fighting problems with smaller problems

[my parents sent me this picture. it was in a safety email from the park service.]

i wanted to tell you about my play writing class yesterday. in play writing class i am definitely not in the in group. to be in the in group you have to be a gay man in your mid 30’s. which is cool with me. in my carver class the in group is white girls between the ages of 24 and 26. and everyone knows what a soul killing demographic that is. so.

i was a little worried about my play. it wasn’t like i was dealing with the fact that i had idea how to write a play by writing something simple. instead i made my play weird and repetitious and crowded and with a new korean martial art i discovered call “hapkido.” also it was a little bit sucky. BUT i figured it was the kind of sucky that to the untrained eye can look a little bit genius. experimental, you know? that’s what i was hoping for. that’s sort of how i explain all my writing. because if a poem about the oregon trail computer game isn’t experimental, it’s juvenile. and what with wearing pigtails everyday and crying when i get tickets for bus violations and never having a real adult type relationship, i don’t need anymore reasons to be secretly thought of as juvenile.

anyway, we went through the plays the class had written. i discovered that the boys always volunteering to go first holds true for gay men as well as the not gay ones. which meant that, as the only girl who wrote anything, i went last. i realized about 2 seconds into the first play that it was possible that my play was going to get me thrown out of the class. that calling it a play even might be sort of a wrong thing to do. everyone else’s play had only 2 characters. the characters had a conflict. the conflict had some resolution. mine: 11 characters if you include the waitresses/death squad; a sort of questionable conflict and 2 conclusions, 1 with no resolution and 1 with an imaginary violence solution. i thought about maybe leaving while i could still do it on my own volition.

but i didn’t leave. and i only had 3 copies of the play so i split them up in the 7 person class and had some people be a couple characters. and it was basically a mess and by far the most confusing thing I’VE ever heard and i wrote it so i don’t know what the rest of the class must have been going through. and then?

PEOPLE LIKED IT! i mean, i couldn’t believe it. i’m not being modest. i was genuinely concerned that i would have to duck into the bathroom anytime i saw a playwright on campus for fear he had heard about me and my embarrassingly stupid play. but the teacher said he liked how i tackled such a hard thing (apparently you shouldn’t write 10 minute plays for more than 3 people) and one of the guys said he wished he could take risks like that and one of the other guys said it was funny and that hapkido was funny. i know it’s possible that everyone was trying to protect me from the true fact that i am borderline retarded. i know this is always a possibility. but i think to them maybe it really was experimental. to me the idea of writing a 2 person scene in which something important happens is similar to the idea of coal mining, as in hard and not very fun either. i can barely think of 1 moment in my life that has been at all important or defining. to me, it all seems too gradual to pin down. but these guys do it all the time.

anyway. now i am going to put some clothes on (that’s right, i wrote this whole thing naked which, hey, does that make this porn?) and think about what i should write for next week. i’m going to try for 2 people. and maybe one of them can die in the end. that’s defining, right?

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