Monday, May 29, 2006

New Things #87 & #88: My burning knees and the Cherry Orchard

My knees hurt so fucking much right now. Just stinging like the dickens. I went to an Angels game with Jessica this afternoon (because she is a baseball fanatic) (we sat in the second row between first base and Vladi) (if you're an Angels fan, you'll know who Vladi is) (he's the guy who's in whichever outfield is behind first base) (they were really good seats) (these seats were the closest I've ever sat at a baseball game) (so that's New Thing #87) (besides being really good seats in, like, general, they were also, more specifically, really good seats for oogling Adam Kennedy's ass) (Adam Kennedy is the second baseman for the Angels) (are you shocked that I actually know the name of a baseball player?) (because it's pretty shocking) (but he has a nice ass) (when I wasn't looking at Adam Kennedy's ass, I was reading a book) (because baseball is boring) and I decided to wear shorts for the first time in years and I didn't even think that my white white white knees would need some sort of, um, protection, and they got fried fried fried. Supposedly (at least according to a lot of other people) they are really really really red right now, but I'm colorblind so they just look like knees. That hurt. Like the motherfucking dickens. I went out and bought this aloe lotion, but it didn't seem to work because my knee-skin still feels like it's going to peel off of my knee-bones. I was complaining about my knees to Angela Kang and she was saying that she recently got some aloe gel that didn't work either and we've decided that if you really want to feel the healing properties of aloe, then you need to go straight to the aloe leaf.

(Aloe leaves make me think of Mr. T, which is odd, I know, but I used to know this girl, Alison, through my friend Tina, and Alison lived next to a big aloe plant, and the three of us had gone to the beach and we'd all gotten burned and then went back to Alison's place and broke aloe leaves and poured the stuff all over our bodies and then we put Mr. T's amazing album in the tape deck [this was back when people still listened to tapes] and then we laid down on Alison's dirty college carpet and we let the aloe soothe our skin while Mr. T soothed our souls.)

My face hurts right now too, but it doesn't hurt like my knees hurt because my face is more used to getting sun than my knees are. Damn knees. Damn sun.

Anyway, I didn't even mean to say anything about my knees. Or my face. They were just annoying me. I had a really wonderful night at the theater tonight. It was so good that I didn't think about my knees for two and a half hours. I went to see The Cherry Orchard at the Evidence Room.

I've never seen The Cherry Orchard before. (I mean, technically I have seen it, but I haven't really seen it, like really really seen it.) (And tonight I really really saw it.) (For the first time.) (I'm counting it as a new thing, New Thing #88.)

When I have a really great theater experience, it invigorates me. It inspires me. It makes me want to rush home and write. (Tonight, at intermission, I ran into the lobby, desperately searching for a pen because I just had to write down some thoughts before they oozed out of my brain, before they were lost. Because The Cherry Orchard tonight was a really great theater experience.)

What I love about Chekhov is that his plays are so tragic and kinda melodramatic and fraught with emotion and filled with these big moments and chock full of comedy--yet they don't feel like melodrama, they don't feel like they're so tragic, they don't feel fraught--they just feel real. When they're done right. They feel as full and messy as life.

There's some personal stuff that's been going on in my life the last few weeks, some messy stuff, and tonight I was really struck by how true Chekhov's play is. As we get older, we don't really get better at handling all the messy things that life throws our way. The messy things that we create. We just get better at making more messes. And then it's just our job to show up for those messes and just fucking deal and then be there for the ones we love as they go through their messes.

Anyway, if you live in Los Angeles, go see The Cherry Orchard at the Evidence Room. It's the last show at the ER (as we know it) and it's really quite something. I was all blubbery by the time the lights went out. Kudos to Bart and his design team (the set is gorgeous and it made me want to go out and buy a huge house in Russia somewhere with a cherry orchard and to have a family there and grow old and then in my final days to have the cherry orchard bought out from under me and to have to have this tragic goodbye and then go off to Paris where I will rot away in a terrible apartment, having lost my cherry orchard) (I'm not mocking, I'm really into the romantic notion of living out this beautiful little tragic moment in, like, fifty years) and major kudos to Bart's amazing cast (who deserve a lot of the credit for making me want to have my own cherry orchard that will eventually be taken from me) (all thirteen actors in the play are wonderful--there's not a bad apple in the bunch) (and some of these actors are actors I know very well and I think this is some of their best work) (and I really could just gush and gush, but I'm going to stop and let you see the play for yourself) and, well, this sentence has run on long enough and I should put some more aloe lotion on these fucking burns because even though it didn't soothe the pain before, I'm still gonna hope that the next time will be the charm.


Bonnie said...


Bonnie said...

And I'm sorry you're dealing with messy adult stuff.

But I'm glad you're a grown-up and can handle it with grace and charm.

And then still come back and blog like the punk we all know that you are.



Erik said...

When I say "I was all blubbery by the time the lights went out," I mean when the lights went out at the end of the play, not the house lights going out at the beginning of the play. Because if THAT'S what I meant, then I would be crazy.

Erik said...

Oh, and Bonnie, it's all good, it's just stuff.


drc said...

The best thing about baseball are the uniforms!!!!

Rebecca said...

"As we get older, we don't really get better at handling all the messy things that life throws our way. The messy things that we create. We just get better at making more messes. And then it's just our job to show up for those messes and just fucking deal and then be there for the ones we love as they go through their messes."

Could not have said it better myself. And I'm sorry to hear you're having troubles. I hope things clear up soon for you!!

PS Put the aloe lotion in the fridge, if you haven't. That will help tremendously (I can't spell tremendously).

Erik said...

Thanks, Rebecca. "Troubles" is maybe a strong word. Everything happens for a reason. Unless it doesn't. (Ha.) But I think "messy" describes the situation well and it's being figured out.

And thank you for the aloe advice too! I put the lotion in the fridge (suddenly this comment sounds like that quote from Silence of the Lambs and I'm getting creeped out) and I think the aloe does work better when it's colder. Maybe it's just psychological. But the knees are on the way to on the mend...

Anonymous said...

I so love your wise words about life--the ones Rebecca quotes in her comment. I think the hardest part for everyone is showing up after making a mess. If everyone had someone like you to be there for them, more people would find the courage to show up and just fucking deal. Love you.

Erik said...