Miscellaneous Mental Musings of an Emerging Artist
In the car tonight, on the way home from celebrating my brother’s birthday, my wife and sister muse on which super-power they would most like to possess. The conversation takes several whimsical turns and I lose track of their final answers, although I think they both agreed that telekinesis would be in their top three.
I don’t get to answer; I’ve missed our exit and the conversation becomes about how I missed the exit instead.
But I’ve always, always loved the X-Men’s Nightcrawler.
I loved his unique and otherworldly appearance, his expressive prehensile tail, his dexterity, his personal self-design as a swashbuckling, romantic trickster. And I was fascinated with his abilities to melt into shadows and be anywhere he wanted to be at the speed of thought. Which is to say, with the benefit of self-reflection, that I identified with him because he was physically Other, because he valued cleverness and daring, because he could be invisible at whim, and when he was done with one location he could quickly and efficiently move on to the next.
The conversation about our desired super-powers began because my wife had noted that I might be moonlighting as a super-hero without her knowledge. I currently work a number of jobs that require me to suddenly walk away and handle an emergent problem online. I am up at all hours of the night. I come home from the show with bumps and bruises, with my left hand aching because I have “allegedly” been punching a large wooden block, repeatedly and with great force, for a play in Too Much Light.
(This is the stability of our marriage. I’m consistently working at odd hours and arriving home well after midnight and her concern is not that I’m cheating on her–which I’m not–but that I might be a super-hero.)
It’s 3:00 AM on Tuesday morning. I have been up since 8:00 AM on Monday morning, I have driven hours and hours and spent most of the day typing emails to the ensemble or to venues about gigs or tours that may or may not be happening; I have spent a few moments offering input on the dramaturg’s annotations for The Man Who Was Thursday; I have taken our dogs to the veterinarian, I have been finishing reading a fascinating novel that may become an even more fascinating project further down the line; I have been thinking about what I’m bringing to rehearsal later tonight; I watched Burn After Reading. I don’t remember the last time I yawned today.
Sunday night I came home after the show and fell asleep minutes after sitting down on the papasan chair in the living room. My wife woke me up and coaxed me to come to bed. As I drifted back to sleep, I admitted to Dana that I felt “disappointed” in myself.
I felt disappointed in myself for not having the energy to stay awake and keep working on something.
Recognizing the absurd danger of such a sentiment, Dana affectionately called me an impolite epithet and let me slip into unconsciousness.
I have a driving phobia that something is not getting done when I take my eyes off of it. This isn’t really a power as much as it is a weakness. I romanticize Nightcrawler’s powers but who I might really want to be is Jamie Madrox, the Multiple Man.
Normal people “go” to sleep. I have to “try.” I’m going to go do that now.