Notes from the Road
Part Eight: Cleveland
Cleveland is strange. There is not a regular grocery store to be found. I don’t just mean within walking distance. I mean, it seems that in all of the Cleveland one will not find an Albertson’s or Safeway. I wonder if there’s some kind of city ordinance that prohibits some major chains, because now that I think of it, I haven’t seen a 7/11, or a Gap, or a Dunkin’ Donuts (not that I’m complaining about that). As a result, the most comprehensive and nearest market to me is a place I call “Hymen’s” (which is not, in fact, called “hymen’s”, but the name is close enough that, you know, why not.), which is closer to Whole Foods than Safeway. The kind of place that when you get home from it, you’re $200 poorer and still don’t seem to have anything to just eat.
I did find a CVS where I bought an umbrella that I used exactly once before losing. I refuse to buy another one on principal. It is POURING rain and will be for the next two days.
I finished reading The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson tonight. I can not recommend it highly enough. I zipped through it and now regret that I’ve already read it so I can’t experience it for the first time again. It’s the kind of writing that makes me ashamed to call myself a writer. Nelson moves in and out of thoughts and concepts in a way that makes you feel like you’re sitting on her couch having tea with her. It’s conversational. But it’s conversation with someone way smarter than you. It’s about gender and gender presentation, and sexuality, and binaries, and becoming a mother and a step-mother, and being a daughter, and a wife. I think that’s what it’s about. I’m sure if you asked her, she would say it’s about something else entirely. But, like I said, she’s super smart. Honestly, go get yourself a copy AT YOUR LOCAL BOOKSTORE.
I’m also watching Ozark which is thoroughly enjoyable popcorn entertainment. In some ways it’s like Breaking Bad light, but the acting is terrific, and I would watch Jason Bateman clip his toenails. Honestly Jason, call me.
I watched Wild, Wild Country, which is about a fascinating subject, but, I think, tremendously poorly directed. It’s sloppy and confusing. They gloss over extremely interesting points in a maddening way. They’ll be like, “They lured a bunch of homeless people into their community under false pretenses, then drugged their beer one night, then had a dance party!” And you’re left going, “Wait, what??”, but by then they’re already onto the next fact they’re going to skim over.
As we approach month seven of the tour, I’m starting to get really tired of the sound of my own voice. I’m in the thick of the usual nearing-the-end-of-tour-WHAT-AM-I-GOING-TO-DO-WITH-THE-REST-OF-MY-LIFE panic. That thing where one job is ending and you’re certain you’re never going to get another job (and, at the same time, you’re like, do I want to get another job? Maybe I don’t. Do I really WANT to be an actor? Though this panic is more of the every-day-of-my-life variety). It’s irrational, but 100% common, and 100% fucking awful. I read an obit once for some famous, Olde Timey movie star whose daughter said he never stopped worrying that the phone would never ring again. It’s going to be okay. Everything is going to be okay, right? There will be other opportunities. Work begets work. Someone will have seen this show and would like to cast me in their next TV
If you’re reading this and you have occasion to cast me, please know, I will continue to be an actor, and enthusiastically so, for the entire duration of my contract. There isn’t an actor alive who doesn’t ONCE IN A WHILE wish they could do something else. It doesn’t mean we don’t love what we do. It doesn’t mean it’s not our passion. You could be married to the person of your dreams, the person who meets 98% of the criteria you have for a partner, and still find yourself OCCASSIONALLY thinking, “Why am I saddled with this person and what is the easiest way to dispose of a dead body?” (The answer, by the way, is pigs.)
OR maybe I should move to a quiet town where the cost of living is low, and the population is starting to shift to a younger, more diverse crowd, and the schools are okay, and there are cows, and a little general store, and fireflies at night, and people ride bicycles, and there are flocks of wild turkeys, and a new, local brewery, and a cheese shop, and the nearest train to NYC is a half an hour away, and there’s a swimming hole, and a fishing hole, and trails, and an old railroad museum, and a candy store that an old lesbian couple just bought. And Monty can go to school, and Kurt can find a local music shop to work in, and I can…write for a living?
I don’t know where I belong. I don’t know that I’ve ever felt at home. I’ve never felt like I was part of a community. I never had the place I went to every day for coffee. Or my favorite diner. Or my local dive bar. I’ve never really felt connected to a place. I think I’d like to have that feeling. And what if it is somewhere really quiet and remote? What if it’s in the middle of the jungle in Costa Rica? Or somewhere in Northern Scotland? Or in Uzbekistan? Will the phone stop ringing if I move to Uzbekistan? Will I care? Will I even have a phone? Does Uzbekistan exist anymore?
You guys, what am I going to do when this tour ends??
I woke up this morning to a phone call from Ryan which I ignored because it was before 3pm on my day off. But I’m Jewish, so immediately I started worrying that someone was dead, also I have therapy in a little bit (which, why I scheduled that before 3pm on my day off will be the topic of the entire 45-minute session today), so I dragged my ass out of bed and called Ryan back. They had two pints of ice cream delivered to me. A pint of Vanilla Swiss Almond and a pint of Butter Pecan. Let’s file that under “I have impeccable taste in partners.” And before you think I’m being hyperbolic because it’s just ice cream, go back and read my last blog (which you should have done already because, a. I’m a good writer and b. I’m trying to make a living at writing and I need readers…) and consider what would have happened if you had compared your partner to ice cream and talked about wanting to try another flavor. Would they have had ice cream delivered to you? And if they had, would they have included the other flavor? My ex might have sent me 18 cases of their flavor with a note that said, “If I ever see you so much as look at Butter Pecan I will be disposing of your corpse in a pig pen.”
Oh, hey, what do you know? It’s time for therapy.