What the hell is this?

I Can't Stand [Meeting] You is a collection of all the ridiculous things I've written to and about drummer and composer Stewart Copeland.

I actually did meet him for about five crazy seconds in 2007, again for a few exciting moments in August 2009, and my most recent (and most thrilling!) encounter took place in October 2009, where I proved myself capable of being, yet again, a total dork in the man's presence.

I can't believe what I get up to. And neither should you.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Dear Stewart,

After being off for awhile, we're getting ready to start the second life of "The Trojan Women" over at City Garage. Next Saturday will be the first show of the year, and we're running through February. You can, as always, get all the details at www.citygarage.org.

(Or you could contact me directly. I would happily provide you with the details, if I were capable of speaking in intelligent sentences to you. Hmmm. Perhaps it's better if you just call the theater: 310-319-9939.)

I've been thinking about it, and while my job in the booth is definitely necessary for the show (the stage would be dark without me!), I think it's a little weird that I've invited you to come to something in which I play the least important part. I'm the observer, a react-or: the one-man orchestra with 15 conductors. I listen, I press "go" and "play" (and pause, too) when cued by the actors or otherwise indicated in my script. Ultimately these are directions given to me by the director and the designer of the show, people I absolutely respect and love working for, but in the moment, I'm backup to a bunch of people (who, don't get me wrong, I also respect!) who get to show their faces and hearts and I'm, you know, in the booth. Which is dark, and cold, and a solo operation. I have to learn how to express how I feel about this. Maybe there's a little jealousy involved. I know how much they appreciate me, so it's not that. On the one hand, you know: I love it. I love being there. On the other hand... well. This is what I'm struggling with right now.

(And, historically, no one has ever done this job at this theater as long as I have or for as many shows as I have. The people in the past who did my job were actors who wanted to be on stage more than I ever will.)

(And, I feel that being in the booth is my job. My job. I don't want to give it up: right or wrong, I feel territorial about it. So, I am not complaining or stating any kind of discontent with it. I will be there as long as they will have me. I'm just trying to figure other things out and this was a good starting point.)

Really, what I'm struggling with is the concept that all my life I thought I had something to say, something to offer the world, some skill or hidden talent that will be the tool I can use to flesh out my - my - my what? See, I'm starting to realize that maybe I'm not all that special or talented in any particular way after all (OK, I do love my flute playing, but I totally take it for granted, and I also don't really get all that creative with it, either). I always thought that if I took a class or wrote something or told someone how I feel that ooh, magic will be made - but the thing is, it never works. Either I lose interest or I get scared off by the amount of work involved, or I'm just lazy or I can't think of the words to tell the person or I change my mind (I'm always changing my mind!), or I let the accomplishments of other people scare me off, and fuck it, I'll never be like other people, or even like I thought I would be (Shit. Am I unique, or not? Now I'm even more confused), and at 37 this seems like a bad time to be coming to this realization.

And so what do I need you for?

I've mentioned it before, but there's a whole thing in the show that Charles put in about fame, and celebrities, and their role in our boring lives. It's beautifully written and fun to watch. He's so smart. I think you would like it.

So many times in so many situations I've had expectations of what could happen to me, and so many times, the reality hasn't been what I thought I wanted. Maybe emotionally I felt differently about things than I imagined or people just don't operate in the ways you think they should or I let fear keep me from saying something, or I don't even know what I want to say, or I do say something and it's completely the wrong thing or totally stupid - I want to be different, now. I want to be able to allow myself to feel silly and stupid and there. You bring out something in me: I need you so that I can direct that life-long feeling of wanting something I can't have toward something safe, and you, with your own life and your own family: you can't hurt me.

(If I'm wrong about this - but I don't think I'm wrong about this. I think you're too smart and too cocky and too distant, even though I would love to change that part, to hurt me.)

Well! Totally crazy thoughts here, and there are probably sentences I should add in between the ones I did include that could make this make sense, but no. That's all for now.

Please come to the theater. Or maybe don't come: maybe if you don't I'll just keep wanting you, and if you did, I would have to find something new to want and the new thing might be something even crazier still. I don't know. But wouldn't you love to find out?

(Ignore what I just said about not coming. Come! Please. I invited you because I think you will enjoy the show, and because it's a wonderful production. I would want you to see it even if I had nothing to do with it whatsoever. There. Sanity reigns at last.)

Love you,

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