Theatrical Performance in the Works

Person sitting on toilet:

Another time-killer is to post outrageously good bargains on Craig’s list.  A rental overlooking Central Park: $650 due to immediate transfer to Singapore.

A 30 foot sailboat: $1,200 due to desperate financial conditions. You are deluged with inquiries. String them along. Answer at your leisure. Give them more information about said offering. Balcony, four bedrooms, Jacuzzi. Tell them other people are interested and you need to give everybody a fair chance. And then, when you feel they’re solidly fantasizing about their new life overlooking Central Park or sailing to England, pull the plug abruptly but mercifully, so they cannot place blame on anyone but themselves and their obsessive selfishness.

It is even more fun to encourage their belief that although they are taking full advantage of your misfortune it is only because they want to help you out. In these instances, the prospective buyers will bend over backwards to make the sale easy and pleasant. “Gee, I am sorry about your situation and would be glad to help out. I need to live on Central Park West to be close to my ailing aunt. I would be happy to offer you $700 a month, even $800. I’d like you to know that I also have connections in Singapore that might lead you to great riches and true love. I was born in Singapore to great wealth, wealth that has since dissipated, but not without reward. There are favors owed me that I cannot utilize. These favors I offer you in exchange for your lovely apartment.”

“I am sure that docking a sailboat is an expense you do not wish to incur. May I offer you monies for storage until you have found the appropriate buyer? I can assure you that I am the right person for your boat, as I plan on offering classes in sailing to underprivileged children in the Bronx. I have been looking for a vessel for some time. Your sailboat would change the lives of hundred of children in short order.”

Always the bargain. A good deal brings out the worst in everybody. The worst in everybody is my avocation. The hungry ghosts set down in front of a turkey dinner under a locked plexi-glass serving plate. I hold the key between my teeth.

Person sititng at a Desk:

I handle life as though it were a filing cabinet with three or four drawers.  Inside the cabinet drawers there are folders. These folders are in alphabetical order and they contain information that begins with the corresponding letter affixed to the folder tab.  Any information that you come across in life that does not begin with a letter in the alphabet is better left alone.  If you can’t put a noun, verb or adjective to a bit of information, ignore it.  You make certain that you have more than enough folders- starting with the top drawer for “A” through “C”, etc. moving downward to the bottom drawer containing “XYZ” – Cross-referencing is always a safe bet – which is why it is critical to have a very large file cabinet and very wide folders. Color coding the folders comes in handy if you like to divide your life into categories such as Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow. Or, Personal, Business, Hobbies, Networking, Health, Finance, etc.

I have tried all manner of filing, coding, cross-referencing and have found that the simpler the file system, the simpler life becomes. Let’s say you’re trying to file an anxiety. Name the anxiety – “fear of homelessness” – and open your “finance file.”  Thumb through your finance folder, scanning bills, receipts, check-books, check-stubs, collection agency threats, cemetery plot deposit, your Will, your life insurance policy. It’s only paper. It means nothing, just as your fear of homelessness is meaningless and a worthless waste of your worry time. Close your filing cabinet. Go get an ice-cream.

I know you think I’m being ridiculous, but don’t knock it until you try it. What I am trying to say is this: It’s all paper. All of it, paper. File the paper, staple the paper, protect the paper and you won’t be homeless because there is help available and it is printed on paper.

What I am trying to say is, It isn’t real if it’s not on paper. It may seem real to you, as real as your nightmares, but they too are fantasy, misplaced emotion, a bad meal, a mosquito buzzing at your ear, a sweaty, dirty polyester sheet.

The visual effect of a filing cabinet is not to be underestimated. It signifies organization, control, support, clarification.  If you can file it, you can find it. Get me?

Woman on a Treadmill:

A baby boom baby, literally one in a million. I can’t get old. Nobody will let me. There are too many of us. If I am old, everybody my age is old, and nobody will admit to it. So at 57 I have to continue feeling youthful and being useful. Where is the pay-off? When can I give up, for fuck sake? What good is getting older if you don’t have an excuse for accomplishing nothing?  70 year old women running marathons in order to die in good shape or at least get fucked a few times beforehand. When can I enjoy middle age? How much longer do I have to endure this purgatory of “almost youngness?” Somebody has got to throw in the towel. Somebody has got to say, “enough! I don’t feel so good. I don’t feel so chipper. I don’t want to move to Oakland and get my degree in art therapy. I don’t want to lubricate myself to death’s door so that another aging baby boomer male can insert his half flaccid penis in my atrophied vagina.”  Let it GO, people! Grow up, grow old. The best days of your life are being taken away from you. The days of Wine and Roses, especially wine.  The days of minimal expectation.

We have Woodstock, what more do we want? How wonderful to sit back and rot, allow the young people to do the work and worship us as fat, silent Buddha’s – having been there and done that. They’ll never catch up anyway, why elbow our way into their scene, take their jobs, their restaurant seating, their girlfriends, and yes, their boyfriends, being that the new trend is younger man/older woman – again, the atrophied vagina is called to duty.

You argue. You say, go down yourself bitch!  I’m taking it to the finish line. I’m going out in style.

Why?

Style is a burden after 50. Style is a weakness, a time waster, a conformity, an extension of youthful  fantasy.

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