Thursday, February 13, 2014

The Saddest Stoop in Brooklyn

Today we get a snow day from work because WINTER. I got the text last night around 8:30 and the evening was transformed. A regular Wednesday night, in which I recover from my Tuesday radio show with a sensible dinner and get to bed at a reasonable hour, turned into a one-woman fantasmagora of sin, squalor, and genre television.


But that's not what we're here to discuss. I have an important matter I need to bring to your attention. For I have found, beyond the shadow of a doubt, the saddest stoop in Brooklyn. 
It may take a minute to recognize the sorry state of the person who left these books here. At first glance, I'm sure it just seems like the usual Saturday morning book-purge. Oh, I haven't read these in a while, I'll just leave them outside the door for anyone to take. I get most of my books, and various other goodies, this way. 

But look closer and the true wretchedness of this individual will reveal itself. Allow me to walk you through this tableau of shattered dreams and despair.

If you'll draw your attention to the circled items in this picture, you'll see that this person was into theater. And not just into it as a hobby. No, s/he aspired to a career in the biz, and favored a holistic approach to this goal. Of course one always wants to direct, but a background in stage management is good to have, as is general knowledge of the Great White Way. And it's important to understand acting as a craft. In fact--

I think acting was this person's true passion. See the autobiography of Katherine Hepburn, the encyclopedia of the 100 greatest modern actors, whatever that Russian dude in the top book is on about. S/he craved the Proscenium arch, the silver screen, the thrill of the audience believing in your Maggie the Cat, your Walter Younger, your Jesus Christ Superstar. 

But no longer. 

The dream is broken. The hopes are lost. All lies shattered on cold stone in February. There will be no acting, no directing, no Assistant Gaffer in the lighting department. 

Don't weep yet. The curtain has not yet drawn. The credits aren't rolling. 

It gets worse. 

Look at the upper right corner of this stack of awfulness and dread. Are you looking? Do you see those books up there?

The sex books?

It isn't enough that this person has given up on their stage dreams. S/he has renounced all earthly delights and realized that not only is s/he an untalented hack who will never so much as aim a spotlight from the catwalk, let alone dazzle the mob with the skill and nuance of a character brought to life. 

No, this person is also lousy in bed. And will never get better.

The shame, the misery conveyed in this collection of abandoned objects, it's like a piece of art in a trendy gallery in DUMBO. But it's not in a gallery. It's out in the world for all us ordinary people to see. And we feel the icy touch of oblivion on the back of our necks as we hurry past, unable to escape the dull gray shadow that settles over our souls. It is the knowledge that all is for naught, that all human efforts are fleeting sparks in the black void of a cold, unfeeling universe.

I don't know what's up with the biography of Mao Zedong.