This is a photo of a random human being. I might have lived the rest of my life not knowing her, but I didn't. She walked into the cafe one day looking for work. She worked with us and became a friend. One time in the cafe when we were closed, she played her banjo while I sang Solitary Man, first time I have sung with anyone.
In my previous post I said I wasn't feeling anything. Today I felt lots. I even cried a bit. And I'm okay with that.
Something's not right Something is wrong It's just that I'm not feeling... How to express this accurately... No that's it Expressed perfectly and accurately I'm not feeling I'm just not feeling.
But hey. Given the current state of the world The hate The killing The pollution The overpopulation The rampant idiocy Of religion And our leading politicians The brutality committed Against innocent and gentle people And gentle and innocent animals The greed The consumerist mentality In which we wallow The overpopulation that has grown again Since I last mentioned the word
Given all of this Please forgive me For not feeling.
"I have of late—but wherefore I know
not—lost all my mirth, forgone all custom of exercises, and indeed it
goes so heavily with my disposition that this goodly frame,
the earth, seems to me a sterile promontory; this most
excellent canopy, the air—look you, this brave
firmament, this majestical roof fretted with golden
fire—why, it appears no other thing to me than a foul and
pestilent congregation of vapors. What a piece of work is a
man! How noble in reason, how infinite in faculty! In form
and moving how express and admirable! In action how like
an angel, in apprehension how like a god! The beauty of the
world. The paragon of animals. And yet, to me, what is this
quintessence of dust? Man delights not me. No, nor woman
Sometimes you're just barely hanging in there and no one knows it.
And you wonder why you bother. You may as well share your thoughts with the wolves and say goodnight.
If I don't write something funny soon, I'm fucked.
Today in the cafe... a little platter of half eaten morsels has been
left in the dish-washing area. Grumpy looks
at with a faint wince of distaste. "Who left this little mess here?" he
asks, expecting the answer to be The Dreaded One's assistant because
"Kafka Woman," The Dreaded One replies.
"Kafka Woman left this here?" Grumpy asks, now looking and sounding like
it's the most adorable art installation he's ever seen. "Oh that's all
I'm an introvert who is fascinated by people and their stories. I've always considered myself an outsider, an observer, a solitary man. I feel lucky to have friends, such good friends. I am a quiet person who occasionally enjoys staggering levels of fun.
By Friday night, after dealing with the whole spectrum of humans all week, I've had enough and want to retreat to my cocoon, my sanctuary, my nest.
Yester-Friday, however, I invited some good people back to my sanctuary. Badaboom Beverley, Kafka Woman, another couple of friends Kate and Shannon. We had fondue and lovely and fun conversation.
I am Introvert Man, but I love having the right people over to thank them with hospitality. Thank you for being a friend. Thank you for being such a good co-worker. Thank you for being a memorable part of my life. Thank you.
We had fondue and good conversation, lots of laughs. I don't know what the others felt, but I felt it was quite a beautiful night. There has been some jokey conversation lately about my middle name, and Kafka Woman said something about Casper or Kaspar. This made me smile. I have some vague memory of having an early childhood thing about the cartoon character Casper The Friendly Ghost. It was a very unexpected name for Kafka Woman to put out there. I have a memory of my long-forgotten father painting Casper on some shitty piece of wood, and it was perfect.
Kafka Woman and I had had a weird day. It's complicated. I over-think things. Stuff that isn't real becomes real after I over-think everything. The day was quite awful for both of us. So it was good to end it as the friends I like to think we are. We drank. We laughed. We talked. We went around to a local music pub and danced for a while.
one woman show Dear Diary has been doing well at various arts
festivals since Melbourne Fringe last year, and seeing her opening
night performance at The Butterfly Club, it's easy to understand why.
Andi is a thoroughly engaging comic actor and story-teller with quite
a superb singing voice. Yes, there are songs because this is kind of
like a cabaret show, where The Person On Stage tells stories, sings
and dances and does whatever fun stuff takes their fancy.
Dear Diary, the schtick is that TPOS is telling the story of the last
24 years of her life via actual diary entries. Yep, she's kept a
diary since she was, I think, nine years old. The child is there, the
young teen is there, the blossoming older teen and the adult, they
are all there.
From the outset, as Andi emerges from her
suitcase, her physical performance is striking, slightly weird and
comically quite superb. The audience is hooked long before she has
uttered a word.
Hearing the personal thoughts of the
performer at various ages is funny in that they are the universal
voices of people of those stages of growth, but in the background
there are more existential things to ponder; the nature of growth and
aging and the idea that were are all basically living stories, but
will anyone but our own selves ever know the complete story? The
suitcases within suitcases put me in mind of those Russian dolls, and
how we are in a way layers of ourselves through our whole lives.
There was also a nice play on the tree falling in a forest idea that
raised the very relevant question of why, exactly, diarists write
diaries. Who are we writing for? If no one else reads these so very
private musings, do they exist? Do we exist? Did we exist?
is all stuff that is sparked during the show, but you don't really
think about until after the show, because during the show there is
much too much to be enjoyed on a lighter level. The list of birthday
presents the young teen has scored, the snogs the older teen has
scored on her adventures overseas, first sexual encounters... all
authentic and funny and, yeah, nostalgic.
As well as an
accomplished actor and voice-over professional, Andi is obviously a
trained dance performer. I wasn't expecting so much physicality in
such a show, but her physicality is simply a delight to
There's a section called Guest Diary that may or may
not involve a level of audience participation. I was both cynical and
disappointed by this section. Once you realise what it's all about
you will probably wish, like my group did, that it had been more
fully utilised. If genuine, it could have been a longer segment of
the show. As it was, this section with its lengthy introduction,
seemed like filler.
One opinion that my plus one, The Dreaded
One, had was that the show seemed a little self-indulgent. I dunno.
Isn't cabaret, by definition, self-indulgent? Certainly a diary is
self indulgent, so a cabaret-type show about a diary... well der
The Dread One. Certainly this has obviously crossed the mind of The
Person On Stage, because she took the wind out of those sails with a
pretty damned funny re-working of the Carly Simon classic You're So
The very real, adult Andi Snelling appears to have much
creative success. But a few Russian doll layers back, according to her diary,
there was bad personal stuff going on. She shared this with us too. I
had mixed feelings here too, coming away thinking that it was all
just a showcase of her talent.
Which luckily for us, she has
At The Butterfly Club, Carson Place Melbourne until June 5
Random writings, stories, magazine theatre reviews and interviews, fiction, and occasionally my bi-weekly column Grumpy, which used to appear in the pages of Tsunami mag. Oh and be sure to check out my ebook, 17 Stories Of Love & Crime.