Skipping Chekhov for Milan Kundera?

An abrupt change: I’ve been rehearsing for tomorrow’s show, feeling horrible about my work, just disconnected and crazy. Then I had to get out and eat, and tore up the house for my Chekhov. No dice. I took a pad with me anyway.

On the way I passed a poster advertising a California Gay Marriage seminar, which set me to thinking about what happens to you in long-term relationships. Lately, all those awful books and movies about married life have started to make sense to me, which I find sort of humiliating – you know, all that crap about “compromise” and “acceptance” and “working at it” – it sounds so settled I want to puke. Especially because I had the good fortune four and a half years ago to end up, abruptly and unexpectedly, in one.

But really I’ve been brooding on the more fundamental issues it brings up: the way intimacy pleasurably weighs you down and the way its absence can leave you adrift, and vertiginously weightless and disconnected. But the pleasurable weight smothers something in you too and the freedom — well, it really is another word for nothing left to lose. But I’m old enough to know these are not issues with answers.

So, yeah, as you’ve probably guessed, THE UNBEARABLE LIGHTNESS OF BEING popped into my head. It’s almost too obvious a choice, being so damned popular, but the sucker made me emotional enough to read it three times when I was single, so imagine how it makes me feel now.

Verses began popping out of me. I’m not sure they aren’t bad. Maybe it’ll all be way too on the nose, the way WHEELCHAIR IN THE SEVEN-ELEVEN PARKING LOT is so aggressively not — although that song could be accused of opacity. Oh, like I care about a listener so anal they don’t want to ruminate on a song’s imagery – they can turn on any radio if they don’t want to be challenged.

Surprises. I am definitely out of my comfort zone here. I know I’m supposed to say that’s good. Right?

© Dudley Saunders