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Ridiculous man

Dahlia’s play is a comedy, but typing the script is not at all funny. The jokes might be good (it's hard to tell), but some of Dahlia’s notes are barely legible, many of her sentences are mere fragments, and jeez it’s so long. Typing it feels like dull homework, and I’m only midway through the second act.

She wanted to have a finished and photocopied script today, but I called and told her that’s not happening, sorry. She was not happy. Oh, well. More likely it’ll be done late tomorrow, or early Monday.

I’ll be working at the shop today, then typing the script tonight, working at the shop again tomorrow, then typing more of the script tomorrow night. After it's finally finished, I’ll have Monday and Tuesday off from everything, and that’s when I’m hoping to get my meager possessions packed and moved and settled in at Mierda, which is what I'm calling the new apartment, because that's what someone painted on the wall.

♦ ♦ ♦

When LeeAnn and Stevi first showed me the green cape and insect head hood, told me I’d be standing out front, urging sidewalkers to climb the stairs and come into the shop, well, of course that sounded like fun! How could it not be?

But then the rains came, so I’ve mostly been working inside the shop instead of outside. Today Noah docked the ark so I spent most of my time wearing the cape and handing out the shop’s flyers, and I have to say — I enjoy it.

Usually I’m a quiet introvert, but slipping into that outrageous outfit changes me. Strangers laugh and say funny things, pretty women smile at me, sometimes they even talk to me, and the Castro is a young neighborhood with lots of pretty women. Lots of pretty men, too.

Someone said "the clothes make the man," and the clothes I wear for the shop are ridiculous — so they make me a ridiculous man. In day-glo colors and a bug mask, my shyness slips away.

It’s performance art, and I was asking myself (in the words of Dahlia Diamond, noted director and playwright), How does your character walk? Does your character have an accent? A catch phrase? Does your character have any unusual habits or mannerisms? Well, yeah, my character walks like this! and talks like this!

When I blew kisses toward a tour bus, some of its passengers clicked my picture like I’m Lotta’s Fountain. A few passing cars honked at me. A drunk flipped me off. Once in the morning and again a few hours later, different men passing by got a little flirty with me. I’d prefer they were women, and judging by their attire maybe so would they, but it was flattering.

BTW, about those tour buses… Living in what seems to be the world’s vacation destination, I’ve come to hear the word ‘tourist’ as a synonym for ‘moron’, and the tour buses are an example of that. Visitors come from Paris and Peru and Peru, Indiana, and pay to ride down Market Street in an air-conditioned bus, while the driver recites what must be an awfully brief overview of the neighborhoods he’s rolling past at 20-25 mph? These people imagine they’re seeing the city — and they are, literally, but — from the window of a passing bus? They might as well be watching The Streets of San Francisco on TV.

It reminds me of a scene from early, funny Woody Allen’s Love and Death, when there’s an idiots’ convention in Minsk. “Welcome idiots” says the banner over the hotel, and that joke is applicable to every tour bus, every out-of-towner lined up to see the Full House house, or Lombard Street, or the Stinking Rose, or any of the manufactured attractions at Fisherman’s Wharf.

There’s a city here, and it’s as beautiful as everyone says. It’s worth coming to see San Francisco, and maybe (like me) you’ll never want to leave. It isn’t something you pay admission to, though, and watch through a window. San Francisco isn’t a view, it’s something you’re part of, even if you're only visiting, so get your butt off the bus and walk around.

♦ ♦ ♦

And with that, I’ll say good night, zine. Gotta get back to typing Dahlia’s script.

From Pathetic Life #10
Saturday, March 11, 1995

This is an entry retyped from an on-paper zine I wrote many years ago, called Pathetic Life. The opinions stated were my opinions then, but might not be my opinions now. Also, I said and did some disgusting things, so parental guidance is advised.

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2 comments:

  1. >the clothes I wear for the shop are ridiculous — so they make me a ridiculous man.

    Yeah. It's the clothes, 100%.

    ReplyDelete

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