In the scheme of things, it was a little dream. In the scheme of dreams, it was everything. Life...pre-American Idol.
Amazon.com: Staged Affair - Part 1: Frank W. Bosworth: Books
But for gender, and maybe age, we’re not much different, you and I.
You. Yes, you.
Our dreams may differ, our deepest desires, but it’s the little things, those little everyday things we have in common. For example, time. We all steal time. Sought after by each of us daily, we allocate, allow and, yes, steal away from the day-to-day grind, for just a minute’s peace of mind. We cherish those few, precious, personal minutes for ourselves, ourselves alone. We may escape to a good book, write out a long lost memory, balance the checkbook, contemplate our navel lint. There has to be a zillion personal satisfiers.
My favorite, as more ‘n more time slips by? I like to nap. Oh, and write, in that order.
On occasion, after all respected, well-intended, yes, even unsolicited advice has been entertained, that is, filtered and strained, we must steal time to sit back, ponder, toss around, weigh, and finally make an important decision. Yes, even a life-altering decision or two. You know, not any old run-of-the-mill decision, but a one-shot roll of the dice life reassessment, a ‘realignment of priorities’ decision.
The good ones, the vibrant ones, the decisions that leave us charged, piss’n vinegar enriched anew, seem to happen in a lifetime’s first half. Decisions made in the second half, the half with more yesterdays, fewer tomorrows, well, they seem to be all about roughage, liver spots, AARP, and burial plots. I am making jest…sort of.
At this writing, if I live to the ripe old age of one hundred and six, then, yes, you could say I’m middle-aged. ‘Hm, one hundred and six?’ No, that’s a bit much. I do hope to see eighty and a day though. If I’m still kicking enough to see the sun rise on that extra day, if at dawn’s break I find I’m terminally anything - including old and alone - I’ll bow out at my own hand. I have given thought to the setting. All this day will require are; the clothes on my back, a Colorado mountain ledge, a blazing sunset - blessed by Saints, kissed by Angels - and a fatty I’ve been hoarding for just this day. Oh, and Thee.
Set in a time of my life still rich in dreams, when tomorrows were so plentiful they easily outnumbered but a scant few yesterdays, this is a hope, a wish, a one-finger salute good-bye to the suburban shuffle hum story.
This is a true story.
A true tunnel vision story.
~ ~ ~
Center Stage ~ Biltmore Ballroom ~ Central Park & Broadway ~ New York City
‘The Roar of the Greasepaint, the Smell of the Crowd,’ I thought, grinning, as behind the closed curtain I made my way across the darkened stage. I counted the paces, eleven, and sat down on the pre-set old wicker rocker, stage front center. ‘Well, so far, so good. I didn’t trip.’
Though mere seconds ticked by til my ‘act’ was announced, my name introduced, I felt I had aged a decade. ‘How? How in the name of hell did I get here? Oh, now is a fine time to question a moment!’ No time to dally, to ponder. ‘Breathe! Concentrate!’
The heavy, red velvet curtain slowly rose. A bank of powder blue baby-spots came up, illuminating, framing the staged scene. Chosen background music came in, setting the atmosphere. In front of me, left and right of the center aisle, front to back, rolled a sea of eyes. I looked up to the gilt-edged balcony, to a wave of more eyes gazing down. The monster stared back, silent. For a millisecond (blank) I forgot the first word (choke).
My mind flew, racing through hundreds of memory files, of present thoughts, of future ideas, searching. Then, as I listened, as if in disembodied verbal cruise control, the first line, cloaked in a smooth, put-on, aged tumble, came out.
“Ah, yes, another year past…”
I heard a voice in my head, well, not one, but many voices of support, of encouragement, from way back when. ‘This is it, boy. Stick it! It all comes down to this. You made these three minutes happen. Reach in, grab hold, rip their friggen hearts out!’
“ah, but what a year it was.”
‘Listen. Do you hear it?’ Despite the light background music, and over my voice, I could have heard the proverbial pin drop. ‘Do you hear, twerp? Nothing. You got ‘em, you got ‘em right where you want ‘em.’ My mind raced placing faces to voices from my ‘family bush’, as words, my words, committed to memory, poured out.
“Now, I look across the tables…”
‘They have no idea what’s coming, but you do, bunghole, you do. You wrote it, and they’re listening.’
“see the same old faces…”
‘Listen. Silence. They were not expecting you. They certainly were not expecting this.’
“hear the same old fables.”
‘They’re all yours, boy. What was is no longer. Say hello to what is, knucklehead.’
In the scheme of things, it was a little dream.
In the scheme of dreams, it was everything.
Excerpt chapter 2
Needing time to think, I climbed atop a pile of rocks, my self-discovered, self-proclaimed ‘Boulder Isle’ and sat, calmed by vast moonless ebony, stirred by breaking surf.
‘Why? Why is it when you offer something different, something off the beaten path, a handful of yahoos and yokels will do their damnedest to find the slightest crack in the attempt? Staring, eyes dead, blank, they shake their heads at the unknown, shrug off the obvious, laugh the least, speak and critique in whispers, all in their need to beat you into submission. Are they intimidated? Scared? So scared their only joy is putting you back in your place? Then again, who says they have to comment? After all, what did I put it up against? A hack comic, vaudeville throwbacks, Mr. Cellophane, and a walking bodycast. No offense, but not exactly Radio City material! What was there to compare it to?
You and me, right? Were you watching? Of course you were! Did you get a kick out of this? I thought you had my back? Was I not clear enough? I figured you, if anyone, would know I was looking for more than just showing up and getting through it! More than getting up and getting the words out! Is anybody paying attention up there? Must I spell out everything?
Maybe I’m missing the point. Maybe creating is joy enough. I mean, the Mona Lisa has no eyebrows, right? How much joy was found in creating that? A lot I imagine. Is the base level of self-fulfillment found in simply doing what you do well? Is this satisfaction enough? Is that it? A master blend of colors right to the last stroke, then place it on the teetering lifetime pile? Yes? Then who will see the colors? Equal to that would have to be, from head, to finger, to keyboard, to desk drawer, wouldn’t it? And, who will ever read the words? Is the hiding away of attempts, of possible gems, in a studio or writer’s den, the way? Is it better to hide, afraid of exposure, safe from discussion?
Bull! The line ‘tween Pornography and Art defined; If you can’t masturbate to it, it’s Art!