Monday, July 22, 2013

Sugar Camp

1) Professor fantastic, if I remember correctly, says Just Say It. For this class, just say it. That's not a direct quote. I must be paraphrasing. I must be. Because it's not a performance class, it's a poetry class. So maybe she said, just write it.

2) It makes sense though. It makes sense in a class. In a workshop. Even out of a workshop if you want to take it home with you. It's a good rule to always follow and sometimes break. Sure, there's an appropriate established time to not really say it exactly, that's a choice. But, in a workshop, in an early draft. In a beginning. In an emerging. In a hopeful. In a letter to a young. Say it. For god sakes. If you want a response you're going to have to meet me half way.

3) Gamma died.

4) Passed. She passed. Her name is/was Joann. Actually it'(s)/((was)) spelled Joan, but pronounced Joann. And Joan is actually her middle name. It's a tradition in her family to call folks by their middle names. For example Lynn Baber's name is actually Carol Lynn Baber. (I have no idea what Joan's first name is. I call her Gamma. Most people do.)

5) Gamma is Lynn's mom. Lynn calls Gamma Mamma. Sweet mamma.

6) I met Lynn when she saved my life when I was fourteen. I met Gamma when I met Lynn. If Lynn loved me, Gamma loved me. That's the way it works. That's the way it is. That's it.

7) I love you too. I love you so much.

8) It's devastating.

9) It's an extraordinary life to celebrate.

10) The memorial was packed. Packed and happy in that devastating way. There are lots of me's. None of us would miss Gamma's memorial for anything, we were all there, folding in on each other like puppies. Gamma's home was a resting place for, for... For people who, for people who, well, ummm... For people. For anyone. Her home was for anyone. Everyone.

11) I read a poem. Lynn asked me if I would read, and I said yes. That's the way it is. When Lynn asks me for something, I say yes of course. My voice shook uncontrollably, I felt like a bird, or a sniffling "best actress." Oh my gosh, I felt my heart beating in my face. a.) Because I was trying so hard not to cry up there, please just cry in the parked car Jessica, and b.) Because I was standing in front of the most talented theatre artists in the country. Possibly the world.

12) It's July. The cherubs are here.

13) God Bless.

~Skin & Toast & Jessie  

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

From the Pages of the Food and Drink Diaries

From the pages of the throbbing knees. From the pages of the cramped hands. From the pages of the Indian pale ale at three in the afternoon. From the pages of the outdoor patio. From the pages of the new line cook barely over the age of twenty four you'd guess by the name of Dallas you call her Texas and do not dare tell her her Cuban sandwiches take longer than the average Cuban sandwich because she is nice and you like her and she's brand new and you figure they can wait because you are wearing a hot pink bra under your cotton weave and it is cutting you in half but it is worth it for the extra single dollar that you will keep to every five company dollar. From the pages of very nice company. From the pages of wonder if Tim still checks your blog. From the pages of clairvoyant readings in girl's town. from the pages of too much television. From the pages of permanently lost feelings in the tips of your toes numb forever in twelve dollar keds from standing too early too late. From the jalapeno pepper juice misting ghost buster green from the squeaky power of your nozzle of your horse of you field its like plowing a field between the sink and the cotton weave of your brown t-shirt. For all the times people have said there's nobody like you. For all the times you wanted an older brother. Brother. Brother. Brother. From the pages of work is good for you.

From the pages of it doesn't matter what the woman said. From the pages of it doesn't matter how she said it, doesn't matter what the co-worker said in consolation or defense.

What matters on Wednesday is that nobody in the service industry gets paid enough. Nobody. Nothing. Is. Compensated. Nothing.

And I know that I am awkward. I know that I get tongue tied and shy. I know that I shut down. I know that in some certain ways I am just not smart.

But, I am not mean. I have never been cruel to a stranger. Never.

~Skin & Toast & Heat & Rash


Monday, July 8, 2013

List Formation.

1) You are off theatre. You can hear yourself saying, "nope, I'm off theatre." People will smally talk in their most pleasant of talking voice inquiries, "any shows?" And you will tell them no. You are off. You are off theatre. This is not to say that you are divorced, separated, or otherwise estranged from theatre. You are just off.

2) You and life raft are teaching a class next Saturday at cherubs. It's called Neo-Futurism with Kurt and Jess.

3) The restaurant has extended their weekend hours to include supper. Small share plates and fancy cocktails. Your manager has scheduled you to work these said nights because you have a "great actor personality."

4) You should think hard about what you are doing, and to what end before you embark on a third person narrative. Yes, of course. I will. But, for now it seems to fit the list formation.

5) Where have you been? What exactly are you doing? Well, it's called summer break for a reason. Miss Neo closed with a bang. Fake mom threw roses at your feet, and you were in a good confident mood. And ready to be off. You went to Berlin, Ohio. And also to Dayton, Ohio. You saw aunt Elaine and uncle Don. Then You went to Amish country. It was so Amish even you were driving. Swerving through buggies and bonnets, up and down these rolling things called hills. Chilly Bird was turning forty, and he invited friends to come swim in his old pool and pet his old dog. It was quiet and lovely. You slept through the nights.

6) You went Chiang. Jessica Anne Chiang. You have a license and a debit card referring to you as Jessica A Chiang. You love Chiang. It is thrilling. It's a real last name. A family name. Sure, Jessica Anne is your pen name, your professional artistic name. But, now you can go to airports sans mouth full of blood.

7) You applied for some office assistant jobs. The waitressing is so hard on your knees.

8) There are lots of things to do regarding writing, and reading, and development. There is time. There are breaks, and levies, and tides.

9) Chilly Bird says if you can make a list of eight, you are well on your way.

Open Windows/Lots of ins and outs/Open palms/Soft foreheads,
Skin & Toast