Greazy Rope

Apparently, I have something to say. I need a forum. I have something on my chest that I have to get off. I mean, I don’t know what it *is*, but there’s some goddam thing or other that keeps me awake at 3 in the morning after not sleeping for *WEEKS* on end, right?

Pathetic. Really.

Okay, there is this one thing.

My friend Steve and I had an argument about malpractice. Actually, Deb and Steve had an argument about malpractice and I listened on and interjected, “that is true…” and “well, y’know…” and “Steve’s not all that fat…”, but the remarkable thing about the argument is that I almost never hear Steve express concern over his possible future, and it really made me worry about how frickin’ *terrified* he is of getting sued and losing his license over a simple slip of the scalpel.

But I don’t want to talk about that at all, what it made me think about is how much *everyone* bitches about their fucking lot in life. There’s always someone going on and on about how unfair it is to have to work a jackhammer for the city, only to reveal that, WOW, he actually *works* a jackhammer for the city. Christopher Reeve is the fucking spokesman for stem cell research and, oh I just realized this, he’s had a spinal chord injury that stem cell research might cure!

I mean, what the fuck. Maybe it’s because I’m an artist (and I am one, don’t give me that look) and our job is to try to recreate the human experience, but the fact is that all y’all’s stories are frickin’ *identical*. The best is when a group of actors sit around and talk about how hard it is to be an actor. Like that’s new information. God, if only someone along the way had mentioned something about how incredibly hard it is to be an actor, then we could have made an informed decision…

Sleep deprivation begets sarcasm. “The lowliest form of wit”, Oscar Wilde…

(Not really. What he actually said was “Sarcasm is the highest form of wit, I don’t think.”)

(Although John Knowles did actually say “sarcasm was the weapon of the weak”, which I have been misquoting in the present tense for about twenty years now.)

(There’s this thing called a “search engine”.)

If you sit around a table making fun of the various things actors have done in order to propel them stumbling further along their pathetic career paths, all the actors at the table will laugh at all the things you mention *except* for the one thing they are currently trying which they think will work. But it isn’t just us. God, the conversations I’ve endured as people talk about the political process of selecting the best T.A. assignments at your average state college, the dried up leaf my tongue turned to as I tried to identify with the vagueries of when a trans-continental freight truck ought to be weighed, the endless crescendo-decrescendo (more like sfortsandos)(Oh BURN!) of my various single friend’s love lives (Not you, of course) make me wonder how many more moments I have on earth and if I’m going to get a few hours of dispensation when my time is up.

Maybe that’s why virtually everyone I know that I’m not too close with has such a hard time *listening* to anything. Watch two people talking and they are completely ignoring the essence of what the other person is saying, they are listening for cue words that lead them to their own kvetchs. You always hear, “oh! Speaking of the mongrel hord, have we got the *worst* problem with birds pooping in our parking spot! Listen carefully while I explain the specifics of what the city and/or my landlord can do to make my specific lot in life free from this completely invented disadvantage!”

I wish I could do it, but it’s something I’ve never been able to do. (Ignore it, that is. Not bitch. Bitching’s what I do best.) I have really good hearing (and no, that’s not something that the women who sleep with me say because they say it to all the guys- I actually do have above average hearing. That’s why I get paid to produce recordings) and as such, I’ve heard shit my whole life. I’m also genuinely interested in the human-ness of people’s stories. I am interested in the fact that we all have the same story.

My friends are awesome because they are just as boring as everyone else, but they try new shit. One friend broke up with his girlfriend of twelve years and now he’s running around being the most attractive man in Brooklyn. One friend got fired from his shitty job so he became a freelance writer, who’s been published about ten times in the last year, including a NYTimes article. Another friend was worried about how to become an actor, so he went to law school, passed the bar and works at a law firm… in order to be an actor. That’s awesome. One of my friends is implementing a “New Mistakes for a New Year” idea for 2004. He’s just doing things wrong in a different way to see what will happen. These people are awesome.

Don’t you people know that a helicopter could drop out of the sky on to your bed at any second and kill you in your sleep? At the beginning of your life you are placed at the bottom of a greased rope and you have to try to climb to the top of it while everyone else in the gym is yelling at you for being fat. That’s life, that’s everyone’s life. Some people have knots tied in the rope to make the climb easier, but no matter what, you are either gonna fall off before you reach the top or you are gonna fall off *after* you reach the top, and falling off is death and falling off will happen to you. You have X number of hours left, and you’ve been telling yourself the same damn story about your Dad not liking you and being unattractive in junior high. I know because I’ve heard it before. Probably from *you*.

People think I’m a talented actor (oh, and women think I’m fabulous in bed) but here’s my little secret. I’m merely a self involved jackass. I’m *not* a self involved jackass idiot who doesn’t listen. It’s such a huge step up that people think I’m a genius.

Yeah, I had nothing to say. I just can’t sleep and I’m feelin’ mean.