The past two weeks have been a whirlwind of the delightfully bizarre. My grandmother came to town and said a lot of hilarious things like "we used to fondue all the time until you were born and ruined everything." A crazy woman kidnapped my sister's dog, held the dog in a basement for a while, then gave her back offering the phrase "you might want to loosen the collar a little bit" as an excuse for dog theft. I went to a vegetarian barbecue with a guy who built a big honkin camera out of a muthafuckin truck, that guy's brother who is a comic book inker (NOT a tracer...seriously don't even make the tracer joke IT WILL NOT BE WELL RECEIVED!!!!), the girl with the best awkward childhood picture the world wide web has ever seen, and her main squeeze who sells women's jeans on eBay for a living. It was so awesome my head nearly exploded.
Most memorably, I went to see Frank from this site speak as well as Davy from this magazine and Peter from this band. (I promise from here on out to cool it with the links). The show was funny and touching and embarassing all at the same time. Secrets about everything from war to boogers were read, found notes were sung aloud, and as you listened to America's innermost joyful, sorrowful, anger-filled, and sexually-charged thoughts, it was hard not to feel a little closer to the 40 or so other human beings crunched up against you in the tiny theatre. I was particularly touched by the found notes - small, innocent glimpses into the lives of people I will never ever meet, yet can relate to on a surprisingly intimate level. As secrets were revealed, the theatre seemed to become a more humane place, one where it would be ok to admit to anything you felt guilty about as a child or quietly reveled in as an adult.
Being inappropriately caught up in the pervading themes of honesty and acceptance, I looked around at the silouettes of the audience, feeling somehow close to them, like we had all seen a particularly vulnerable picture of humanity together and therefore we were something more than total strangers. I'm pretty sure I even went so far as to give a few people silent, closed-eye nods as if to say it's ok, I feel close to you too. This forced intimacy was crushed after 30 or so seconds when I saw a guy sitting 4 seats down from me turn to his date, point to the stage, and say "what a bunch of fucking freaks." Several flashes of anger, a couple of glasses of wine, and one vegetarian barbecue later, I laughed to myself and thanked God that he was right.