Chaos Attraction

Staged, While Drinking and Crying

2020-06-23, 11:26 p.m.

I dreamed I went to an audition last night. At first we were waiting around outside on the lawn to begin. It was supposed to be held in the lobby area and the doors to the library were in the same building, so I went in there to see how book dropoff went. Then the audition starts indoors and they're having everyone run around conga line style and it's all in good fun--and then I Remember: we're not supposed to be doing this, nobody has masks on (I don't even have one on) and now we're all going to die of COVID because we were running around together as a large group indoors. It's too late now. I leave...and then go out to a mostly-empty restaurant.


Work: I'm still exhausted and brain dead. Six hours of Zoom training a day is too fucking much, we still haven't been able to learn everything, and by 4:15 my brain is DONE AND CAN'T LEARN NO MORE. Even Coworker Sarah was starting to lose it today and text me if I was getting any of this and I said I'm watching it but nothing is staying in my brain. This is a disaster. I'm getting drunk again tonight. Started to feel it after fifteen minutes of cracking the bottle open. Woot1 Druuuuuuuunk!

In other news, the apartment manager came by to ask about installing the new smoke alarm. So good on her for actually following up on something. And having a mask on, for that matter. First human I've seen up close-ish in a while. That's weird. I have been crying most of the night and she knocked while I was peeing, so that's fun. It's been a wretched night what with the drinking and crying going on. Well, would have been better had I not been crying, but it's happening again.

I filled out the jury survey. Sadly, I am 100% qualified to be a juror! I wrote down in the one box for explanations that I have agoraphobia and would be happy to do a Zoom trial ONLY and I don't want to die because some idiot committed crimes and wants a jury trial, but they wouldn't let me say more than that.

Therapy didn't go great today, but at least it went on, so there's that. My therapist's husband is flying back again next week, though they don't know what they are going to do now that he has no work.

Now, I forgot who I was talking to until it was too late, but I should probably have not brought up the following, speaking as an agoraphobic, with my shrink who literally does everything in public including hop on planes: (a) Telling my mother no to seeing her (b) Ditto Dawn and pissing her off. (c) Jury duty (this was the point where she asked what I was going to do about going back to work and I said I don't have to)

Now she knows better than to argue with me about these decisions--I've told her that I am so goddamned brain dead about problem solving after work now (see above getting drunk) I can't figure out the shades of gray and how to cover all my bases to do anything "safely" (that's a joke and a lie) and that's why I can't figure out how to make exceptions to the rules or figure out what level of risk I'm willing to accept, whatever. Plus having to stay six feet apart and hope I don't start creeping closer is also depressing as fuck. Plus not exactly being understandable hearing me speak under my mask layers. She said I could take Mom to a park, but as usual, I don't feel comfortable doing anything at all and don't feel like anything is okay.

But it occurred to me that my coworkers who are doing the best right now are the ones who are basically (other than working at home) still living life like nothing has happened. Y'know, having family members perpetually wandering in and out of the house, going places, whatever! Those folks are fine. And still not sick. Not that I want them to get sick, I just don't get how they keep breaking all the rules of safety, such as it is from what we do know, and are still just fine. I'm the worst one of the bunch, I'd say Lioness is #2 (work stress + small children), maybe Penguin Girl as #3 (political stress, she wants to protest but knows it's not safe and I am grateful that she's not out) for doing worst in the office, my boss as #4 because her kids are annoying her. Most everyone else continues to be chipper as daisies and bragging about their walks and their hikes every weekend. It's...much.

And because every therapy session ends with that stupid topic, I whined some more about you-know-who and how I feel like I'm just going to feelingsbomb all over him and I can't handle asking how he's doing (probably fine) and in turn answering how I am (fuckadoodled) and how I shouldn't actually answer that but I think I would actually answer if it asked, and I probably shouldn't. I think being all "Having a nervous breakdown, no, I'm serious" would have more effect on him than just saying to say, friends who work(ed) at the giant org, who expect that shit because this place gives everyone a nervous breakdown. (But it's got such great benefits and three weeks of vacation!) Really, I just want him to come over and hug me and that cannot fucking happen, probably ever again, and that's not fair of me to put on anyone. I am the only one who can save me. My shrink was all, "So just don't do it, then," but hahahahahah. She pointed out that he may be just as freaked out and feel just as awkward, so it's more important to just say something. If I could just be all "How are you doing?" I would have long since done it by now, but I can't get that out. This is too important and also, no plausible denialability, and nothing we've got in common going on any more lately to discuss instead other than the goddamned "How are you doing?" Which is a shite question to ask anyone these days.

I told her that now that Robert's off in some kind of BLM sulk, I feel like it's too late to say anything to him any more and she said yeah, I think the time is running out with Scott too. Which...yeah. I feel like if I go through all of June without saying anything it'll cross some kind of line. Maybe it's better for the both of us if I don't say anything and leave him to his space. Or maybe he wants to hear from me and is also trapped under something heavy. God, I don't know. Tarot seems to indicate go for it, but I still don't know what to say to break the stalemate.

I said something like I don't want to be all weird and nutty and she said, "He expects you to be all weird and nutty. That's one of the things he loves about you." I didn't know it was possible to literally laugh and cry at the exact same time, but there you go. That is a thing that can happen, as it turns out.

She said she thought I'd be doing better if I was talking to him. I agree, but.... Honestly, maybe he's be doing better without me around. Maybe if I just leave him alone, then he does better and doesn't have to be afraid of...well, whatever the fuck this is. Maybe that's the right thing to do, leave him be to figure out his shit on his own. Also, with the way things are going it's not like I can ever see him again, literally. There's no point. I just can't figure out what to do. My intuition, such as it is, thinks both "leave him alone for the entire pandemic" and "he'd want to hear from you, he misses you too" are correct, so fuck. It's not helping to draw the "Listen To Your Heart" card over and over again when my heart literally can't agree on what to do and the answers it gives are dead opposite.

Well, I forwarded him an email offering a free download of a book I know he likes because that came in today. Probably not gonna get a response out of that one either, but that's what I was up to doing--while drunk and crying.

Tonight's viewing: someone helpfully found me a website to watch Staged in America, which delights me no end. The plot is that Michael Sheen and David Tennant, or David Tennat and Michael Sheen, or Michael Christopher Sheen and David John Tennant (they fight over billing) rehearse "Six Characters In Search Of An Author" over Zoom. Michael has very bushed out crazy man hair and is obsessed with birds and David Tennant somehow looks incredibly dirty and greasy with a beard (I hate to diss him, I think he's great, but somehow overall he looks like how often I shower in quarantine while living alone whenever he grows a beard) and wearing nothing but athletic wear. Both of them have hot young blonde partners, though apparently David and Georgia have five kids (oh good god) and ah, how old is Michael's girlfriend? Right, half his age (I looked it up). Though to give her credit, she knows more about fascism than Michael does.

Episode 2: I think I've missed seeing Georgia on screen, she cracks me up. Where are all five kids? "I dunno." It's 10:30 a.m. and she's finished for the day. "How many fucking rainbows does a 4-year-old need to make?" Michael's advice: "Get them up a chimney. Pickpocketing." Their director attempts to set up a rehearsal and disappears, leaving David to wonder what to make for dinner.

Episode 3: both guys are in hoodies and have switched orders in the credits and dropped middle names. The hoodie: the uniform of quarantine. David can't remember how many kids he has and he hasn't seen some of them for weeks. Someone else who is Kind Of A Big Deal wants into the play to replace Michael. Awkward! "I don't like you, Simon. You're weaselly." Anyway, who's the actor? Samuel L. Jackson, of course! Who else would be equivalent, right? David tries to break the news to Samuel, who is not having it. (Also sounds like he had some amusing on-set drama on his canceled movie involving who was sleeping with who.)
I love that Anna and Georgia are now commiserating over Zoom and how their dudes are giant babies. Rehearsals don't seem to be helping, the ladies think. Georgia has sold a novel! Someone explain to me how Michael is somehow hearing David and Samuel's actual phone call when Michael was presumably not called on Zoom? Just wondering? Ohhhh, Samuel called him. Daaaaaaaaaaamn. David has now been caught claiming he wants to do the play with Samuel and dissing Michael. Oooooh. "Big fan," Samuel says to Michael. "We've actually done a movie together," Michael says. "You were torturing me, all the way through" "That was YOU?" David then pulls a reverse diss so that Samuel can hear it. "YES, MOTHERFUCKER, YOU SHOULD HAVE." The credits then switch to "David MacDonald" and "Michael Sheen," btw. I wondered when his actual name would kick in, and it did here. I'm drunk and this is delightful.

Episode 4: Credits: "Michael Sheen and That $%$%# Liar David Tennant." Wait, they're talking to each other again? Hm, yes, David is pretty much in the same outfit every episode, Michael varies his shirts a little. Simon is asked if any rehearsal is going on. "You haven't done anything, have you?" "No." I forget what Jo (the lady in this) does, producer or whatever? Anyway, she's annoyed. "Progress? We haven't read anything yet." Four episodes in, actual lines are read...briefly... In the last episode, Georgia got asked to help midwife for someone who's single. In this episode, she attempts it over the phone while David whines on her shoulder. He finds out about her book this way. Notice that he's like, kind of hugging around her foot(?) on the stairs? Even during a fight, that's really cute. Sheep roam the streets in England, just like here. Jo interrogates the guys. Everyone notes that David drinks out of a mug of his own face. The guys get into an open fight and Jo tries to literally lean back from the camera. "I thought you'd know how to put the emphaSIS on a word," David says. They argue about bringing gravitas (Michael) and charm (David). Simon is terrified of them both because they behave like twats, Jo says. How have they resolved their differences before? Playing Battleships.Which of course they are doing in the credits.

Episode 5: now Michael is dreaming about David, David is unfazed by that. Meet Adrian Lester, who's read Ulysses twice. Voluntarily. He's about to go for a third."Magical," says Simon's SO Lucy. "Is there a part for me?" Adrian wonders, reasonably. Good point. David calls the play "shit" and can't find his script. Good job, sir. "I imagine it's hard to get through the first time, isn't it?" says David to Ulysses. While left alone, the three actors quote "To thine own self be true!" while Simon hides in fear. When Michael is out, Adrian asks if Michael is okay with the wild hair and all. Are you okay, David? David points out that Michael feels helpless, there's nothing you can do right now and "your'e home spelling words backwards in your head" (note: a thing David does). Adrian literally runs off after that. Georgia returns home. The ladies contact each other again and Anna looks up something. She gets disturbed and runs off and Michael sits down. "Hi Michael!" Michael freaks out. Something bad has happened at the neighbors' house and they don't know what, but a stretcher was carried out. Michael tries to call about it, David and Georgia watch on and find out about the disturbing things the neighbor watches while Michael tries to describe her. Everyone is sad. The credits show David calling about the names on the poster (again) while Michael stares into the distance, clutching his heart. Michael gets a call.

Episode 6: "Please, can I have a professional to sort this fucking hair out?" David and Michael reminisce about movie sets, where people have to be nice to you and bring coffee every 10 minutes. Simon and Jo discuss how to fix this mess? Well, SOMEONE owes Jo a favor... "Good god, do you kiss your grandson with that mouth?" "Can I tell you something I probably shouldn't tell you?" Well, how does one answer THAT question? Georgia sent Michael her book...AND THEN JUDI DENCH CALLS and wants to go back to "cups and strings." "Simon tells me you're not playing nicely." "It's been a tough few weeks."

"Play a queen. Play a spy. Play cat. Do you know how tiring it is to be everyone's first choice for every bloody role?" #FirstJudiProblems. Oh god, I made a hashtag joke, but I really had to under the circumstances.

"Then stop fucking around. When we say yes, we do the bloody job." Judi OUT. The guys agree to do the bloody job. Georgia is drinking and reading. David says "thank you" to her.

Simon, David, and Michael rehearse with their ladies in the houses. WOW, WORK IS ACTUALLY GETTING DONE. Both guys admit that they miss elephants. "Well, you've survived this long without one," Georgia says. "I miss hairdressers," says Anna. "I miss my own space," says Lucy. Simon claims he's fine. "May I moot an idea?" David says, which turns into like five minutes of moot puns between him and Michael. (It's a word Simon uses.) Anyway, Simon misses well behaved actors, David says. "I do not." "You LIE!"

There's a knock at the door. The neighbor's son. "She's okay," Michael says. Are we rehearsing tomorrow? Yes, David says, we're professionals and we do the bloody job. After everyone hangs up, Georgia snuggles on David's shoulder and says, "You know what I miss? You wearing a different top." She leaves and Michael calls back. "I have so many notes on your script." "Fuck off!" The credits feature Judi joining in in the alphabetical order credits argument.

I needed that. Still ended up crying during half of it, mind you, for no good reason, but it was the perfect quarantine show.

Then I watched "Ann," a Holland Taylor one-woman show about Ann Richards. This definitely gets across her personality--I'd be delighted to hear her tell all the dirty jokes she says she can't tell. I wish my dad was around to hear the Great Dane joke, he would have been into that. (I am NOT gonna specify. It's around the 18 minute mark. It's bad.) She mentions going to a costume party dressed as a tampon and "I wasn't on anyone's list" as a potential public servant. On her drinking: "Nowadays you can't even get into a primary without having been to rehab." She got talked into it when friends of hers who named their kid after her spoke up. Around 35 minutes: "I actually took up knitting" gets a laugh. "It just seemed like a better idea to become governor of Texas instead." "You ever been to a state fair? Without a hat?"... "Texas is bigger than France." "My supporters dropped their popcorn and burst into flames."

42 minutes in, we switch from Ann giving a speech about her past to being in the governor's office talking to the president. Later: "Now this guy couldn't organize a circle." "Let him roll back to Texas like the spare tire that he is." "Oh, for heaven's sake! I was not bad to Suzanne! I beat on her because otherwise she won't finish writing a speech!"... "I do try to let go and let God, But he can't get Suzanne to do anything either." "I have to go over to the mansion and tart myself up." "If she wasn't so darned good I'd pinch her head off." "I want to suggest that you rethink the bangs...It's hard enough for women to be taken seriously as is." She exits for Act 1 to go to the bathroom, saying not to tell her momma where she went because her momma says going to the bathroom is a sign of weakness. "I think Barbara might have too much sense to join the Supreme Court." "Sometimes I can't believe just how sharp I am."

"David Miller, this is the boss of the applesauce." (Actual line.) "David Miller, are you crying? QUIT THAT, nobody's dead." "And I don't want to see you either."

"As if falling off a house would hurt my mama." "I suppose I owe you an apology. Well, you ain't gonna get one." "Do we have any cookies out there?" (Lady on speaker: "No, you ate them all.") "No, I'm jumping on my broom too." On not winning re-election when a kid asks, "Does this mean you don't have a job?" "It means everyone you know doesn't have a job." "You haven't lived until you've been governor of Texas." "We've seen far dirtier fights in the PTA." "The here and now is all you have, and if you play it right, that's all you need."

So, she's fun and sassy and the more it went on, the more she had sassy lines and the more I enjoyed it, in between bouts of drink and sobbing.

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