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Dear Journal . . . TAKE ME BACK BABY!!!

2004-06-13 - 10:28 p.m.

The alternate title of this entry is:

Ladeeleroy Thinks I'm Cool!

It is dedicated to Narami, Lauralgood (who, for some bizarre reason, I can't send messages to), Ladeeleroy, Boychoirgirl, Newgyptian, St Caroline, Dolo, and all the other bloggers who have ever done me the honor of perusing this journal. Just so you know. Moving on . . .

Dear Journal,

Hi. I know it's been a while. I know that not only has it been a while, but I've been treating you wrong all spring. I haven't been paying anywhere near the attention to you, and I know it's terrible because you needed me right now, and truth be told, I needed you.

But Baby, listen, tonight something happened that made me promise to change all that, and I swear from now on things are gonna be different.

What happened? Well, tonight I finally got to see Ladeeleroy's ( show. I'd been waiting to see it for months, and I was excited to go even though I was gonna be seeing it alone. usually i hate to go see plays and such alone, but Pearljammer is at Bonnaroo and PseudoSlovak had her Rhizome meeting and no one else here in Austin really knows about online journals and how much you mean to me. I was considering writing a sign that said, "No, I do have friends, they were just all busy tonight, promise!" but I figured that would add to the feelings of embarrassment rather than detract from them.

So I went, armed with a book for those uncomfortable moments in the lobby when everyone was talking to one another and no one was talking to me. Then I went inside and took my seat.

And proceeded to laugh my ass off. Seriously. And you know I have a big ass, so that's quite a testament to Ladeeleroy's comic stylings.

I particularly appreciated the fact that she managed to have a fantastic closing line. Very few performers doing one-person shows manage to have a kick ass closer.

Now, her story was one of a young person with, shall we say, a penchant for the theatre and an artistic disposition, who found herself working a rather dull job, where she found solace in writing an online journal.

Ring any bells? Thought so. Anyhoodle, I absolutely related and absolutely loved it. I remembered how much I love one-person shows, both because of the amusement of watching one person try to fill a stage and eact dozens of characters all on their lonesome, and because of the intimacy it creates with the audience, whether or not the performer is playing a character drawn from their own experiences or not. I thought back to watching Lily Tomlin, Whoopi Goldberg, John Leguizamo, Deb Margolin, Kate Bornstein and Barbara Carellis (yes, I know that's two people, I can count, but it's the same feeling), Anna Devere Smith, Josh Kornbluth and even my old friend and gay diva mentor, Eduardo Placer, and all the glorious women I watched perform with Lynda Hart, and I remembered that the point of stories, theatrical stories in particular, one-person shows in even more particular, is that at the end you feel less like a neurotic, emotionally damaged, largely dysfunctional train wreck who's one more bad date or bad day at work from stuffing envelopes with anthrax, and more like one of a human family of lunatics.

And, see, Ladeeleroy's journal helped her do that, not just for herself, but for me, and everyone else in that audience.

You do that for me too, journal. You help me get through the day, and sure, I've been under less stress now that I know I'll be able to spend my days writing criticism on James Joyce and Arundhati Roy and all the rest of those fabulous fuckers rather than writing phone messages for that band of barbarians known as my coworkers (some of whom, granted, were barbarians in a badass Red Sonja kind of way), but I still need you. I need you to help me make sense of this war that seems like it will never end and this president who threatens so much that I hold precious. I need you to help me close up shop here in Austin, to say goodbye to this city that has meant so much to me. And don't think I'm not going to need you when I feel willing to build a time machine and travel back to the 1800s to kill of Henry James before that wordy motherfucker was ever born just so I don't have to read one more article about the bastard, because I will.

Look, even if you can't come back just for me . . . there are other people who need you to. You see, while I've been reading all these diaries out there, some other people have been reading you. Some of them are my friends, and they find out how I'm doing through you, and some of them are halfway around the world in France or Egypt and so they wonder if I'm even okay when I'm not updating. But it's not just them, oh no. For some absolutely crazy reason total strangers read the words I write in you, and against all logic, I help them through their day.

How fucking amazing is that?

See, tonight, after the show, I went up to Ladeeleroy to tell her thank you and to get her to sign a program for my sister over at Dolo's Den. She recognized my face, but when I told her my name was Rudy she said, "RUDY! NOTORIOUSRRZ! You haven't been updating! You know, you're such a good writer. You're on my buddies list."

Now, Journal, you know that I live only for the approval of the people I respect and admire. So you can imagine how tightly I clenched my jaw in order to keep from screaming when one of the people who got me into online journaling said that I was, wait for it . . ."such a good writer."

I couldn't have done it without you.

I know I was neglecting you. I thought that our relationship was so self-indulgent, that to spend time with you was to stand on my soapbox and demand that everyone pay attention to me. And, well, on some level our relationship probably has elements of that, but no relationship is perfect. What matters is that you and I are trying to communicate something about our lives, and we're part of this community that does the same. Together, we try to make sense of mankind, and never before has mankind needed to be made sense of more urgently.

So what do you say, Baby? Will you let me come back?

Yes, I'll get wireless internet installed properly.

Yes, I'll learn html and make you all pretty and shit.

Yes, I'll update you at least three times a week.



Now, time for the make-up sex.

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previous - next

The End - 2005-02-11
Let's Go on With the Show - 2005-01-30
The Curse, and This Bee's a Keeper - 2005-02-01
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