Saturday, September 17, 2016

September 17, 2016

Heroic gardening led to a painful back that Z only partially alleviated. Limited what I did today to what could be done standing straight or sitting down, nothing in between. Good day at the studio, though, with several visitors and gratifying progress in several projects.
Stopped for gas, noting that gas stations everywhere were jammed because of a pipeline break in Alabama. Don’t know if there is no gas really, or there is no gas because everyone feared there would be none and so bought it up. The Prius has a full tank. The truck is empty, because A and M borrowed it to move his brother back to his apartment, and A said, “I really meant to fill it up afterwards, but all the pumps were empty.” Of course. I got my Prius fill-up at the Shell station behind a woman who was taking up two pumps because she wasn’t thinking, and who went in to shop and get coffee before she pumped her gas, with fourteen cars lined up behind her. You figure out why murders happen.
The garden I planted at the Phil Mechanic is aflame with orange canna. I pulled at some of the weeds, but they were too firmly established for the casual application I was in the mood for.
Edward Albee is dead. He is a famous person with whom I had a couple of casual and one really awful formal conversation. He was great company so long as we were talking about his plays, which I was actually glad to do. He hated my play in Valdez, loved my play in Houston. I think he felt he had to hate the one in Valdez, or lose his reputation for liking plays only by handsome young men. I have thought about him a great deal. To me he was a false standard that I had, somehow, to find a way to true. I have been in several– five or six or more-- of his works as an actor. I do not think he was a great playwright, or even a very good one, but he did have a remarkable, almost supernatural talent for making people take crabbiness and smart-alecky-ness and self-gratification for a kind of greatness. And I think he knew this, and that cunning smile of his was pleasure at getting away with it for fifty years. He was a very smart man and he made that look like he was writing good plays. But I do miss him. More than I would have imagined. A wall I leaned against, that I could find my location by, is gone.

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