I was up at five in the morning today, and I had a hard time convincing myself to go back to sleep. I remember thinking, "What do I care? I'll sleep when I'm dead." Alas, I was able to doze off again, and woke up at precisely 10:04 a.m. I took a shower with my sister's peach body wash, and put on my cotton print dress that I showed you all, purple flower pendant, and purple peace sign earrings. I topped it all off my spritzing myself with my $75 dollar perfume. Hypocrite. By the time Berri arrived and found me screaming after poking myself in the eye with a mascara wand, I smelled like a peach. An expensive French peach.
So when we got to the theatuh, it turned out we had understudies for Claude, Berger, Crissy, and Hud. Berri was shattered. I thought she was going to cry. I stemmed her tears with my words of wisdom: "Son of a bitch, you get what you get." So we picked up our tickets and twirled on over to a new restaurant called Sweet Caroline's. It was not so very nice. They have yet to get their liquor licence, and my chicken fingers were so greasy that I couldn't stand holding them. There were two guys having lunch at a table near ours, and one of them looked vaguely familiar. So whatever. Let me sip my Coke and munch my greased up fries in peace. All through lunch I giggled like a drugged idiot and gushed about how excited I was to see Hair. When the familiar looking guy got up he said to his companion, "See you when I'm a hippie." Son of a bitch. I felt supremely stalkerish, and vowed not to talk quite so loud again.
Our seats were great, and as soon as I plunked down next to Berri I noticed that a man in the first row of the mezzanine had his nine-year-old daughter with him. I could tell right away that it was gonna be great fun, like the kind of fun I used to have watching old people walk out of Spring Awakening. The young girl was also sitting on the aisle. She was screwed from the beginning. So the lights go down, the show starts, and I take a deep breath and let it be. That's the most wonderful way to do it. You let go, let the show take you where it may, and clear you mind of absolutely everything else. It takes practice, but eventually you get it. Raise your hand if you have absolutely no idea what I'm talking about.
During the show, all I did was smile, laugh, and cry a bit. I think my favorite part was the protest during Ain't Got No Grass. That was the only one where I allowed myself to sing along. I don't think anybody cared so terribly much. Besides. I wasn't the only loony up in the mezzanine stomping and screaming, "PEACE NOW FREEDOM NOW!" The burning of the draft cards incited a panic attack, and I loved every minute of it. It's so deliciously intense. "BURN IT BURN IT BURN IT!" Love it. The nude scene that closes the act was a bit more...graphic than I remembered. The first time I saw the show, I remember thinking, "Holy crap, what do I do? They're disrobing right before my very eyes! Oh, the humanity!" This time, I just sat there and wondered if the baby bump Kacie Sheik has to wear is so terribly heavy. Oh, God. Oh, crap, folks. What does it say about me that I no longer consider public nudity to be an issue? Well, after the lights went up for intermission, it was a thrill like no other to see the faces of the little girl and her father. Okay, people. The father was basically an asshole. The poor kid had a look of inexpressible horror on her face, and she was crying. The father was laughing and attempting to talk his way out of the hole he had dug himself into. Listen, pal. Far be it from me to judge someone else's parenting skills, but anybody who cared about the mental and sexual development of their child would have carted the kid out of there way before intermission. I mean, those are some pretty scarring things to be showing to a child. And they came back for the second act. Not judging here, people. We're moving on.
I love the second act, even the notoriously dragging trip. During Electric Blues, one of the hippies charged up into the mezzanine and pulled a little girl out of her seat. They began to dance together. Awkwardly. So we continue on to White Boys and Black Boys, and I was having the time of my life. We entered into the slow, lagging world of the trip sequence. Although I will say, Allison Guinn's "I'm an Indian and I'll rip your guts out" voice was utterly terrifying. Seriously. She sounded positively possessed. It was something like I imagine this little fella would sound. Will you people think less of me if I admit that I used to think this frightening, hideous things was coming for me in my sleep? Yeah, well, it's true. I slept with my legs and hands tucked under me for months.
When the show ended, I couldn't walk. I'm not making that up. I couldn't walk. My legs felt like jelly. Berri and I jetted down to the stage to dance. I almost fell out of the mezzanine, and Berri fell down the stairs. But we made it. Paris Remillard patted my back as I went up the stairs. (Jesus, why did I feel the need to share that? And worse, why do I remember such creepy-ass details?) Dancing on the stage was joyful, tearful, and hot. Very hot. Baking under the lights and being crushed by a throng of people sort of detracted from the experience. But I just raised my arms and lifted my face to the ceiling and enjoyed the warmth of the lights and the crash of the band behind me. I was happy. I once read that happiness is a state of mind, not a gift to be treasured. I'm gonna go out on a limb and disagree. I believe that happiness is a blessing, and not everyone gets to experience it in their lifetime. And I think that makes it more precious, and makes us appreciate it more.
But no more philosophizing. I have people to talk about and embarrassing stories to tell. I fell on the way out to the stage door. My shoe came off. I half-crumpled to the ground. People laughed at me. I said son of a bitch. But I lived. The stage door was a bland, nervous blur. I do remember some things, like the jokes Andrew Kober and Lauren Elder told. Lauren's went like this: "Why did the monkey fall out of the tree? It was dead." Andrew's was: "Why did the boy fall of his bicycle? Someone threw a refrigerator at him." *crickets* I don't get it. Oh, and I think our encounter with Kacie Sheik went something like this:
Berri: "I love your hat."
I don't get it.
Okay, and here's the kicker. Not really, but I like referring to things as "the kicker." Out of my pathological guilt, I promised Lenora I would let her talk to Allison Case today. Yeah, so that wasn't gonna happen. Her second choice was Will Swenson. That one wasn't gonna happen either. So Caissie Levy was her third choice, and I pray to God she didn't tell her that. I don't think I've ever been quite so embarrassed in my life. It went something like this:
Berri: "Hey, um, would you mind talking to my friend? She's a big fan."
Caissie: "Is she on the phone now?"
Caissie: "Yeah, sure. Hi, friend. This is Caissie Levy, who's this? Aww, you're so sweet..."
Me, in my head: "Please, God, don't let her say something creepy."
Caissie: "Oh, well I'm sorry you're not here. Hope you can come see the show soon. Bye."
It was torturously awkward, for me at least. The whole time I stood there trying my very hardest not to think about the stupid porkchop video, because I knew I would laugh in her face if I did. Thankfully, I was able to contain myself and walk away from the theatre with the last remaining shreds of my dignity. It was, however, very mean of me to worry that Lenora would say something creepy. She usually plays it close to the chest. Berri, however, does not hesitate to chase someone down the block. We're working on it, and I'll break her of it eventually.
I topped off the day with strawberry shortcake cheesecake and a stroll through Times Square. A bunch of activists were handing out Obama condoms. I was very tempted to take one, but I figured it would just about break my poor mother's heart, in more ways than one. I've suspected for a while that she's a Republican, but I don't think she'll ever admit it. She watches Fox News and reads the Post and the Daily News. All the signs are there. Oh, well. Perhaps we may never know the truth.