Friday, March 20, 2009

Kinkily Knack 3/20/09

I believe in looking reality straight in the eye and denying it.

Garrison Keillor
Hello special friend.
What is this with reality? It keeps changing. Today's brick wall is tomorrow's mirage. I have seen too many things in life appear to be what they aren't not to be suspicious about the reality of anything.

Reality must certainly be looked in the eye. Let's face facts, as the saying goes. But in the facing of them it's amazing how many of them disappear. I think the focus goes in the wrong direction sometimes. While we are busy facing what we think is the reality of things the true facts are overlooked and silently slip away.

Elizabeth Perry, the actress, once said to me that for her the first thing she needed to know about any role she took was where the play takes place. Place, the physical environment of the story, is one of the most vital elements in preparing a script. A scene played in a kitchen is going to be very differently affected than one played in a field.

I was doing a play in New York and in the play there was a line which read something about working to buy a house and then when you move into the house where are you? One day in rehearsal the director, whose name I have forgotten, said to us that before we start she wanted to deal with some of the realities, so I raised my hand and asked where we were. Were we still in the apartment or had we moved into the house? Her answer was "Oh, I don't care. It doesn't matter where you are." Well, so much for dealing with the realities, I thought. It's a good thing Elizabeth wasn't in the production.

I was looking out of the window of my apartment in NYC one day and across the street there was a restaurant. In front of it was one of those double metal doors, flush with the sidewalk, that leads down into the basement of the building. It was open and a small crowd of people were standing around looking into it. Soon a couple of police cars arrived and the police put a yellow caution tape around the open doors. An emergency vehicle from the fire department showed up.

I had to go out briefly to get something from the local store. While there I asked them what had happened across the street and was told that an old lady had tripped and fallen into the basement. Back upstairs I saw that the crowd of people had grown. The police were holding them back and the owner of the restaurant was there wringing his hands. Shortly an ambulance arrived, two paramedics got out with a stretcher and went quickly down into the basement. They were down there for a long time. People were getting anxious. I was getting anxious. Finally they came back up with the stretcher. No one was in it. They got back in the ambulance and drove off, the police removed the caution tape, the manager closed the double doors and the crowd dispersed. There was no old lady in the basement. There never had been.

When I was a kid every phone call that came into the home was a real one. That reality has gone.

(Journeys of the Vagabond)
Spring is here. What are going to do about it?


Gerry said...

I laughed at your last observation about the phone calls not being real. Doc has cox phone and they gave him a number where he receives calls for other people, Warren Burgess, for one, and no matter how often he tells them he is not Warren, he keeps getting his calls. He believes that the calls for Warren are programmed so they don't care if Warren does not answer, they just need to answer the phone. Nearly every call is not for him or is a sales call he neither solicited or wants and he cannot stop them! I, on the other hand, have an online phone through an Israeli company managed by people in India! And I never ever get telemarketing calls! They do phones in other countries the old fdashioned way it seems. Gerry

Linda S. Socha said...

I love your blog! This post is outstanding. I wish I could figure out how to do the link thing! If I can figure it out I would like permission to link this post to my blog.

Have a good weekend filled with small pleasures friend.

Big Mark 243 said...

"Oh, I don't care. It doesn't matter where you are."

That director COULDN'T have been a particularly good one. Either that, or unimaginative.

Space IS the place!!

Ally Lifewithally said...

Spring is here and I definitely am going to enjoy it :o) I hope you enjoy it too ~ Ally x

Beth said...

I love the story of the lady-who-wasn't-in-the-basement. The psychology of that fascinates me. Who first started looking into the basement, and how did they come to believe that someone had fallen down there? How were they able to convince a passerby that someone was down there and hurt?

Strange, indeed.

Hugs, Beth

Joyce said...

What a strange story DB. I answered the phone the other day and a recording said "This is so-and-so. Please return my call at this number." WHAT!!!??? Not a chance. If I say hello, you better say hello back or you will never hear from me.
As far as Spring....I know what I'm going to do about it...REJOICE!
Hugs, Joyce

Bethe said...

Hello old friend~remember me? I've been AWOL from this Blogger th ing for a while. I lost the writing bug, I suppose.

I love your writing-thought provoking.

hugs, Bethe

Char said...

Okey, what is the Garrison Keillor blurb in your intro about? I am one of his biggest fans. Please explain. Thanks!