Took Louie for a good walk, ended up in the ‘stro at the deserted dog run behind the Colllingwood rec center where for a short while I watched these two men practice synchronized baton twirling as a John Phillip Sousa march rang out on their boom box. Later I ran into Bearbait and some friends who hadn’t seen me since I got back. It was the Studly Couple, giving me bear hugs and kissing me and telling me I looked good. They had both recently buzzed their heads and they make such an adorable couple that I’d probably reconsider my personal rule against having sex with more than one person at a time, but then again, nobody’s asked me to.
I return home and catch the last half hour of Six Degrees of Separation, my favorite part where Stockard Channing as Ouisa has her rant and breakthrough at the stuffy Park Avenue dinner party as her husband tries and fails spectacularly at steering the conversation back into safe terrain.
Since I’m out of shape I hit the straight gym (not that you could call any gym in San Francisco straight) for back and biceps and a twenty minute run on the treadmill that I barely complete. I’m back to looking like Frankenstein’s monster, lumbering gracelessly along , lungs struggling to sustain me.
Back home with groceries and I rummage through some boxes in the garage to find my copy of Six Degrees, the original play, because what her character says at the end applies so well to blogging (at least for me).
“OUISA: You were attracted to him-
FLAN: Cut me out of that pathology! You’re on your own-
OUISA: Attracted by youth and his talent and the embarrassing prospect of being in the movie version of Cats. Did you put that in your Times piece? And we turn him into an anecdote to dine out on. Or dine in on. But it was an experience. I will not turn him into an anecdote. How do we fit what happened to us into life without turning it into an anecdote with no teeth and a punch line you’ll mouth over and over years to come. “Tell the story about the imposter who came into our lives-” “That reminds me of the time this boy-“. And we become these human juke boxes spilling out these anecdotes. But it was an experience. How do we keep the experience?”
-John Guare, Six Degrees of Separation
I don’t know, Ouisa. I keep writing these experiences, I post them here and 99% of the time there’s no voice back, no dialogue to sustain. But there are a few exceptions, and I’m beginning to remember what I loved about writing; about the futile, addictive challenge of describing life with only a few words, stringing them together in such a way that it hopefully trandscends the status of clever anecdotes and instead connects with others’ experiences.
I want more revelations like yours, a sudden shift in perspective that causes a rippling movement through your entire vision, changing the self you project towards others, opening yourself to things you couldn’t possibly see before.