It is sometimes asked of me, why I play so solitary and misanthropic a course when there is much I do value and hope for in the company of others.
To tell you the truth, it is as much a point of pride as anything else. I'm uncomfortable in settings where I have nothing to bring to the table; it highlights how out-of-place, how unintended my presence seems. There is so very little in my personal life which I can relate to the experiences of those around me; you try finding peers who happen to have 27 other cousins in their generation, or families riddled with rice farmers, poisonous doctors, Army officers, dying nurses, bankrupt accountants...
So in many ways, and especially when I was younger, Theatre represented a plausible excuse for indulging in the company of others. Usefully so, even. Personal identities are superfluous to the work at hand. Improvised camaraderie and ingenuity are affectionately regarded.
Now that I'm a "Grown-Up", as it were, things are a bit more complicated, as they tend to be. Theatre exerts as much of a misanthropic influence on my behavior as my family does. I've been emotionally trained to regard the people I respect and admire as ephemeral, here in this cast today, on the other side of the country tommorrow. I, too, have a penchant for being distant from those who may seem to want me around, although in truth I would be surprised if anyone falls within that category, given my strange construction. (Me: "Oooh, look, guys! It tastes like applesauce!" Them, whispering: "Just back away slowly, and try not to make eye contact with it." "Woah. He's turning pink.")
Today, while cleaning, I came across an old notepad in which were kept rough drafts of letters from back when I used to write rough drafts of letters. (It seems I once was blessed with substantially more time than I am these days.) And while I could readily recognize the strange and self-absorbed pogue behind the inkstained lines, there was much that was fresh and nearly forgotten, that I never realized I'd left behind. I'm saddened to think that my self of four years ago was much more open, much more impulsive and rash, yet also more expressive and somehow richer, than the self I see in my words now. There was simply more to me then, than there is now.
In this regard am I apprehensive of growing older. I worry that the loss of what I describe above is the effect of a kind of slow decay, like bread left to grow stale on an uncovered shelf.
But a Remembrance of Things Past I am not. I emphatically espouse the principle that my best days are always ahead of me, irregardless of whether or not they actually come to pass. It is in placing the emphasis of one's memories as a predicate of what may come that their greatest potential is realized. These nagging doubts are what they are, the distractions of an honest mind. Be that as it may.
PS--By the way, some of you Anonymous Post-ers out there, I have no idea if you're laughing with me or at me. I don't really mind either way, I just want you to know I have no idea what your deal is. Yes, yes, I'm silly that way, I know, whatever. That's all. Carry on.