JULY: Solo

This month: Toronto Fringe Show, The Queen’s Eulogy


July 1st, today, it seems: way too hot, the world is ending, everything is plastic and why don’t we ever think ahead, I want books and articles and essays, I want education and an overall sense of Wading.

My favourite author, Philip Roth, died just at the end of this past May. June was very difficult for me. I feel newly dedicated to his work in a way I cannot describe. Lately I just want to read. And hide.

I am still living with my parents. My dog and I have been here a month. Originally, I came here to heal a knee injury. Now, I stay for the retreat.

After weeks of self-promotion and fundraising for my Fringe Festival as well as some application writing at the beginning of the month, June was one big lesson: Act alone.

People keep letting me down.  I have a habit of acting in the best interest of others out of guilt. I do everything someone else’s way, hoping they will be grateful enough to be considerate of my own wants and needs in the future.

It doesn’t work. This month I hit a wall. Last week, middle of the week, I suffered through a row of dark, drunk, terrifying evenings. I woke up. Turned my phone off and calmed down.

Here are the things that no longer matter

  1. Dating (My parents want me to settle down, my parents want grandkids? Then my parents should date the dicks I’ve had to deal with this year)
  2.  Showing up for someone else (No one needs me. No one should need   anyone. NEED is invented and it is ruining the world.)
  3. Living downtown (who was I trying to be close to? Where are they now)
  4. Drinking (who am I trying to transform into and why is she more loveable than I am? Or going for drinks, who am trying to go for drinks with, what am I trying to do while drunk?)
  5. Having a meal with someone else (Why do I keep eating when I’m not hungry, who is all this food for?)

None of it matters. All that matters is that I stand in the world and then write about it. That I read about the world and understand how to write about it. Nothing else matters. Or else, the things that matter most are the things I truly do not understand. Fuck all those things.

In The Human Stain, a novel that has been my favourite book since I was eleven years old, Philip Roth writes in the voice of Nathan Zuckerman, a writer who lives mostly in seclusion until he befriends Coleman Porter, a local controversial professor.

At the start of the book, Nathan speaks to the experience of living alone as a writer. I have to paraphrase because I do not have my copy with me but the writing suggests: If you can fully submit to refusal, a refusal of noise and indulgence, you can begin to find value silence and then you can truly live alone.

A month and a half until I am thirty, I am so committed to living alone, I hardly think about anything else. Plans, making plans, conversations are annoying to me now. I just want a room, a way to right and a pile of reading.

I certainly do not need the guy who lost interest in me in July.

I do not need to participate in the public events that left me feeling used and foolish.

I do not need to promise anything to anyone.

I am solo. I am happy to be solo.

This month, I am writing a Trashy Novella in honour of my Toronto Fringe play The Queen’s Eulogy, regular installments will appear on my blog. I will continue to write about women who have inspired me and a daily essay in gratitude to my daily readers.

Otherwise, I am studying The Short Story, reading and reading and reading because I am afraid that theatre involves way too many people for me. I am also sure that the self-promotional aspect is too depressing.

I am not hiding. I am just giving in. Solo.