One of the hardest hand to mouth hustles ever invented in this world of hard knocks is busking. No contracts, no off site gigs, just pure hat and more hat shows. I’m talking about hard cold cash you can count in a hat after a performance. The lightning bolt street performing epiphany struck my not entirely completed journey to adulthood fresh and wild. Anxious family and friends thought I was headed toward a cobblestone catastrophe. Destitution and insolvency were bookended plotting points. There is no getting off the road, there are no lucky breaks, no easy streets on this obstacle strewn path. You can’t undo what you’ve bet your life on. An emergent busker is a tangled soul drowning in a world insisting on orthodoxy. There has to be no other way out. This is your fated Tombstone. Conformity is a stinking stalemate. You set out to do so many shows, as far as an eye can see, until you’re at risk of being buried in a sea of nickels, dimes and quarters.
We’re blowing through this decade. I had expected more from time. I got this instead.
“It’s me, 2020.”
“You mean like perfect vision twenty-twenty?”
“I mean like Mother Nature-Father Time.”
Only going to take about two years.
I’ve got an idea for a new villain. Going to pin some evil doing on cattlemen intent on cutting down more pinion pine trees to make way for more forage for their herds.
Pine nuts sell for $40 a pound last time I checked. Steak sells for less, when consumed as directed puts users on a path for cardiovascular disease and heart attacks.
Oldest Trees in the World are Located in Nevada
Got a pretty good rotten no good miserable group of folk that come hell or low water are intent on growing more meat and to do that want to clear out one of the most precious tree’s in the world.
Range in Nevada is a tangle of confused interests. Government doles out grazing rights. Cattlemen bitch about their allotment. Federal land is in theory about multiple uses. Cattlemen believe otherwise.
I’d say I’ve got a pretty good villain. Stripping trees out of the landscape, cow pies everywhere,stubborn mind’s made-up don’t get in my way or I’ll carve your heart right out of the center of your chest and feed it to the vulture types wearing spurs and kicking an old Ford pickup truck around.
Hard not to laugh and cry at this tragedy of ranching overreach.
That’s the plan. A comedy with a good rotten no good bottom feeding villainous bunch of free grazers running roughshod over the landscape.
Hats go up and down much as the stock markets do. I had lunch yesterday with Dan Holzman. He had nothing but good things to say about his last outing. The money stunk but audiences were good.
Wheeler Cole back from a lengthy tour of the Big Island of Hawaii has been throwing shows at Pier 39. Ten years away and on the other side of his misspent youth he dawdles for the moment.
His was a good question? “When do you do something besides what you have done?” Just because you can, just because you could, just because you know how to do that does that mean you keep doing it?
Andrew Potter off to Fresno for the fringe mounts another series of performances in his latest digital vehicle. The Road to High Street has been what he uses as an excuse to be with audiences now. He shares now by looking back when.
Karl Saliter just back from Nepal and trekking is presently in Playa del Carmen trudging his show on the boards at the resorts. This is my tribe. Karl is comic juggler, sculpture and fiction writer. He likes soul and sits around a lot. Teaches yoga and eats vegetables. Vegetables if they did worry should with Karl’s lust for greens.
Alan Sands has in the works a steampunk costumed hypnosis act. This is an extreme makeover for a guy who doesn’t own a house. Who needs a house? He spends way too much time flying to gigs. He sits in Foster City when here at home imagining what those sucked into a trance might want to see for a host.
Mike Stroud a friend since his youth, mine was already spent, makes his oyster in the South Bay. He bought early in his career and it has paid off big time. With roots deep in San Jose he gigs as he can and where he can. He sleeps in his own bed more than any person I know devoted to sleeping in their own bed and at the same time claiming a career in show business.
Me, I’m here aboard my sailboat with my wife. She is my beloved. Like me she’s inclined to sleeping upon beds that move. She’s soon like me out of town on assignment. Everything is fast here but for the freeways. They are the slowest.
In rehearsals, writing jokes, memorizing jokes, juggling, gigging now and then, counting down until I go to Playa del Carmen and grind it out 6 nights per… I am up in Napa Valley as I can, when time allows, hiking and scouting vineyards, roadways and restaurants for the next novel.
One of my bachelor friends, a magician, short by way of height, but quick by hand, is rotten that all the cute short girls have been picked over. This is what it means to be trapped in the small time. He is left to look silly with a taller one or none at all. He is worried. They don’t make enough short women and he isn’t getting any younger. He is the loneliest man in show business.
Thank your lucky stars you wanted to be a plumber or shoe salesman. Nothing is easy about this racket called show biz. I’m sorry the phone has just rung and I am due for a martini with a friend who has a new script he wants me to punch up before he submits to his agent.
“Emptiness does not differ from form. Emptiness is form and form is emptiness,” This ambiguous quote comes from Buddhism’s great teachings contained in The Heart Sutra.
Caught in this paradoxical world of here and now, the fiction writer slashes through all the chaos that we know as life on earth and proposes a pathway for human beings to arrive at a moment of clarity. It happens by chance in a parking lot, on a night like no other, in the arms of a perfect stranger, then a kiss and the answer to a question, and a plunging off into the night together… I see patterns in all this human behavior. Yes, I see taller women with shorter men, but not so often as the other way around.
Ultimately the world is more spiritual than physical, but what would we do if a writer of fiction was trapped in a literary form that had to remain nameless and shapeless? Where would the reader grab hold? We know the answer to that question. The reader would attach to the spirit leaving out the physical earthbound parts of the story. This is the literal neighborhood of life that characters press with their eager lips so they may enter into the ethereal realm. If relationship and love were formless and nameless the reader would be denied the pleasure of imagining characters groping through the delusion and into the beyond of where love’s located. Think of this as loves enlightenment experience, a non-judgmental elixir for the lustful, if such a kind of human pleasure might be allowed to be experienced, beyond the boundaries of conscience. This is where the sauce of love is to be simmered over passions stove.
Sexual farce unmasks the libidinous scaffolding where not such adorable human nature is delineated. This is not where we live, but for many of us it is a place we have once visited, some more than others, plenty having stayed long after they ought to have moved on. Human sexuality as comic farce pokes at uncomfortable truths as well as fallacies. We get into love and out of love by some odd gateway that is both physiologically ornamental and optically invisible.
A good farce is ridiculous, the whole human condition is absurd, but facts are facts and for reasons that can appear to be almost completely unfathomable our human nature urges many of us to find partners that we will want to enjoy intimate sexual behaviors with. There is the revelation, nudity, and all manner of peculiar yet popular physiological maneuvers associated with this part of the story. They must be wildly popular as people the world over repeatedly perform these very same stunts. More often than not this behavior provokes not just bodily desire, but love and the quest for relationship. What these provocateurs do about all this sex is the stuff of comedy and tragedy.
In Hot Spring Honeymoon I tipped the scales of human experience in the direction of laughter and amusement. I dared to explain loves whereabouts as in the proximity of lust, perhaps it is not the prettiest place we might locate this noble human hearted phenomena but certainly one of the more ordinary and naughty places. Maybe that’s sexual farces greatest fun is that it seduces the virtuous reader. And just when we had thought so much of our better natures we find ourselves having to hear the remnants of this other less wholesome and skillful side we all have resting in repose within us.
There is fortune in impulse control, glorious wisdom to be earned by tamping down the error of our own ways. Many of us grow up and get a life, find love and a reliable partner. Because of our lack of fame and notoriety we have not had our most salacious miscalculations splattered across the front pages of the National Inquirer for the whole world to see. Instead if we’ve lived long enough, we’ve quelled this perfectly human aspect of how we have been designed, and now from the lofty heights of at long last knowing better we slip back into our other self and enjoy the guilty pleasure and a good romp through the jungle from where we once prowled. We pass through this life at times tangled in this whole affair to discover we are part prey and at other times we have been shocked to discover inside of us is part predator. Or perhaps, as my wise friend gently urges, “You who are nobly born, remember who you truly are?”
“The sand was cheerful and white beneath
the evening’s muted glow. A few other people were scattered along the edge of
the water. A long gleaming light of a quarter moon shimmered off the water.
Venus was low on the horizon, big and bright. The sky was overdone, a steady
constant glow surrounded by flickering stars.”
Nothing ever seems to change. Okay, that’s just the way it seems, but some things do change while others continue headed into old change that looks like no change at all. Writing about the emotional lives of characters in novels usually leads to sex, sex leads to pregnancy, to forming families, to births, to building lives together and on and on…. We pull the camera back and look not at the actors but at the playing field. There we see an unrelenting series of facts. One of the more interesting facts is that it seems over the last 50,000 years that we have become spectacularly good at reproducing ourselves in robust numbers. This alone must explain the terrific proliferation of romance novels. We’ve fanned out across the globe and have done everything in our power to use all this stuff. We use the fresh water. We use the fish. We use the forests. We use the air. Looking around at the moment we see that it is becoming more and more difficult to find enough stuff to keep this all going right now not to mention getting more stuff ready for the new arrivals who’ll be coming soon. Then, upon evaluating our inventories someone accuses some of us of having a scarcity mentality! How incredibly clever…I won’t suggest this as fact, but rather as a mere notion to consider that perhaps with this ever growing growth of increasing demand upon this only place we know where life is suited to our needs that we are finding the recent frictions of the last few weeks a sign that perhaps we might want to go a little slower, bring fewer of us here at a time, allowing the earth to replenish her cupboards for the next and the next…it isn’t how many we can get here for this party, its how long we can arrange to have the party last….sustainability…isn’t that a novel idea…or not.