I am a performer who doesn’t perform. A singer and actor who can no longer sing or act. I have spent a lifetime using the happiness and heartache that has come my way as artistic fodder. I shamelessly poached from my own life and put it on the stage to the point that in the midst of a mugging at gun point or while being asked to fellate a creepy driver as I walked along a lone New Jersey highway or while walking 6 blocks to the hospital after my water broke because my baby daddy was too cheap to pay for hospital parking, I would console myself by thinking: this will make a great story if I survive!
So now I have this great material and truthfully, I don’t know any way to deal with it but publicly. I share with all of you because I don’t know another way. I am actor and spectator – watching in fascination at the comic and macabre tricks my body is playing on me, then reporting it all back to you with gusto and (I like to think) flair. I’m not blogging to help anyone feel better about their life or to offer a catharsis service – I do it because I don’t have a better idea. I was talking to my brother about this very thing and I was so grateful he got it, even though he is an immensely private person himself.
It’s becoming harder and harder to type and talking aloud is tiring and finding time when no one is around so I can talk aloud freely is hard. I hate to think that eventually even this blog will be taken away from me.
My right hand is very weak and will soon be as useless as the left one. With that hand will go the last of my once-treasured independence. It all becomes kind of ordinary - these little losses cut up into tiny digestible pieces –like god is playing Kathy Sprague! (Inside joke alert: Kathy always cuts my food for me –even the stuff I could maul apart crudely).
I hold onto the present moment like it’s a tree in a tornado. If I look back at my gorgeous life too wistfully I’ll crumble, if I look ahead to a time when I will be a prisoner in my body, I won’t want to go on. This is it, I tell myself. So you can’t sing? Then love how your bird sings along to all kinds of music. Dance in your wheelchair. Laugh with your son. Keep a brisk pace because if you slow down, despair will come nipping at your heels. Love, love, love then love some more.
And write about it all as long as you can.