Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Monologue II Plan


This is the lower tendrils of a sprite (red lightning)! 

This rarely seen electrical discharge occurs much higher
in the atmosphere than normal lightning.


I loathe dealing with technical devices. I’m decent at figuring things out, but I hate the process. I fall victim to incredible stress dealing with new devices and software. Driven by need and desire to get the iPad working, I persevered. I had to take my sweater off I got so sweaty. I’d be willing to take blame, but after I finally got things working thanks to guidance from a CAYA technician, I share the blame with the instructions. I must apply myself to the manual to learn more about the software, but I have already loaded up things for my day tomorrow at the eye surgeon’s office and the nursery.

I can hardly wait to use my iPad when I go to the surgeon. I’ll also have my Boogie Board for answers to questions, but I also use gestures and single words as well, so I communicate using a mixture of methods. But there’ll be two appointments, plus going to the hospital for the operation. 

It strikes me as rather grand to talk about surgeon’s and surgery. The word ‘surgery’ sounds almost like hyperbole to me because it is so quick and easy, and it’s done while I am fully conscious. I think it’s kind of magical because it makes such a difference. And if I want optional services—last time I paid five hundred bucks to have an astigmatism corrected—I can pay for them. Last time I had surgery, I went back to a world with blue in it. I saw most blues as greens due to my cataracts. I’m excited about the procedure. (That’s a better word. I used it once, though, and people thought that I was having cosmetic surgery, I later found out.)

The City of Vancouver is offering homeowners forty grand towards construction of a new rentable residence. I think that’s one of the cleverest political decisions I’ve heard of in a mighty long time.

I went searching through my photographs for an image I want to use to illustrate something I wrote a long time ago. I scrolled through my photographs and saw photos of all the paper costumes, my best bakes, my drawings, set models, and files of past writing that no one has ever read.

I wrote about recently destroying all my dresses. And I never showed them in spite of all the encouragement from friends. I like the process of making, but not necessarily the outcomes. I bolted from the stage after a single quick bow and fled the building. I don’t like the attention exhibition brings, and I’m very uncomfortable with applause.

It was the same with my writing. It wasn’t for sharing. And I often didn’t finish things because I was writing grants, reports, speeches, advertising copy, etc. all day.

I’m glad I have all the photographs. When I looked at them all, I was rather impressed. I’ve always thought of myself as creative, but it was pleasantly shocking to see my catalogue of crafts and structures because what I saw made me feel good about the life I’ve led.

The second monologue I plan to write is going to be about my proudest achievement: ‘knowing’ I was French even though I had no knowledge of my birth parents. It’s a good story because it ends with my finding my Québécoise mama de naissance. 

Both stories are about speech. The first manifestation of my conviction was behavioural. I lay awake alone in my room at night making noises that drove my mother to take me to the doctor three times. She thought that there was something wrong with my throat. I had to fess up, but the true answer was that I was practicing French. This is when I was five or six years old maybe. I was pretending to speak French.

One story is about me wanting to speak another language, which I went on to learn (with glitches), and the other one is about not being able to speak English. I can still speak French fluently. I think this concept works, but the thought of learning another monologue and retaining the old one revised, is daunting. But I’d have a 40-minute show (the current one is 20 mins.) plus, to give me a rest, I plan to have a short game of charades with the audience, and that gives my voice a rest, and it adds another 6 or 7 minutes to the show—close to an hour.

Further think I can find ways to do it. I can post the video that I’m getting on YouTube, and the put the second one up, and I can use the links to propose participation in stuttering conferences, our Summer festival on Gabriola, and maybe the fringe festival in Vancouver if it is still going on. That would liven up my life and it gives me a goal. I’m thinking: My Voice, Rhyme & Rhythm. And My Voice: Ma Voix. Something like that. One title, two subtitles.

I have to say, this may be the most creative fun I’ve had. And it’s ironic, that losing my voice is giving me a voice—and on the stage. The other link I share with my birth mother, the actor. It’s all so full circle.

To best tell the story of knowing I was French, I want to begin by talking about what it’s like to have no history. And having no history, is partly about beginning life as an orphan, and partly about not bonding with the Tyrell’s. All my life, my “relatives” were the relatives of my parents to me. Nothing was mine, but me.

All I had for a story, in a world gone mad with recreational genealogy, was my own. Discovering that I was gay was heartbreaking for me because I knew there would never be children and a true blood relative. That’s why the seemingly irrational conviction that I was French was the only truth I inherited. That one fact was my entire ancestral story.

And that’s why it pleased me so, last night, to remember the things I’ve done—and not just remember them, but to still feel proud of them. They are my children, artifacts of the gift of my ancestry. Creativity is my other truth. And maybe there’ll be one more child—this duologue, adding to my solitary story. 

Full disclosure: The most shocking thing for me about Covid was to discover that, at heart, I am a person who thinks there should be compulsory vaccination. When I say that, thought, I fear I sound like a zealot. I belong to the Church of Science. I am the only member of my parish, and I appear to be a zealot because I know how politically incorrect it is to say that.

However, when I discovered that I was out of synch in my thinking, I moved on and accepted public opinion. All these delusional angry loud politicians, these liars, they advocate. They defy science and scheme. They are tactical, not representational.  In my monologue, I say: “I’m to commit to co-existence, to acceptance, not resistance.” I’m talking about my reconciliation with stuttering, but it could me a mantra of my life because I’m allergic to conflict.

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