Shut Up a Second – this blog project where I throw together what I’m thinking about into sentences that I hope you’ll read – earned its 50th subscriber this month!
On a Saturday night in March last year, I walked off the stage to finish cleaning up for the night and enjoy a long St. Patrick’s Day weekend. It was the last time I got to perform in front of a live audience in my resident theater that year, and as of this post I’m still waiting to get back there.
At first, the break was welcomed. We knew so little about what was happening in the world, and as a person who saw both Outbreak AND Contagion, I was bracing for the worst, hoping that Morgan Freeman or Kate Winslet would figure this shit out in a couple of riveting acts. But then a couple weeks off turned into a summer break. After that, the summer break turned into a “Well, I guess we’ll see.” By the late fall, we became certain about uncertainty.
In this chaos, I decided that it was time to finally start that writing career I’ve always wanted. Not because I was suddenly lost the fear of you not liking the work. It was just that the fear of dying numbed me to it.
You and I, regardless of the time, space or status that separates us, have lived in this fear together. Police have killed some of us. The battles of the billionaires impoverish more of us. And the virus is hunting all of us. In these times of peril, in this darkness, we huddle together, back-to-back, searching for a hand to squeeze that says, “yeah, I’m scared too.”
These are the moments when art happens. Picasso’s Guernica. Pryor’s Live on the Sunset Strip. Moments where we see each other and laugh or cry together. This exchange of emotion is the hum that runs our world, and when it slowed to a barely audible hiss last year, I noticed. So, I wanted to put something out there into the world, addressed to no one in particular, that says, “I’m here too. And you’re right. Shit is weird.”
Thank you for reading. Things are only going to get weirder.