Friday, April 20, 2012

"With monopoly money, we'll be buying the funny farm"

It's 4/20 and I am high and listening to Aimee Mann's "Bachelor No. 2" and I have decided that it is my favorite album of all time at this particular moment in time. It was always high up there in the rankings, top three or top five, but in the last several months it has shot ahead to number one. A decade or so after falling in love with this album, I still cannot get enough of it. Gillian Welch's "Time (The Revelator)" used to be up there at No. 1; now it has been bumped down to No. 2.

What exactly this says, I am not sure. I am quite sure though that it says something.

I went to see a play this evening with Erica, my third Broadway excursion of this week with her. Tuesday night, we saw "Leap of Faith." Wednesday, "The Lyons." And tonight, "Seminar." It has been so long since I have seen any Broadway shows. It really brought me back to somewhere, this past week, a desire to consume these things, to engage with art, engage in this cultural conversation that goes on about theater, to think about life in ways that theater narratives really are able to do so in ways unique to theater. If I had to suggest one of these for you to see, far and away I would suggest that you go see "The Lyons." The script by Nicky Silver is really brilliant and witty, fantastic and funny line one right after the next. It's dark and brutal in its attitude toward life, refreshingly unsentimental, and yet also, despite that, maybe even because of it, hopeful about what it is that we can get from life on this planet.

The play has funny one-liners shooting one right past the other, a fireworks show of verbal zingers. My favorite series of lines were in the opening when Linda Lavin's character is complaining about their living room to her dying husband and says:

"I look at the sofa. I know it was cream when we bought it, but now it's just some washed-out shade of dashed hopes. The chairs are the color of disgust. And the carpet is matted down with resignation."

I wanted to write that line down when I heard it, wanted to remember it. I didn't do that because I didn't have a pen, but more so because even if I did there was no way I would disengage from the play for even a moment to scratch something funny down. Luckily the Internet has already recorded this quote on several webpages. 

"Seminar" was just all right - the script never went beyond surfaces and caricatures. My favorite part of the play was a scene where Justin Long is on stage for a moment in his underwear. My favorite part was this appearance of skin, of a body that was insanely sexy in a way that really surprised me. Justin Long is cut and I was shooting photos on the roll in my mind saved for purposes of images to jack off to.

I rode the train home. A man was singing Beatles songs to people on the subway for change. I smoked some weed because it is the twentieth of April and all and I put a pizza in the oven and I did karaoke to this Aimee Mann album as I got more and more stoned. I read along to the lyrics and tried to say the words to these beautiful and sad and gorgeous songs with something even slightly approximating the way in which Aimee Mann is able to say them, the meaning and sadness she is able to imbue in each of these lines, by saying the words a certain way, by hitting certain notes that I am not even aware of until I try to sing them, until I hear my voice, that of a screechy cat, trying and failing to sing these songs with any of the range, and thus the conveyed emotion, that Aimee Mann is able to sing them.

Jacob came home. I stopped singing along to these songs, which is really if I were to be honest what I would like to still be doing, to be what I was always doing. I put on my headphones to keep listening to these songs and typed here in my diary about these songs and some other things. I just want to put this out there in the internet record books I have been compiling for some reason about my life, documenting this existence, that in the year 2012, in the month of April, one of the things that brought Charlie the most happiness on this planet was being alone in his apartment in Brooklyn, being a little high, and blasting "Bachelor No. 2" and singing along to the lyrics loudly, unashamed, increasingly emotional, and occasionally sipping from a glass of red wine between verses. He thought about all of the other times he has had similar moments to this album, all of the places this album has been with him, my buddy through nights in towns up and down the East Coast, my buddy through a summer spent in the beautiful state of Wisconsin, the number of these emotional evenings over the course of the last decade countless, that this is an album to lose yourself in emotionalism to, to totally embrace what a messy and beautiful place this is, the messiness responsible for that beauty. 

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