I get to go home and write tonight.
I get to go home and write tonight.
For your entertainment, I now present a gif-heavy representation of how it feels to be an assistant stage manager during tech week. Please enjoy.
I live in the U.S. of A., which, naturally, was my first mistake. As probably everyone in America knows, there have been a lot of changes to insurance and healthcare laws as of late. These should have been super awesome, but have turned out to kind of suck. There are all sorts of reasons for this and debates that can occur and teeth that shall be gnashed as a direct result, but I haven’t had nearly enough whiskey to get into all of that. This is not that story.
As a result of these changes, I recently started paying for health insurance out of pocket for the first time in my young life. This has caused me a lot of anxiety because 1) any understanding of insurance was sorely lacking in my education because of my parents’ continued belief that I have some preternatural understanding of adulthood due to my childhood habit of being insufferably precocious; b) paying for insurance requires this thing called ‘money’ which I don’t happen to have with any regularity; and iii) I have an anxiety disorder and thus freak out about everything all the time forever.
After a lot of tears and swearing and several bottles of wine, I was able to set up an overpriced plan with Important Insurance Company (TM), the results of which haunt my dreams and therapy sessions to this day. I have been less than thrilled by their services thus far, which is mostly due to the fact that, when interviewed by a representative regarding my overall health, the young man on the phone didn’t seem to know what asthma was and fell out of his chair when I tried to explain that, no, I hadn’t had any recent surgeries for my PTSD because that’s not actually a thing that can happen; I’ve checked. I then lied and told him I had no other pre-existing conditions, my thinking being that developing further medical conditions as a direct result of speaking with my medical insurance provider was kind of counterintuitive, albeit rife with comedic potential.
But I was prepared to let that all go. Everyone has bad days and I don’t expect the dude in the call centre to be a medical expert. I get it. Forgiveness was at hand.
Then I received an email this morning:
I’m pretty sure my insurance company is fat-shaming me.
Looks like I’ve got some feelings that need eating. Thanks for making me even more unhealthy, insurance company.
Ode to Tom Hiddleston’s Hip Bones
Dear, sweet Hiddlebones.
Like, seriously? Wow. I–
I can’t even. Nom.
This poem was originally inspired by this picture which I discovered last weekend while on Pinterest. Of course, this only led me to other Pinterest pages, which only made the need for poetic expression so much worse. This is what I refer to as ‘Pinception’.
…I’m really looking forward to someday having a respectable writing career where my plays are performed and my books are published and the hilarity that will ensue when the critics find all of the creepy haikus I’ve posted on the internet.
Recently, I had an epiphany in Target — like ya do — and sorted out how to fix a play that has been wandering around my head for seven years. I was in the middle of finishing a draft for another play, so my idea got put on the backburner so I didn’t start crossing the streams and talking to the wrong fictional characters. When the time came to start my next project, I was dismayed to find that I no longer had a copy of my original draft.
Then I came home for a weekend. And found that 2009 Kiri had cleverly copied all of her unfinished drafts onto a CD for future use.
There are few better victories than not having to start over.
Dear Today Kiri Who Was Just Bested By A Coffee Maker,
Hey, girl. Nice bracelet. Did a six-year-old make it for you? No, seriously. I know a guy. He does good work.
I know you’re kind of a hot mess today. You left your wallet in your other bag and have to run home before racing back downtown to catch your evening train. You thought 1/2 was bigger than 3/4 because your fourth grade teacher taught you square dancing instead of fractions. Then you told your boss about it. You work in the financing industry. This personal reveal was a poor choice. Stupid days happen, I know they do. It might have something to do with staying up too late writing fan fiction. Again. No judgment, just a thought. I’m brainstorming here. But since you finished all of the copy editing you had to get done today and changed the lobby clock without breaking anything, I’m going to let your hot messery slide. Because in spite of everything, you did your best today. And I’m proud of you.
…But you should probably print your train ticket now before you forget about it for the 97th time today. Just a suggestion.
Reasonable Kiri Who No One Believes Actually Exists
I spent a great deal of time in auditions this week, which leads to plenty of writing, but less self-reflected, blogish writing and more disappear-into-my-head-during-the-downtimes writing. And while I hate to leave you without an update every week, I also think that posting a haiku to the amazing pasta salad I just ate is a bit of a cop-out. (A haiku? An haiku? Grammar, why have you abandoned me?) So here is something completely unnecessary and adorable that I wrote up earlier this week. Don’t read through if you don’t want to see two dudes snuggling on a couch and maybe flirting a little.
Daniel smiled as he watched the pencil in Oliver’s hand. The man was a breathing hypocrisy. His handwriting was an illegible mess of shaky letters and ink blotches, but the strokes of his sketches were steady and precise. His skin was forever fever-hot to the touch but he always bundled up like an Antarctic explorer. Sometimes Daniel caught his eyes off in some distant, murky world, but he had never known a quicker smile nor a brighter laugh. He wondered if Oliver would ever cease amazing him as he breathed in deep the astringent tea.
‘What did you call this liquid atrocity?’ He nudged Oliver’s bouncing knee with a bare toe.
Oliver smiled and grabbed Daniel’s foot with his free hand. ‘Rooibos.’ The word was strange music on his lips. ‘My dad swore by it.’
‘And it will help me how?’
‘Don’t be sour, Danny. Even if you are sick.’ He bent to fish through his tattered bag. Daniel was lost for a moment in the shape of his forearm, for once exposed by a rolled-up sleeve. A small scar halfway down on the left side, like a scab he wouldn’t stop picking. His gaze fell to Oliver’s hand as he pulled out a new pencil, identical to the last in Daniel’s eye, but clearly a world of difference for Oliver. The butt of his hand was smudged black and dark marks lined the inside of his middle finger. Daniel spotted scratches on his thumb and the back of his hand, calluses from long hours holding his pen, torn cuticles and bitten nails. He realised too late that Oliver was looking at him.
‘I said it’s full of antioxidants.’
‘Oh. Good show.’
‘What were you thinking about?’ That crooked, impish smile again, as if he already knew.
‘No. I don’t want you to get a big head.’ Oliver laughed and Daniel felt it melt into his toes.
‘You’re quite sweet when you don’t feel well.’
‘It’s a trick. To make you take care of me.’
‘It’s working.’ He frowned at his drawing, placed a final flourish, and set down his pencil. ‘There.’
‘Can I see?’
‘No.’ Oliver spun to Daniel. ‘You should sleep.’
‘I’m not tired.’
‘Of course you’re tired. You’re sick.’
‘I’m not a child, Oliver.’
‘No, you’re sick. Rooibos and sleep. Best thing for you.’
‘But I’m not done with my…roybus?’
‘You’re getting worse.’
‘I’m not done with my tea.’
Oliver laughed again, grinning at him from under messy fringe. ‘Alright. What shall we do instead?’
Daniel sighed and stretched. ‘Let’s have a film.’
‘I don’t know, darling. Any film.’
‘I’ll fall asleep.’
‘Good. Then I’ll fall asleep. Everyone wins.’
‘Why will my falling asleep make you fall asleep?’
‘I’ve grown accustomed to my hot water bottle.’ He smiled at Oliver and set down his mug. ‘Now put something on the telly and come be with me.’
‘Alright.’ Oliver gave his foot a squeeze and crawled to the television. Daniel stretched and snuggled into his blanket. ‘How about this one?’ Oliver held up a case. Daniel squinted and nodded. ‘What’s it about?’ he asked, putting in the disc and flopping onto the couch.
‘I’ve no idea; I couldn’t see the box.’
‘Here.’ Oliver scooted in behind Daniel and under the blanket. He settled Daniel in his arms. ‘It’s got Jack Nicholson on the cover. Something about a bird.’
‘Wait, you’ve never seen One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest?’
‘I don’t watch a lot of films.’ He yawned as if to demonstrate.
‘Yes, but there’s films and then there’s Cuckoo’s Nest.’
‘You sound like ’Jani. Always yelling about Lawrence what’s-his-name.’
‘You are not telling me you don’t know Lawrence Olivier.’
‘See, this is why I think you’d’ve gotten on well.’
‘We would’ve had some key differences.’
‘Like both of us wanting to shag you.’
‘I think we could’ve worked something out.’
‘Of course you do, darling.’ He nudged Oliver’s temple with his nose. ‘Meanwhile, Ajani and I are duelling each other for your hand.’
‘Did you cut it off?’
‘Good Lord, are you already asleep? You’re acting batty.’
‘You’re all warm and snuggly.’
‘I have a fever.’
‘I like it.’
Daniel sighed and resigned himself to Oliver’s madness. ‘I don’t know why I tolerate you.’
‘Because I make you Rooibos.’
‘Which I don’t even like.’
‘You’ll thank me in the morning.’ He yawned like a jungle cat before returning his attention to the screen. ‘What’s happening? I thought this took place in the mountains.’
‘I don’t know, darling. You’re talking through the exposition.’
‘Are…are they in a prison?’
‘It’s an asylum.’
‘Where are the Alps?’
‘What–?’ Daniel turned to stare at him. ‘What on Earth are you talking about?’
‘Cuckoos are from the Alps, aren’t they?’
‘It’s a metaphor– Oh, never mind.’ He laid back in Oliver’s arms. ‘Could you fall asleep already? I’m exhausted.’
Oliver kissed the top of his head. ‘I told you so.’
He dozed off within minutes.
© Kiri Palm 2014