When I Get the Nerve, I’ll Tell You to Eff Off


Dissed today.

Tried to yoga, then was told –

Classes nulled – the card too old.

Even though I had shelled. Out dough.

I know I was a door mat.

Because I left and didn’t say that

I had paid for time.

I was outraged and deserved to stay.

But hung my head and slumped away.


On another hangdog note

Someone had big nerve and wrote,

That my stories were not welcome where

I thought they were ok to share.

I said, “I’m sorry,” though I’m not.

Not sorry at all for this or that

And tomorrow will scratch like a cat.


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I’ll Try – For You

Whew, long time no post.

I want to write a monologue under 2 minutes. I’m gonna start it out here. I can’t seem to focus when I’m in a vacuum. Here is take one:

Scene: Catherine’s Living room

Catherine: (On floor, knees… or not)


“Wait!! Please stay! Don’t go. I’ll tell you… at least something. Just please….

I know you find me intolerable. I’m an irritable bitch. I know. But.. I’m just so sad. All the time.

I’ll tell you..just wait!

You know I moved here when I was 25. Even then I thought I was too old. And those lights in Time’s Square.. I was dazzled. But they burnt up the blankie of my small town success. And my ego, my self- esteem just couldn’t match up.

I lived over a bar and I began to order vodka sours.  I would still go on auditions from time to time. But my stupid schooling never taught me the business end.  And I failed. And the vodka would soothe.

I will spare you the intimate details, unless you stick around to hear them, but the short of it is that I  despaired. My art – the only thing I ever loved, was gone. I killed the pain with drugs, and alcohol, and I left my son to endure the consequences of my addiction.

So listen, please.. over the last 15 years, I have been to 4 rehabs, 5 detoxes – I have overdosed, been straightjacketed, had court cases and now it  burns when I hear music or see an advertisement for a play.

The reason I am gone every night is not what you think. The men (and women!) you see me walking with,are not who you  think.

I have been in recovery meetings, Jimmy. For two years. In the end I smashed my own face with a screwdriver, because it hurt less than enduring one more second of active addiction.

I have 2 years clean now. I’m getting my life and art and love back. I am not being unfaithful. I just have been scared to tell you the truth. You were the last amend to make.

That’s it. That is who I am, and where I’ve been.

Please. Oh, please stay.”


Take one. Gotta time it and refine it, or even change it entirely. Or chuck the mother. Who knows?



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Une Tache Enorme

Oh man, I’m afraid to start writing.

I don’t know where to begin. I am still sober and decided that I didn’t get sober to be miserable.

So I dipped my toe into the torpid theatre water and stirred. And lots of mutant fishes jumped out.

I’m auditioning. And I am actually in a play. I have to have an Armenian accent!

I still feel shame and remorse for not having the credits that I “should” have at my age. But if I Face Everything And Recover, it will come in time. I will gallop through with gunsmoke wafting behind me.

I’m scared to write. Gotta start again.

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A Friend Indeed

Life is flooding in. I am doing an NYU thesis film- for free, but it is on 16 mm – not that I know what that is, but I get the feeling it’s cool. I’m getting experience and I am feeling esteem from taking estimable actions.

I’m auditioning to sing backup with a wacky band based around a prima harpist. I’d better learn to sight read – fast.

I went on a print audition today which, if landed, would pay scads of much-needed dough. I’m not holding my breath. But I heard myself saying to my dad, on the phone, “I’m taking the actions, and letting go of the results.”  Thank you AA.

I have sought a friendship with a woman from my recent acting class. She will be my first new friend in fifteen years. She is not in any 12-step program and actually asked me, “Really??? You can’t even have just one glass of wine?” I had already told her my life story. I have no small talk.  She writes me epic emails reminiscent of the 10-page hand-written letters I used to receive in high school. My new friend obviously agonizes over them and probably edits them for grammar.  She tells me that if she takes a long time with a reply, it is because she wants it to be a thoughtful one.

Really cool stuff.

Tonight at an AA meeting, Jimmy shared about how it used to be. Around 7 am he would begin to panic that he had no more booze to last until the liquor stores opened at 10 am. And sometimes he’d find a pint tucked away and it would be like he had won the lottery. I related so much that I actually laughed out loud. I laughed with sickening identification. I used to cry with relief when I would find 4-5 nips behind a cupboard door which would get me through to 10am.  I don’t have to do that – just for today.

If I did, my friend and my fledgling steps to joy would crack like ice and melt away.



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And….. Go

I am scared to write. Like something nasty will come out. Just like when I couldn’t bear to journal. I tried “Morning Pages” once and got uncomfortable. I don’t know why. The same this is happening with blogging. So I am blaring out a few words to jump start the engine.


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Stuck in the Muck

Most days I’d rather not go home.

My mother is living with us. My beautiful, loving mother. I would cut off an arm for her.

But she is living in our attic. We had plans to make the basement habitable for her, with a separate door and her own coffee pot. But we have no more money. So she is always around, shuffling about, looking like she doesn’t know where to go.

I’m so sad for her. She doesn’t have a friend. What’s worse is that she doesn’t want a friend. She doesn’t have an interest and she doesn’t want to find one. Her passion is her grandchildren. This is a beautiful thing. But when she presents herself as a person unworthy of clothing or interests or a clean space in which to live…it is heartbreaking to watch.

Day in and out, she sits on the couch, folding load after load of laundry, watching whatever show catches her eye. I become resentful. She reminds me of the lousy role model she was for me when I was small. And I have to fight against it. I have to force myself to wear pretty things. The phone weighs a thousand pounds, but I MUST have friends. I must want to walk outside and mingle with humanity. I must have something to talk about besides my children.

She and my husband treat each other with polite hatred. Since she is MY mother, and ever present, and has a million habits which contradict my husband’s irritating requirements – I must run around like a wild cat: cleaning up her messes as she obliviously drops them while walking from one room to the next.

I become enraged easily. I cannot control other people. But my ears are sore with the whispers of my mother in one ear and my husband’s in the other, asking me to intervene with the cleaning of the counter; the feeding times of the child; the gawdy pink dress which my mother bought joyfully, but which my husband loathes.

I have a tenuous relationship with my husband and my mom’s disdain and omnipresence makes it even more difficult for me to show affection for him. This creates a phenomenon which my son describes as an “angry-hate-spiral.”

Things are going to shit. But I have no money to fix anything. I can’t buy my mom a house, I can’t afford to fix the basement. And I will never ever abandon her.

If I were drinking, they would have a common goal.  Since I am sober, and trying to thrive, they are both stuck in a muddy shoeprint.

I just have to take it one step at a time, and shake off the mud.

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They Say That I Won’t Last Too Long

I was reunited with my friend today. We were to meet in front of The Music Box Theatre on 45th street. He was late, and was bringing another of my long lost friends, who could act as a buffer. I was greatly relieved. My friend was going to “Pippin,” after having seen, “Once” the night before, and “Orphans” before that.

They were late, so I had a chance to meander in and out of all the Broadway theatres, swinging a metaphorical hammer to the head, and bemoaning my lost years.

We went to Amy’s Bakery and my friend was just as acerbic as ever, but I got to have a few belly laughs. My other lost buddy has married a major Broadway producer, and I wanted to scream, “This is just a mean joke; has EVERYONE made it but me???”

Later a program fellow said, “Well, how fortunate for you that if you’d like to have a go at regaining a chance at a theatre career, you’ve reconnected with influential people.” I don’t buy it yet. I’m still blistering with scalding resentments.

The best I could do was look up out of myself and try to care about their hurts and trials and happiness. It worked at times, like when my scary friend pulled out about 12 pills with his lunch that he must take to stay healthy.

After Scary left for his show, my benign buddy walked me to the subway and we made a playdate for our children. Maybe his wife will take a shine to me.

Or perhaps I can just rejoice that I have some fucking friends again.

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Social Media

I’m getting together with a friend tomorrow whom I haven’t seen in 15 years. Thank you, Facebook.  He critiques films for a living and can articulate his smartie thoughts, whereas I think I might know something about something, but tend to stutter vagueness.  He is a brilliant, flamboyant gay man. He requires one to match his wit, word for word, or things go horribly wrong: awkward silences ensue; hints of derision waft like an odorless gas, and then he will quietly singe you with words and sideways glances. He rarely forgives.

Or maybe I just have a crappy image of myself, and he likes me and whatever blasts out of my mouth.

Over the years he developed AIDS, overcame a Meth problem, and works occasionally in a children’s hospital.

This may have softened him. Or hardened him.

What anyone else thinks of me is none of my business. But I want him to like me.

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I’ve come up with a plan to extinguish my night eating. I won’t say what I have, because it is shocking in quantity and content. It is a ritual which I have performed for many, many years. When I try to go without, well….. I can’t.

The nightsnack is a pretty hefty haul. It contains a couple of this, a few of these, a chunk of the other, a smattering of a third, and on and on.

I’ve decided to rail against the addict mentality of, “I want to fix the problem NOW, ” and address the issue very slowly, by imperceptibly eliminating one item for 3 weeks and adding a positive behavior. Then eliminating another. And so on.

M’lady told me a story about her son. He had a security blanket 4 miles long, and he would drag it everywhere. It became a huge pain in the arse for M’lady, and a little odd as her son began to grow older. So one day she cut the blankie by a 1/4 and sowed it up nice and tidy. He didn’t know the difference and merrily dragged away. A few weeks later, she lopped off another bit, and again, he was none the wiser. This was repeated a few more times until eventually the blankie was the size of a sample swath of fabric. Her son would stuff it in his pocket, until one day he forgot about it completely.

Ah, nighty…. I hope I shall slash you until you are a mere scrap. Then I will forget about you like a tattered rag.

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Heart Beat






On the way to an OA meeting yesterday after having visited M’lady, I saw a person lying flat out and still, in the middle of 25th street. I stood there and gawked because a couple of people kept checking his pulse. They would check, nod to each other and look around for the ambulance. Then they would check, look worried, and search for that damned ambulance. Check, nod, search. The ambulance took 15 minutes to get there and the EMT’s AMBLED  and moseyed.

The guy was obviously homeless; he had bags of nothing and ripped up shoes. Perhaps that explained the ambling and the moseying.

Then I went to the meeting and afterward had a Fat Witch Bakery Blondie, cuz sometimes the world sucks. Also they taste good. And sometimes the world doesn’t suck. When I got home, I snuggled my boy and watched the original Batman on the VCR we discovered in a cobwebby eave. And I held his hand and felt his pulse beating strong and steady.

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