Last night’s show: 27 patrons. Tonight’s show: 7 pre-sales, according to the midnight Vendini report.
“Life is precious, so what will you do with your time?” This is a line I wrote and say each night as Martin. It’s always been funny/interesting to me how life takes on the themes or ideas of a show I am working on. As I was piecing this one together, the idea of what it is about crystallized after the first draft—“you’re here and then you’re not.”
When interviewed for this, I was consistently asked why I wanted to do this. It’s because that idea of “you’re here and then you’re not” is one that needs to be said. We need to be reminded of this and how we shouldn’t take people or things for granted. Not a fun answer that would drive people to the show so I said other things. Part of doing this was as penance for taking the work of the Dentons for granted.
Whenever I’d argue with my grandmother, she’d say, “You’ll miss me when I’m gone.” That never diffused the situation and usually made it worse. But she was right. I miss her.
I’m not engineered to put things out of my head. I’m not able to put on happiness when something is wrong. I don’t ignore things until they go away or something better happens. Doing that doesn’t make me stronger. I dig at it until it no longer has power over me. Doing this helps me put things in their place and heal more quickly. It’s not the most fun thing to be around. But when I’m done processing it, I no longer feel like it is driving me. It is less likely to cloud unrelated interactions I have. I’m not saying this is a better way to live. It’s the way I get through life. If I write a memoir it will be titled, “If I Was More Fun and Better Looking, We’d All Enjoy This More.”
A month ago, a first cousin once removed was diagnosed with lymphoma. A tumor grew around her esophagus and arteries. When the doctors informed with my cousin and her husband that their daughter was brain dead from lack of oxygen, her heart stopped. She was 8. I did not really know her. My dad said she was very bright, curious, and joyful. Full of wonder for things like butterflies that you’d take for granted. I don’t yet know what to do with this. It is senseless.
On Tuesday at 6pm, I left my Clark Kent job for the day, got on a Citibike outside the building, and was hit by a car in the intersection of 41st and 8th. I had the light and I was biking across to get to the bike lane that’s on the left side of those partitions in the middle of 8th Ave. He came out of nowhere. It was like the end of the last episode of “The Sopranos.” I just had this weird, “why am I on the ground” feeling. I think my time in stage combat or stunt classes kicked in. I had shot my left arm up and landed on my side.
My elbow was scraped as I posted yesterday. My left ankle is a little tight, but I’m not in pain. I was rattled but I was wearing my helmet. It was hot and noisy. A bunch people yelled, “Are you ok, buddy?” I did not think I needed medical attention. My glasses on my face did not break. I did not get his license or info. He asked me why I was biking across and all I could say was, “I thought I had the light.”
The bike and the car took the brunt of it. I phoned Citibike and made them aware of the situation. I have not received an incident report from them. I don’t know what kind of car that was but the front part of it seemed to be mostly plastic. There was an intricate spider web crack all over it. My guess is that he floored it to make it through the light because I did not see him coming. I did not hear his brakes. I got on the subway and went home. I pondered what sort of karma payment I had just made or if that was the down payment for something bigger.
The way I see it, my main purpose in life is to make Aimee happy. Staying healthy and alive are big parts of that. I was expecting her to be made at me. She wasn’t. That could have been my number. It wasn’t.
I took my helmet the next morning and was 50/50 about biking vs. taking the train to the office. I got to the station and had just missed one. I thought I would take the train since it was hot and then bike home. But I knew I’d obsess all day about this and feel scared. So instead, I got a bike and pedaled into work. Since most of my ride is in Central Park, it was a nice and peaceful ride. That allowed my terror to go away. I biked home at the end of the day. I went right through where I was hit the previous evening. I thought, “I made it through the worst part. The rest of the ride is just a ride.” And it was.
Last night, we got the news that Sidiki Fofana passed away. I posted about how we had just seen him a couple weeks before he was suddenly put on life support. How could someone so full of life suddenly be on the ropes? He was the best of what the world has to offer. He truly was. I will write more about him but it really hurts too much to say more than this right now.
Maybe I’m crazy but I sometimes talk to the city like it is a being with great powers. Like it’s a modern Greek god. Usually I do this near or in Central Park, which I think of as the heart of the city. I’ll say, “Ok, New York, stop pushing me around and give me something here.”
You can’t freeze time or hold on to things. Life is essentially unfair and you have to deal with it on those terms and make the best of it.
I’m a little on edge today. Gotta get my head in the game for tonight. Fridays have been the nights that require more work from us. Tonight’s show is for Sidiki. And my relative, and people pushed out of both the city and the theater by things out of their control. Otherwise, I couldn’t do it.