This is where I drop being an entertainer, an entrepreneur, or even remotely professional, and just simply be A Girl.
The Here Be Monster’s Festival of the Art’s was at the Dollhouse Studios this year, the burlesque bar Antony and I went to on our first date. Frank and I went and played photographer, and though I expected to be apprehensive visiting the space again, it was more difficult than I thought. Stepping past the foyer into the main room knocked the wind out of me. I had to stand still, remember to breathe, try to whistle up a smile. I couldn’t help but whip backward in time, to how it felt being there last time, the two of us laying on the bed, discussing life, feeling out the edges of how much we liked each other. My heart jumped, sick with longing. I remembered feeling shocked when he offered to cuddle with me for warmth. Shocked and glad, pleased like we were inventing something new and useful, an affectionate key to a very old code.
It had been empty then, the Dollhouse. An overly rich cover charge the same night as Sin had kept everyone away but for us and three or four other die-hards who were far more affiliated with the space than I’ll ever be. Wednesday, however, it was not. The Festival’s opening night was warm with people, conversation, and delightful performances. (It’s on until Sunday, doncha know. Atomic Vaudeville still has one more show). Eventually, chatting with the crowd, taking pictures, I conquered my overwhelming mind’s eye enough to be useful until well after midnight. Later that morning, however, I had work very early, (a six:thirty call-time in Squamish means being picked up at five a.m.), so spent the day dancing around a wicked lack of sleep, further embedding my underlying sense of helpless pining. Which felt bloody ridiculous. It’s been half a year! We’re still best friends! Boo helpless pining. Hiss. Derision.
So what do I do last night? Why, go see a ten:thirty showing of The Darjeeling Limited, of course, the latest Wes Anderson film, which happens to be the latest Adrian Brody film too. Not a stroke of genius. How does this relate?
Didn’t really ameliorate the problem, really, more amplified it a thousandfold until I caught myself struck, sighing with a scratch in my throat every time his character lit up a cigarette. Bah. Completely irrational. So, sound in the knowledge that Antony’s been working late, I called Beverly Hills as soon as I got home. Best thing I’ve done in a month. As soon as he said hello, I had a blithesome smile that almost cracked my face. We talked for hours, laughing back and forth, until work was done, he’d driven home, and we were both happily crawling into bed. It lifted a lot of weight off. Life lately’s been almost a terrifying amount of stress. As of Monday, I’ll have gone an entire year without a Real Job, and financial pressures are threatening to crush me almost daily. (ex. I ran out of catfood yesterday, but won’t have money to buy more until too late on Sunday to hit up any shops. It’s scary. In September I made 80% of my income from writing, but when I worked it out, I made less than minimum wage per hour. I would have made more money working at McDonalds. It’s like I’m living someone’s version of The Dream, but it’s not actually mine.) Having a life-line, especially one so gratifying as Antony, means the world. I fell asleep alright with the world for the first time in months.
And yet, it gets better. Today Mike called from wherever the hell he’s on tour right now. (Virginia or Indiana or something. Somewhere that ends in A, I’d check his website if doing so late at night didn’t make me feel vaguely like a stalker.) I was thrilled. I’ve only been hearing from him about once every three weeks. His itinerary doesn’t particularly allow time for anything as esoteric as A Life, so every time he calls, we have radiant conversations that go on for hours. Topics range everywhere, from the relative size of platypus to what we were like as teenagers. My favourite bon mot was that I should start a net campaign to help with the trip to Calgary I’m attempting to scratch out of nothing – GET JHAYNE LAID FOR THE HOLIDAYS: he’s clever enough to fool her into thinking he’s clever. Take some obliquely smutty pictures, maybe attempt to sell some prints, see if I get any donations.
Friends of mine from all over America have been going to his gigs, actually. I know of approximately twelve visits to venues so far, ranging over both our countries. Not just the bigger cities either, like L.A. and NYC, Chicago, Toronto or Montreal, but smaller places too. Madison, Vienna, Hamilton… Some towns I’ve never heard of, let alone visited. It’s been an incredible response. We think it’s fantastic. Tangible reactions from the network that isn’t just made of zeroes and ones are terrific. And thank you, from both of us. You warm my worried heart.
So today, as Silva graciously put it for me, I’m feeling loved and appreciated, which is sometimes better than feeling properly fed and clothed and housed.