Sunday, September 13, 2009

How Did It Get To Be September?

When I read other blogs my least favorite posts are the ones that begin with an apology for why the blogger has failed to update.

So when I started TRAVELMONKEYS, I vowed never to make such a post myself, and I swear to you now, this is not an apology. Even though I have not posted since late July, I mean it, this is not an apology. The very idea of an apology is ridiculous anyhow! As if I've somehow left you all bereft, with a dark TRAVELMONKEYS-shaped hole in your heart as you wonder where I and Mike and the dog might be now, what exciting things we might be up to. Why, it's the heart of narcissism to believe that anyone else might actually notice my long silence. So I promise you: not an apology.

And yet.

There were a few of you who quietly left some notes on my Facebook page suggesting that you might like to read some new posts from me. And I will admit that I enjoyed hearing I was missed. (It's always wonderful to be missed, isn't it? Wonderful to sneak away, to escape, to hide, but right after that, even better to hear someone calling your name...)

So though I am behind, let me tell you a little bit about what we've been up to.

First of all, we spent the first week of August in Portland, Oregon, that hipper-than-thou city of the west filled with well-read hipsters and eccentric (also well-read) homeless people. We were there to workshop our newest monologue which I shall not list by name, as I like to keep this blog semi-private, but I will tell you that the principal theme of the new piece revolves around money and our relationship to it, and I'm finding it quite a provocative and intriguing piece of work.

Then we headed up to Seattle for three weeks, during which time we continued to develop the same monologue. And we relaxed. Oh, how we relaxed.

I ate oysters with my siblings, played tennis with my father, shopped for wedding dresses with Mary, went for long leash-less walks in the park with Baci, watched rows of fishermen pluck one salmon after another from Puget Sound like it was the easiest thing in the world, went dancing with all our people late into the night, ate amazing meals with my parents and played cards nightly...

I tell you, folks, I had such a wonderful time back in Seattle that I started to feel like the character of Emily from Our Town when she gets to go back after death and visit a day when she was still alive. You know that scene? I cry like a baby every time.

But it's one thing to feel that when you're in a theater, quite another to feel it when you're actually just trying to live your life. As the trip neared to a close I felt an overwhelming sense of dread. Surely this meant that someone was about to die. That some terrible news was imminent. That I was paying in advance for something that would counterbalance all this happiness.

Michael begged me to stop being so Polish.

Back in New York, we had a little less than a week to pack for the trip that lay ahead, a five-city tour that would take us to Philadelphia, Chapel Hill, Juneau, Whitehorse, and Banff. I am, in fact, writing this entry to you now from the first city, having just completed stage one of the tour.

Originally, I'd imagined that I would use TRAVELMONKEYS as a kind of tour diary. Less long entries like this one, and more short daily updates. Something like this:

Day 1 in Philly. Met our crew. That's Jacob, and he's awesome. Not pictured: Sam, burping.

But you know what happened? Ohhh, a bundle of troubles. Lots of tiny other shoes, dropping.

I want to tell you all about it. I really do. But my alarm just went off reminding me that we leave for Chapel Hill early tomorrow morning, and of course, we've yet to pack.

So let me sign off now with the promise that I'll return sooner than I did last time. (Again, the narcissism!) Maybe I'll even be able to update with the kinds of posts I'd hoped to make from Philly. Let me also say that no one has died, that the dog is ok, and that Michael and I are still married.

Also, Philadelphia is pretty wonderful, from what I can tell. We're going to come back in a few months to see our friend Kyra in a show here, and we're hoping to check out some of the stuff we couldn't see this week during our non-stop freak-out, including this.


John Scott Tynes said...

The Mutter Museum is legendary and I regret I have never been there. Some years ago I heard the freak-show aspects were scaled back a bit due to distaste at the college that owns the museum, but that's hearsay.

A similar, although far less glorious, museum is the Glore Psychiatric Museum in St. Joseph, Missouri, which I have visited and which is also written up in Roadside America; the display of several thousand objects swallowed by a single patient is awesome.

Glore has a gift shop of artwork made by residents of the asylum where the museum is located. The art was pretty tepid fare but when I visited and went prowling through some dusty boxes I found a great, bizarre painting so ineptly executed that its subject was initially obscure. On inspection I realized it was that of a bloody body dangling from the rafters on a meat hook. That one, I purchased. It is now in the home of my friend Thom in Tacoma and it's better crazying up his house than mine.

Anonymous said...

Welcome back! Such a great post!

SM said...

Ah, at last! We have been waiting for your return. Can't wait for updates from the coming legs of your tour!

NancyBlog said...

Yay! Woof!