Pissed at Work & Other Tumbles.
The Radley Threshold

Hum Us

If I cannot sing you, I will hum.  I guess that's thr first sencente of my rush write.  Sometimes you just have to riush write becasue you can't wait around anymore.  I keep hittin ght backspace button.  Then I misstype again and I don't hit the backspace.  Not very consistent.


Has anyone ever noticed that the cadence and melody of Puccini's Humming Chorus from Madame Butterfly bare striking resemblance to Bring Him Home from Les Miz?  I kept hearing it a few weeks ago while I was listening and it was nagging.  It took me a minute to consciously connect the dots that my own subconscious was mapping out for me.  But there it is.  Anyway, I never loved Les Miz.  Unless you ask me abou the first time I saw it on Broadway.  I was in High School and a group of us from the theatre department went on a little New York trip.  I think I shall never forget that trip as long as I exist.  It was definitive in many ways.  One of those ways is that it was the second time I'd been to New York and the second time I knew for sure I wanted to live here someday.  High School.  The summer between my junior and senior years.  A lot happened.

Les Miz was the backdrop - the music was a backdrop - to my own draaama.  I was in love with a few people.  One of them was Joey.  I took a pen once and wrote with the pentop on my plastic trapper keeper cover that Jason hearts J.A.B.  You coudn't see it but I knew it was there.  Well... at least I didn't htink you could see it until one day when I was out on the lawn with friends one sunny day.  The sunlight shown right on my trapper keeper and the light scrapped the plastic just so, revealing my little secret.  Long live the power of denial.  J. and P. and the other people who sat there with me just smiled and lollied on to the next topic of conversations.  J.A.B.  = we all called him A. - was not a girl.  

This is not some 'dum dum dum' melo-drama reveal I'm giving out here.  But back then.  Oh yes, back then I was all mum about the whole prospect of being attracted to boys. 

Anyway, that's not really the subject I'm interesting in hopping onto at the moment, but it does signify when it comes to Les Miz.  Bring HIm Home and the Eponine song and I Dreamed A Dream all stack up in houses of memory associated with pining for J.A.B.  I'll have to tell you my Aeniad/Tiresius story sometime.  I wrote it for AP English and Helen Mulder loved it and some other people loved it too.  It was all about my memories of J.A.B.  

But then when I went to New York and saw Les Mis on Broadway, I was sick.  Do you ever get that kind of sick that doesn't keep you down in bed but that strips away all  of your emitional myalin and every bit of electcity attached to feelings comes charging in with - shall we say - unmitigated timarity?  This was going on for me as I sat there in the dark watching the turn-table stage and the characters stepping across and around it.  After the show everyone was smiling and laughing at how the show started and that I had my own little water works rapture going on in the first mezanine.  

So yes, the story plays for me.  And the music is good, but I've heard a few things since then and it's become more clear that the music is largely derivative.  Derivative can work.  It's just worth noting.  Les Mis is not Berstein.  It just isn't.  

So there's that about the Humming Chorus. But here's the other thing.  Bring Him Home and Puccini are linked for me in High School in another way.  Do you know those circus peanut marshmellow things they sell in the little bags with the orage label at the store?  And how they make an Easter version of these things in pastels of bunnies and eggs and chicks?  I LOVE those.  The texture seriously has sexual implicaitons for me.  Remember those stories about how they hooked up electrodes to rats who could push a lever and receive a little sexual buzz and how these same rats starved to death in tiny pools of their own sick because all they did was push the lever again and again and - you know - again?  Well that's those Easter pastel circus peanut marshmallow thingies for me.  I can eat them for days and keep eating them for days after that into a sugar coma car accident.  I remember driving around downtown salt lake city with a bag of these babies and Puccini and it was highschool and Les Mis was in the car with me too.  I would sing along with Puccini and with Schubert and with Jean val Jean and pack down with my molars onto the matter that was Easter pastel candy goodness.

so there's that.  And it was cloudy.  The sky was a steal grey and there was rain but I had sugar and Puccini and a car to drive around it.  What more could I possibly need in this world than that?  I ask you.

Humming along.  Humming along.

This is a memory.  It's 3:27am and I can't sleep and I'm thinking of easter candy and the Humming Chorus gives me no rest.  But I've enjoyed this little exercise.

Oh, and I remembered a dream I had.  I told Tom and Louise about it years ago.  It was after I lost my travel agency - All of Us Travel to a spectacular series of events not unlick the sinking of a ship.  I dreamed that I was watching them from an upstairs bedroom window and they were in a carriage wearing lush blacks and whites like that horse race scene from My Fair Lady.  Do you know the one I'm talking about?  That one.  Except the proportions of Tom and Louise's attire were not exaggerated.  They were tasteful and attractive.  Bob Bennion had died and they were on their way to his funeral.  This dream was in 2004 or early 2005.  At the end of the dream I had left that bedroom and then come back to it to find Tom waiting there on the bed for me.  For me in the dream, it was like coming back to your bedroom as a young man and finding your father waiting there for you with a pleasant look on his face.  Tom wasn't angry and there was no untoward intent going on.  He was waiting quietly for me to return.  LIke Atticus who waiting next to his son's bed all night for him to wake up in the morning.

When I told the dream to Louise, I got the sense that she was placating some madness that was happening to me at the time.  I'd lost my business and it got messy fast.  I resorted to good ol' Mary Jane and some pain killer pills, so it's possible I was a little doped up at the time.  Anyway, she said, "Aww... that's sweet."  In my memory, she wanted to cover the phone and put her finger in her throat and make a wretched gag face.  This was another phone conversation so it's quite possible she did just that.  If I were to film this sequence, you would laugh.  She can make a face.

So tonight I was walking down the street and the wind blew in my face.  And I was water works.  Bob Bennion died just a few months ago this year.  And Tom started a blog a few weeks ago.  "Let's get this conversation going."  He wrote.

I'm writing now from my laptop in bed.  It's 3:38am.

Some dreams you just don't want to come true.  But I'm remembering the 'don't judge' policy.  It's a good one to have.  I wish I were farther along in life on some of its topics where I'm just not.  But here I am typing and conversing.  

Sadly I don't have any of those pastel easter thingies to bite down on.  But I do enjoy the Humming Chorus.  And Puccini is a lovely gem.  He's my main man Italian.


The buzzer went off and I have to stop writing now.  Maybe I'll go back and fix up what i wrote.  Or maybe I'll publish it as-is again.  Another bit of messy, rush written, stumbling joviality.  I hope you can understand it.

It's 3:53am.