Virgo 2° (August 24)
After the way you behaved in our home a week ago today it is shocking that you have as yet not apologized. Since our first meeting where you said you were determined not to rent to a hot head, it has become clear that the hot head you fear so much is you. We already had a run in early in our residency here when, on a Memorial Day weekend, when a pipe burst in the basement, you had a complete meltdown, shouting at me and and storming off leaving us without water, only to return the next day not just apologizing but literally begging for our forgiveness. That contrite attitude and behavior didn’t last long. You have been subtly and increasingly rude and bullying since then, hinting that we are at times hard to reach or that our asking simple questions put you off. But last Monday your bullying went over the top into full-stop verbal abuse, false accusation, shaming, hostile threatening, even to the point of shouting/spitting at us not wearing a mask, while we asked you time and again to only where a mask in our home. This may be a house that you own, but it is our home, and the behavior that you exhibited is not only inexcusable it is unforgivable.
Last year, due to your negligence, I had an accident in this house, falling through the back porch which you admitted after the fact was rotted, and seriously injurying my leg. In hindsight, now I realize that you had no concern for my well-being before or in the wake of this incident; all you cared about was whether or not I was going to take legal action. Surely, had I been hurt in a way that required surgery or longterm doctor care, we would have had to address that; otherwise, I let the incident go. And yet, last Monday you (weirdly, as if you were having a break with reality) accused me of threatening legal action which never happened. If you can show me any evidence of that in my correspondence to you please do—you can’t. You also accused me of slamming the back door of our house “in your face” and when we once again addressed this—you wrote me on the day you heard the door slam and we already told you it was surely the wind and you offered to bring over a doorstop which we said we didn’t need—you alternately called us liars then said it happened when “Lynne was traveling.” Well Lynne was here the day you texted about the door slamming, and I immediately shared your text with her asking if the door had slammed—she was under headphones and said she hadn’t heard anything. And yet you brought it up again in your rage of last Monday.
The truth is you were in a rage of your own making. You showed up to replace our broken refridgerator in a huff. Your stormed around telegraphing how angry you were, trying to switch out the refridgerator on your own, which seemed a foolish thing to do. You were angry at yourself we can only guess because you didn’t measure doors before taking them off their hinges, trying to get the refridgerator in the house. You had texted me from the road to say to move my car, which I did, but then you didn’t pull into the driveway where you indicated so I simply asked, didn’t you want to use the driveway, referring to your text to move the car. You said you wrote after that which, if you had, you didn’t send. I simply said oh I didn’t receive another text from you at which time you completely flew off the handle berating me for texting you that weekend to say our fridge was broken, screaming at me that I shouldn’t be texting you—that I should physically try to find you outside as I “knew” you were out there. I said I did not. I woke up late that morning to find Lynne sitting on the porch, already, for a couple of hours reading. The first thing she told me was that the fridge was broken. I texted you then went about my business filling the car and going to the dump and shopping. I waited a few hours and you hadn’t texted back so I texted you a heads up to my earlier email and you said you’d come over. What you didn’t say was that you had received that earlier text and had chosen not to answer it. That you were already angry for some reason. And all of this, too, came out in our faces in our home where you verbally assaulted us. You threatened, also, to kick us out of our home. I said you were going to feel bad about the way you were treating us and that you would regret treating us in this manner and that only angered you all the more. You didn’t replace the front door but instead boarded it up. It will be a week since we are living without a front door.
The following blocks of text are exceprts from my first year of Blagues, nos. 736-740. I am reading through all of my Blagues, five per day, and posting some samples here. Now, in my sixth year of writing this Blague, by the time I get to my seventh, I will have journeyed through all the daily Blagues of my first five years. If that’s confusing I apologize. Year seven, I’ll only have to read through year six, once a day.
In my endeavor to catch up on these Blague entries (I have another month to go before I can get to the desired one a day) it’s nice to hit the milestone of Taurus while we are actually still in the sign of Taurus.
Here today on the East Coast it is really hot hot hot outside. One of the bummers of our climate is we tend to go from Winter to Summer with very little Spring in between. Meanwhile the less extreme seasons of Spring and Autumn are my favorite, Autumn probably my absolute. I always considered my preference for Autumn to be akin to my favorite color being green, or my love of auburn hair (my own having long lost the reddish bit, leaving me with just a silver reminder of what used to be there).
As a small child in Jersey City we used to have soot showers. That’s right. There was a nearby factory or something and sometimes soot would fall from the sky like black snow flakes, wafting down. It was very odd and frankly something I hadn’t thought about probably since the last time I witnessed one—sometimes sitting down to write a Blague without any exact idea about what that Blague might be can trigger memories of this sort. These soot showers used to happen, I recall, most, in Spring, which seemed longer when I was a kid, in no small part due to the manmade changes in our weather patterns.
There was something magical that happened to kids in Spring, which I can’t quite explain. In the city, there would come that day where bubbles and water balloons and kites and kids trying to ride bikes for the first time without training wheels, bats-and-balls, those paddles with the ball attached with a rubber band, and hopscotch, water pistols, and hulahoops, and those small pink balls one used, in cities, to play handball against a brick wall, and the two dangerous early-seventies toys called Clackers—two balls on a string you would try to make hit above and below your quick-flicking grip, only to hit yourself in the head or face—and that other gadget, a loop with a string and ball attached, where you strapped the loop around one ankle and you would try to jump over the ball as you swung it in a circular motion with said ankle, only to trip yourself and fall face first onto the pavement—all would all start to surface. Girls played elaborate patty cake and jumped rope and everyone played Red Rover and May I.
Later in the more bucolic suburbs, in addition to paper airplaines, boys would fold up paper footballs and shoot the between a buddy’s goal post—index fingers connected at the tips with both thumbs up, while girls made what I was told later in life by someone were called Cooty Cathers, little magical folded and numbered creases of paper with numbers that you manipulated with your fingers and to which you posed questions about love, for the most part. I didn’t describe this at all well. Under flaps of paper were “answers” to the questions girls would ask. Suburban girls played less patty cake it seemed and gymanstical feats seemed to replace jumping rope, but that might be Nadia Comenici’s fault. And of course little league and new gloves and mitts and such played a major part in the childhood estate of Spring. And for some reason candy seemed to be more a Spring occupation than it was in other seasons. I think that had something to do with marketing and the knowledge that kids could sneak away to candy stores more readily in the clement weather.
All this innocence and youth of Spring is very much in keeping with the blissed out pre-fall Edenic experience of the fixed-earth sign of gardeny Taurus.
Living in seaside towns you see your fare share of inns and B&Bs and so forth. And there is something about the signage that can tell you something right off the bat, I find, about the personalities of the owners. If full and they hang a little NO to the left of VACANCY I take it as a polite, time-saving gesture for all involved. It’s polite enough without being cute. I hate cute. The only exception perhaps is when a shop says OPEN and then scrambles the words to read NOPE when they’re not. I can sort of deal with that. But when an inn or B&B is full and they hang the world NO to the right of the VACANCY sign, I feel we’re in for a bit of a problem. I mean there won’t be a problem because obviously I’m not entering to inquire about a room—I wouldn’t anyway; but I might subliminally steer visiting friends or strangers, even, away from some a place. Somehow that particular combination of the two words is the equivalent of the kind of 1980s joke, like, “I’m so interested in this—NOT.” It’s something Roseanne used to say as the character Roseanne on Roseanne. It’s a little dangle-y, as if there is a silent question mark after the work VACANCY? and then boom: NO, loser. It’s just a bit passive aggressive.
And then there is the more cloying passive aggresive version of the no vacancy sign which is SORRY. Really? Sorry? Are you. Why. Who asked you to be. Who says I’m disappointed? How did we jump to disappointment. It’s assuming a lot: To think you have the power to disappoint me. It’s so condescending. It might be worse than VACANCY NO now that I think about it. Like it’s so fucking great to stay at your crappy B&B. SORRY. That’s like breaking up with someone because you know they are just about to break up with you. Like I have to be shut out from staying at your crappy place and also be noble enough to let you down easy that I didn’t want to fucking stay there in the first place. God. It’s such a victimy projection. Like don’t fucking worry about it. I’m fine. I don’t need your fucking pity that I can’t stay in your lousy room with the squeaky double bed and eat your mini muffins with bad coffee in the morning. Trust me we are good.
Whatever happened to FULL. I love FULL. It’s so simple and direct. It’s the opposite of VACANCY, that would be EMPTY which wouldn’t be accurate because a place isn’t empty then full it’s filling up and then full. FILLING UP would be a cute way of saying VACANCY but, yeah, we don’t like cute so never mind. And so what—damn the parallel structure—FULL works just fine. It’s succinct and yet it feels a little friendly. It’s not assuming anything about me or asking me to feel away. It’s not like the other codependent nightmare signs. It’s just like FULL. That’s it. We’re cool. No need to discuss. I have boundaries. I wish you well. I’m not going to waste your time. Just keep looking and I wish you well. God Speed.
While on the subject of signs: I have this idea to market a two sided Provincetown Paddle whereupon, on one side it says COME HERE and on the other GO AWAY. Because after living and working in this town for quite some time what I’ve noticed is that it’s a petrie dish for polarization. And ultimately people fall into two categories—those you want or actually need to see for one reason or another on any given day OR those you are definitely trying to avoid seeing or being seen by. So I thought I would market an auction paddle. I could call it the “Provincetown People Polarization Paddle”™ I think it would sell like hotcakes.
I couple of days back I posted the monologue I wrote for Stella for the opening night of the Afterglow Festival last year. So I thought I would post my bit too although you’ll have to use your imagination a bit here because my bit relies a lot on pantomime; anyway, coming off the “polarization” theme of yesterday’s post I thought I would throw this out there because, as along with Stella’s bit, both monologues are really about how our little town at the end of Cape Cod is a microcosm of our deeply divided culture on a grand scale. Also, as we’ve changed venues this coming year and won’t be performing our own opening-night show in which we feature festival artists performing that week, I thought it a bit of an homage to the past. I am now cranking up the machinery on all aspects of the Provincetown festival, and working on a new festival for Cambridge so you might expect that much of my Blague-ing will be about the cosmic jokes I encounter in so doing. Because I always do!
The following was performed September 12, 2016 in Provincetown:
Good evening. Thanks. Applause. Nice. Applause. I’ll Take it. If only for fitting into this tux. Seriously. Not to self: Don’t buy formal wear after completing a 30-day Bikram yoga challenge. Don’t do it. As it is Provincetonians traditionally fatten up as summer ends, like squirrels, before all the restaurants close for the season. Nice that more are staying open. Still, we are going to move the show along this year because: Oy.
So, as you can imagine, I’ve been busy putting this entire festival together—thank you—and (if they applaud: you’re going to doing a lot of applauding here tonight as nine of the fourteen festival performers are here tonight to give you a sampling of what they have in store for you this week with their individual shows, plus some special guests, right) so I’ve been busy organizing and so I don’t have any brilliant stand up prepared or spoken word or anything like that to perform—really I’ve got nothing—so I’m just going to wing it something my acting teacher—Uta—said never to do so, I don’t know I thought I’d just talk about the weather. Really because I love the weather this time of year.
It’s one of the main reasons we chose this time of year for Afterglow, you know, post summer glare. It’s my favorite time of year. I just love it. September. It’s so beautiful. The navy seas, the white caps, the perwinkle skies the bleached parchment sand and still the sunkissed skin and salty brow and the best part of all….Sweaters. Sweaters. So comfortable. And sweaters on the beach. I’m sorry but it’s so chic. Negligent chic but..and sexy so sexy, I think so sexy. Sweaters. They’re like Yankeen lingerie.
And there are fewer people. Or as Stella Starsky calls them the Ford Taurists—the day trippers—they’re gone. And that’s why this is the perfect time, too, for Afterglow, because it is so reminiscent of a summer in Provincetown, say, oh, sevent years ago when an artist, a performer, anyone could come here and have room to move, room to stretch, room to roam, room to create, room to grow and room..s to rent. Not to mention a stage on which a performer could play. So free and comfortable. September really is so conducive to “Try(ing) to Remember” a simpler, more easeful, twinkly and electric time.
And how about you are you comfortable. Yeah? Oh good. Your comfort means a lot to us especially in these times because even here over the rainbow flag in Provincetown we live in a polarized, fractured us-and-them kind of world. Yes even there are factions—mainly outside these doors, if not concurrently on other stages, but even in here we have a bit of a mix. You’re all mixed together. And we want you to feel comfortable amongst the various groups and sects and xenos—is that a word xenos?—amongst the various xenos you find yourselves.
There are our sponsors here tonight of course; and our sparklers, too; but our sponsors esepcially are easy to recognize. As they are the ones leaning in. No, literally leaning in. You would have spotted them earlier coming in, lurched forward, edging up behind you perhaps stepping on your heels a bit, giving you the old flat tire. Not really seeing you but looking over your head maybe on tip toe. Or not. It’s just that sponsors tend to be taller than other people—really, they’re taller, it’s a thing—and they would have been focused down front making a beeline to find their reserved seats in the second or third row. Not the first, no never the first—God forbid. Which I don’t really understand: when people don’t want to sit “oh no! not in the front row.” Why not? “I’d rather sit in the back.” Really? Why? You do realize that the first row is just that much closer than the second, right? We’re not Gilbert Godfriend. Nobody’s going to sledge hammer a watermelon. We’re not Blue Man Group. You don’t need a bib or a slicker. It’s not a log flume. But hey, sponsors though forard leaning, are discreet—some are even anonymous—so fine they found their seats in the second, third, fourth row and they’re happy still leaning forward on the edge of their seats some still on tiptoe, legs shaking in eager anticipation. Like parents at a children’s recital, having invested in their talent, shelled out a few clams, and they’re smiling up at me now, I see you, with your perma grins—those are going to hurt later—nodding in appreciation like the beaming bobble-headed benefacts that they are. They just want it to be good. It’s good right. It’s good. Is it good? Is it good? Is it good? Yeah. Would make a great Snapchat filter wouldn’t it. The sponsor?
And then of course there are the invited audience of townspeople here, the townsfolk if you will who hopefully left their torches on their porches. The Townies though meh they don’t really love that word, the T-word, especially when uttered by someone who isn’t one. The T-word. T for touchy. And they’re easty to spot too because they’re the ones leaning back, mainly with their legs crossed like so, arms folded, typically looking at you sidelong with just half the face, not wanting to commit, just the one eye, most liekly the left, not commiting the full gaze with the right eye no just the left and not the whole left just the corner, the outside corner, without the tear duct, just the dead corner of the eye. Like impress me. And they are strategically seated on the ends in the back on the side in case they have to make a Brexit, a quick get away without being noticed. Which by the way is rarely achieved. People who try to “slip out” always spill something or knock something over or step on someone or trip on someones handbag or especially the heavy doors here always make noise or cast light. But my favorite Brexit move is when people cross, the were seated on the end but they have to cross, and then the do that barely bent over walk through the spotlight so their giant head shadow is cast across the stage, and you get this perfect bent over cameo, going by and the person thinks somehow this makes them invisible the bending but everybody wants to know where the hunched over giant shadow head is going. But for now the Townspeople will stay, won’t you. They’ll see. Anyway this is something different, it’s something different it’s something different—the Massachusetts mantra—it’s something different and maybe they’ll like something different and spread the word, right? Right? T-people?
And the last major faction we have here tonight are passsers by, the already dinters, the strollers, mainy couples who are working that delicate mix of wine and espresso perhaps with a cognac thrown in for good measure, which is always a recipt for impulse shopping or the impromptu purchasing of show tickets. And maybe they were just passing by the box office and asked if there was a show starting and thought: Should we? Do we want to? You think? I don’t know—it’s up to you, and they just said “Okaaay, let’s do it” and then speeed-walked from the box office to the door just in time and then suddenly they were like whoa and sort of stopped startled and did that kind of deer head caught in the headlights two-dimensional heiroglphy walk, their buzz shifting, shades of buyers remorse setting in, what…is…this…where…should…we…? These all say reserved. Those have weirdly smiling people in them those others have are-they angry people in them. Where do we go. What do we do. Someone is yes that guy is waving he is waving at us is he waving at us. Us? He’s nodding and pointing to tow seats. Two seats? You want us to ok—go quick, go quick before someone else…ok this is fine. And then it begins. “Is my bag, where should I put my bag, is it safe on the back of my no I can put it on the floor is the floor clean is it sticky no it’s okay but what if someone spills a drink I think I’ll just hold it, I’ll hold it, I’m going to hold it. I said I’ll hold it. Is it cold? Are you cold? I can’t tell is it cold? Maybe I’ll put my shall should I oh you’re warm? are you warm? do you want to take that off? I can hold your…or…I can pull your sleeve. I don’t know should I get a wait waiter what what’s happening is he talking to me again is he talking to me are you talking to me? Yes.
Because this is opening night….
How to speak on the subject of nothingness: The day was devoid of meaning, there was nothing to discuss, the televised news headlines were the same as last night’s, it was toast as usual, today, with almond butter and honey, not miso-tahini sauce. Alas, it was a no-nonsense day, with varied purposes being personfied in beings moving too and fro, like birds, in the morning.
There was beauty; there always is. But today it had a special spark suggesting something significant might happen. Use of simile, unawares. And somewhere via something else a corner of the mind awakes from long sleep not hindered by worry and longing. There was poetry, too. Somehow, inside ones head, verse was heard, sounding like voiced by Laurence Olivier, which inspired Kenneth Branagh. And now, I have nothing to fear.
I asked the door to move if there were spirit here and it didn’t. So I know that it is just me. And before I exercise license I must feel, and that is near impossible. Of inspiration take a sip and swallow. Make of yourself vehicle and vessel. It’s uncomfortable but it gets the lead out. Golden years, gold, whop whop whop
To view the original Sabian Symbol themed 2015 Cosmic Blague corresponding to this day: Flashback! The degree point of the Sabian Symbol may at times be one degree higher than the one listed here. The Blague portrays the starting degree of for this day ( 0°, for instance), as I typically post in the morning, while the Sabian number corresponds to the end point (1°) of that same 0°-1° period. There are 360 degrees spread over 365/6 days per year—so they nearly, but not exactly, correlate.
Typos happen. I don’t have a proofreader. And I like to just write, post and go!
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