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2019-05-01 - 3:39 a.m.

Is there such a thing as a kind, open-hearted narcissist?



Waking up in another day of sobriety.
Another decent rehearsal.
That the nightmare from which the alarm woke me was only that: a nightmare.
Chester's calm at work.
That Michelle might be able to purchase a home.
Being mentioned in K's diary.
My beautiful husband.
The friends who read here.
Being kissed by a strong, handsome, and probably at least somewhat scared young straight man last night.
David's e-mail.

So much for which I can be thankful.

The nightmare was truly awful, just downright nasty. Long, convoluted. I was on a "parole" crew at a huge, daylong festival on the grounds of what was half university, half state capitol of South Carolina. I had been found guilty of some honor code violation for the school - vague as to whether I was actually guilty or not - so we had to wear scrubs. For a time it was sort of a medical school, so the scrubs made me look like a doc. Artwork, dancing, music, food (to which I was very much looking forward, but it never seemed to be time for us helpers to eat). Perhaps I had contributed some of the artwork? Maybe calligraphy? Eventually I felt something caught between upper left teeth. I pulled: a cord or tendon, then tendonS, pulled from my mouth but wouldn't separate or let go. Eventually I had this nest, this little web of cords of flesh clogging my mouth, resting between my tongue and palate. Finally a big black earth-mother type, a dream Maya Angelou sort, used medical scissors to snip two of the three cords off at the roots. She told me I had to keep the third one. I was aghast.

Throughout the dream I was growing younger. Someone said "For God's sake, boy, what happened to your cheek?" I had a scar or scars on my left cheek. I was brought to a vast throne room - I had to walk and walk and walk to get from the door to the man in the chair, and the ceiling soared bo skylights I could not see - to learn that I was the lost son of an African king. I had brothers with scarred cheeks.

Along the way was a fistfight with another on the crew, a parade of "class marshalls" that included Adam Pelty and Evan Lubeck and their dates, mazes of rooms.

And I pour coffee and I think: two of the three cords cut. Can this mean the play? That I should be grateful that it's mostly better, even if so much still isn't great?

I don't know. Rehearsal was better again last night. We found some helpful stuff. Derek finally kissed me - he initiated it! - and I was caught off guard not by the kiss but by the fullness and softness of his lips (!). I mean I was really taken aback. He must be a hell of a kisser. At the break I called out "You big, brave hetero, you smooched me!" Caroline was frustrated she'd been looking down and missed it.

And yet: such manipulation by Joe. I said to Matt when I got home that the more we work the less I like him, that he's a perfect example of a kind, gentle, open, perfectly marvelous person might be toxic for me. A couple moments that really rubbed me the wrong way.

Yesterday morning before work I wrote half a letter to David. Saved it in Drafts. At my break at Panera I was re-reading what I'd written, and accidentally sent it. Began to dictate a text explaining. Had to re-do part of it, because Brian came over to joke and what he said was also transcribed by Siri. The point is that last night David responded, and he said he hoped I could "let go of my perfectionism" about the play.

I have to chew on that. I don't think it's perfectionism at all, because little or none of my angst has to do with worrying about the play's eventual quality, or any perception of my work. (Though it has occurred to me that I'll be embarrassed if all these people come to support me by seeing the show - people who would never otherwise go to a play: Nick, Michelle, others, not to mention Barb and possibly Simon coming all the way from NC - and then the show turns out to be clumsily staged and mediocre in realization.)

I racked my brain all day trying to think of a moment in the play when Katherine says anything that would indicate she's a liar - a "big bullshitter" in Joe's parlance - and could find nothing. Then, last night, in rehearsal: on the second-to-last page she says "I lied." But it's a figure of speech; she's correcting herself because she said she had only one regret. But it's in parentheses, and it's a throwaway: "I told you there was only one thing, but there are two. I lied." Unfortunately Diana SLOWS DOWN and makes a huge deal of this PARENTHETICAL self-interruption, meaning it would be awkward if Joe pointed to is in support of his absurd thesis and that was all I had to defend my own position.

I realized that even though rehearsals are approaching something like what I'm used to, maybe even very like, I still go through the day with a certain amount of anxiety or even dread, and that it's all just too much. To have a physically and emotionally exhausting day, then to go out for the evening to do something I'm not enjoying much. Long, long hours, little return.

JR has posited that Bud is Andre's reincarnation, come to earth again to give Katherine the love and kindness he couldn't give in her previous life. He even suggested that his soul was waiting, saw Will's and my courtship, knew this would be his new chance. The kid is 9.

They worked Katherine and Will scenes after 7:30, and I was released along with JR. I was glad to come home and watch Schitt's Creek with Matt, a half-hour of lying alongside him in some domestic normalcy.

Countless times throughout the day we are handed reminders that next Monday Eighth Street gets torn up for half a year. I told Matt I'm going to talk and think of it in positive terms. Not "Eighth Street is going to closed, getting places is going to be a nightmare" but "Eighth Street is finally going to be beautiful and clean!" I said that "On October 16 our condo is going to be worth $10,000 more than on May 6, if not $25,000 more." He agreed.

Time to jot a note to David, get to work. Must study script this afternoon, but maybe a small nap? (Nap yesterday didn't take. I made a hasty stir-fry, and Matt was home in time for us to eat together before I dashed to rehearsal.)

Haven't even talked about work: We came in yesterday to over $900 in catering and rapids that had arrived overnight. Chester had come in at 4:00. He, Dawn, Adam, Savannah, and I worked like beavers to get it all ready and out on time. (I had sent Josh home after two minutes of watching his white face and unsteady stance. His strep had been followed by food poisoning.) For most of the day I was the single reg, with a line to the door. Just anxiety and the jitters and stress without relenting all day. With rehearsal to look forward to.

Please, God, help me make today be otherwise.

("O Lord, grant us peace and not zero.")

ebb - flow

Many random things that haven't gotten written down elsewhere this week... - 2019-05-03
Afternoon entry: work better even though skies still gloomy, and a satisfyingly productive afternoon... - 2019-05-02
We actually had a GOOD rehearsal. And I have so much more to say than I could include here... - 2019-05-02
Is there such a thing as a kind, open-hearted narcissist? - 2019-05-01
Tuesday morning's entry Monday night; tomorrow I'll sleep in a little... - 2019-04-29

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