tomorrow. Writing will be intermittent. I'll do the best I can. I'm living much closer than Brooklyn now so I might have time when I get home.
Back on the Radio - October 05, 2016
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