If the world is ending. I’m gonna take some time to really give into my reckless love of show tunes. I was planning to spend my twilight years like some musical theater vampire, sucking the souls out of young broadway TWUNKS as I watched them strive for High C’s from the bleachers. But in case we have been robbed of the future, I’ll just start talking about my love of show tunes today.
My love, Marin Mazzie
I’m biking to the city so that I can take a meeting with my theater company and I am late. Like 20 minutes late and I’ve just reached the Williamsburg bridge approach and even though I am running so late, I decide to get off my bike for a moment so I can put on “Loosing my Mind” by Sondheim from ‘Follies’ as sung by Marin Mazzie at the Sondheim’s 80th Birthday party, and really feel my oats. The last few days I have been living my life for this song. I just sing it on repeat and imagine every word is delivered out to Hillary Clinton and her improbably liberal agenda. It makes me feel so good to sing this song. I sound terrible doing it, my voice struggles to find the notes, and even that is part of the joy, it’s this wrecked and tortured attempt to sound like this sensational woman.
I have this reoccurring fantasy that I am singing it in my bedroom as Julianne Moore in a Todd Haynes Film. Expertly lit with 60’s period costumes on as I bemoan the state of the world. It’s an indulgent fantasy but I can not help imagining the real tears that will pour from my eyes as the camera makes a slow pan into my living room while I stand there, still, the world warping around me and sing about my inability to move left or right. It feels so apt for this election. Thoughts of the future Fascist America root me to the floor. It interrupts my morning coffee, my conversations with friends, my thoughts on my ass. And that’s okay. We should have the normal interrupted constantly by the terror of the present so that we can learn and yearn and strive towards something more beautiful.
I love her in Safe.
So I get off my bike, so I can belt while I ride, which is one of my favorite things to do, hit play and throw my phone in my pocket. I get like 22 seconds into the track before it begins to skip wildly, everything goes at hyper speed and suddenly I am well into a fast forwarded version of Madonna’s ‘Deeper and Deeper’ that sounds like a terrible club track I am sure I have hard before while vomiting on the floor of some trashy gay bar in the backstreets of London.
so I get off my bike and reset my song.
and it skips again.
and I get off my bike.
and then it just stops.
and I get off my bike and restart it.
and then it begins playing Katy Perry.
By now I am not singing about Loosing my Mind, it is firmly lost. I howl like I just lost my first born and grab my earphone in my hands. These innocuous ear phones which are in no way part of the problem that I am having, and tense my arms so that I can rip them into shreds where I stand, some where high above Brooklynt, looking at Manhattan jutting up between the grills of the bridge fencing.
And right before my earphones snap, I do. I let go, I step outside myself, see myself and am appalled. I’m having a tantrum, just the way a child would. I’m going to break something that has no real relationship to my problems because all I want to do destroy everything in front of me. I want to become something like a villain and go on a rampage
So I snap. I Howl, I cry and I look at myself. Nothing has even happened and already I have broken myself. If this is how quickly I buckle under pressure then I am terrified about what the world has to have in store for us all. I am broken by a skipping song on my smart phone, while I bike to my art meeting from my home in liberal Brooklyn.
It’s not going to be okay. But really have we not know that all along. We have. Inside ourselves we knew. It’s not been okay ever. A Hillary presidency was not suddenly going to make it better.
Let us shepherd in what comes next from a place of community and friendship. I will not give up loving you. and fighting with you. and when I lose it, which I am sure I will, often, I will return to this song, and sing it, and remind myself that standing still some times, and screaming your heart out, and not moving at all, is some times the right medicine, when it reminds you to just stop, and breath.
Unless of course its the middle of the Williamsburg bridge midday and there is a throng of angry Bicyclists around you. But on this day they just looked at me and said. It’s okay.