A few days ago my sister, Dee-Anne, posted pictures of my nephews dressed up like Peter Pan and Captain Hook, and I still can’t get over how freaking adorable they are. I guess they did some Peter Pan things on their recent trip to Disneyland (this uncle is totally jealous), came home and watched the cartoon, and decided they needed to do some make-believing. The younger one apparently did some serious make-believing because he jumped off the fireplace, tried to fly, and gave himself a black eye. My comment was–next time use pixie dust.
Just look how cute. Ugh. This is one proud uncle. This is also one guilty uncle because I didn’t send either of them gifts for their recent birthdays. However, I’m sure adding them to my blog will more than make up for it. Isn’t being on your uncle’s blog about mental health every child’s dream?
This afternoon was my second day at the Arkansas New Play Festival. After watching two short readings and a production by a group of local high school and college students, I used the break time to grab some food at a place called Deluxe. I’d never been there before, and I rarely break out of the familiar when it comes to restaurants, but I thought, Live a little. Well, I made the right decision. Check out this green chile and avocado burger on two slices of carbohydrate heaven.
I ate every bit of that delicious bun, but notice I had a salad instead of fries. (Something must be working. I’m down five pounds since Nashville’s Put Your Stretch Pants to the Test Tour.) Before I left the restaurant, I took a picture of this sign, which I kind of took as the universe sending me a friendly reminder.
Of course that reminder would be–use good grammar, since it should technically be “all right.” I blame my high school English teacher for the fact that I’m so anal about shit like this. She used to correct our grammar WHILE WE PRAYED. Also, I know that she would prefer me to say that she’s the reason I’m so anal about “shoot” or–even better–“stuff” like this, but not every lesson sunk in.
The last play today was (I)sland Tra(p), which was written and acted by Austin Ashford. It was a modern retelling of the story of Odysseus and was simply stunning. Throughout the play, Austin rapped, played a ukulele and sang, and even had the audience coo like birds because part of his quest included finding a magical bird. There were some beautiful lines, and I kept opening a notebook I brought along and writing some of them down. One of my favorites was, “Run away to a place where you know your worth.”
You may start out alone, but you don’t end up alone.
Not to give it away, but there was a scene at the end of the play in which Austin was about to die. Once again, he asked the audience to coo like birds, which they did, and it restored his life. As the room filled with cooing, I couldn’t help but think of the part in Peter Pan when the audience is asked to clap to bring Tinkerbell back to life. Austin made mention later that we all need each other, and I think that’s what the cooing-clapping imagery is all about. When you “run away to a place where you know your worth,” you may start out alone, but you don’t end up alone, and there will always be help along the way.
This evening as part of a Father’s Day that’s going to take me a while to celebrate, I spent the evening with my friend CJ because she deep-fried a turkey and gave it to me to give my dad. I hadn’t seen CJ in a while, and she kept asking if I wanted any turkey and potatoes, any homemade bread with honey, any apple pie moonshine.
Well, I wasn’t about to be rude and turn any of that down. I was raised better.
After dinner CJ took me outside to show me her bee boxes. (The honey came from her farm.) She said, “You don’t want to come back in your next life as a drone bee,” and then explained that drone bees have one purpose and one purpose only–to screw the queen and get that bitch pregnant. (These are my words, not CJ’s.) Anyway, she said that if a drone bee does get some of dat royal booty, he immediately dies. (Danger, Will Robinson, Danger.) And if the line of suitors is just too long and he doesn’t end up having sex with the queen, he is literally escorted out of the hive when winter comes, and the Secret Service bees block the door so he can’t get back in. So he freezes to death.
Well, I guess I have Peter Pan on the brain because that made me think of the pirates who were made to walk the plank. (Hope you can swim!) But really, talk about a raw deal. Screw the queen–drop dead. Don’t screw the queen–die anyway. The next time you have a bad day–maybe because you haven’t gotten laid in a while–think about drone bees and see if your mood doesn’t improve. In the meantime, check out this sweet honey. It’s sort of like the silver lining to the sad story about the drone bees. At least it was for me.
CJ also told me that if the queen bee gets sick or dies, the other bees–like wizards–make another one. I guess there’s this stuff called royal jelly, and they feed it to a few of the ugly duckling bees and–Viola!–they turn into beautiful swans (queen bees). Of course, “there can only be one,” so the strongest becomes the queen. And because bees are real hard asses, the lesser queens have to die. (Rules are rules.) Anyway, the part about royal jelly just goes to show that the right diet is everything, especially if you want to be a queen.
Tonight I ran for four and a half miles. That’s the longest I’ve gone since “getting back into it.” Pretty much the whole time, I kept thinking about those bees. CJ said that bees stay warm in the winter because they form a big ball (a bee ball–get it?) around the queen and vibrate their wings to keep each other warm. She said it stays 92 degrees in those boxes! Talk about teamwork.
I still feel sorry for those drone bees though, totally objectified, one-trick ponies really, valued only for their bee sperm. Part of me wishes I could tell them that they deserve better, tell them to find a good therapist, like, why do you put up with that crap?
Yes, CJ was right. You have it better as a human. You don’t die after sex (unless it gets REALLY kinky). You get second chances. Maybe sometimes you get kicked out by one person, one group, and it feels like a death. But guaranteed there’s another person, another group waiting for you somewhere, willing to let you know that every little thing is gonna be all right. If you haven’t found them, keep looking–go on an adventure–because they’re waiting for you–already cooing, clapping their hands, beating their wings to help bring you back to life.
[Thanks, Austin, for your inspiration and beautiful words. Thanks, CJ, for a wonderful evening. It felt like home.]
Quotes from CoCo (Marcus)
"Even if you can't be anything you want to be, you can absolutely be who you were meant to be. Don't let anyone else tell you differently."