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Los Angeles, California
I am 47 and thriving in Southern California. One day at a time.
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Saturday, December 24, 2011

the sound of music

there was a show i used to watch with my bestie roommate, j, back when i was running around town makeup-less, gloved h to t in angst black, and quoting moliere and pinter whenever my pretension struck. as a theatre school student truly studying the craft, the television show "sisters" was like spray cheese on ritz crackers. pure crap, but oddly satisfying. at least for the hour it was on.

most of the show's arc is thankfully banked away in my long term memory vault. but tonight, i withdraw one particularly poignant episode.

teddy, (played by the luminous sela ward), is the free-spirited, artist/drifter, who is also an alcoholic. in a beautiful monologue, she unravels her tale of a flirtatious dance with suicide. her depression has paralyzed her. societies evaluations weigh down on her like the rocks virginia woolf pocketed as she walked downstream. and her thoughts have vaporized, melted away, as if inside sylvia plath's oven. but she sits down in front of the tv, intending to drink herself paranormal, when a marx brothers movie starts to unspool. and she smiles. just a little. and then a second film begins rolling, and she emits a single indiscernible laugh...

and she thinks. if i held this one tiny moment of joy today. maybe i can hold two tiny moments tomorrow...

i can't drive by a canadian drug store without thinking, "codeine"...

i am so painfully swollen i can only fit into pajamas...

and i won't anchor my husband as i descend ever deeper into the dank, cold abyss...

kick, kick, keep kicking through leaden churn,
grind salt water from your eyes, look upwards firm.
surface hope; translucent, sheer oasis,
gasp, no. like daddy, too far.
two diseases.
too far.

so i sit. analysis paralysis. and turn on the television. and it's "the sound of music". i.e. my marx brothers sweet spot...

still waiting for a smile.

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