So I love these little plastic bins. I’ve had them since college and I put little things in there, screws and nuts and bolts and hinges and springs and all that stuff. Not everybody wants to sit with a pile of rusty screws and separate the flat head screws from the pan head and round heads. But I do. So I actually had this set up in the winnebago, didn’t like where it was, bought some other parts organizers, and ALMOST threw this away. Then I realized with some modifications it could fit in a somewhat awkward sized cabinet in front of the water heater. So this happened. The back is reinforced using part of an old windshield wiper.
Pay no attention to the labels! They are wrong and will have to be redone as this gets refilled. I’m sure this is exactly the kind of soul-stirring adventure one expects to read about on the blog of a cross-country tour.
Not having a phone has been nice, it forces me away from reading Salon.com. I’m about 2/3 through A Prayer for Owen Meaney. The narrator, living in Canada, cautions against reading American newspapers. As the Iran-Contra proceedings unfold it does him no good to read about the terrible things the Reagan administration has done, and even continues to do. I feel a parallel there.
Certainly American politics in the ’80s is not the focus of the novel, and in fact the author uses it more as a stepping off point to look at the Vietnam war and the culture of the ’60s in America, when the narrator and titular character are in prep school and college.
I built a puppet of Owen Meaney once for a Living Literature show featuring Barry Press, Kelly Seigh, and David Rabinow. They present a piece of literature as a kind of staged reading. They did a fantastic job; the story of Owen Meaney in a manger carried all the weight of the novel and highlighted the comic aspects of John Irving’s story.
So I’m reading the book for real now, and it is wonderful. I think I liked the stories from childhood more than the prep school world in the middle of the novel. Everything gets more serious as the trappings of a coming-of-age story become clearer. Irving does have skill with jumping from story to story; the connections always feel right.
I saw Frank last night at Faux/Real. Imagine Frankenstein’s monster and a 22 year old pregnant goth falling in love at a bus station. Then imagine it a little worse.
So the show closes in New Orleans tonight. I have no bookings after this. I’m excited to finish out the string, pack up and be able to look forward.
Some general life frustration led to a very loose version of the show on Friday night that included some commentary about the surrounding the real story that the spaceship is meant to speak about metaphorically. I gave them the choice of a regular show or us all sharing some gin and a kind of oral history of the show. The vote was 5-5 so I tried my best to do both. We only ran about fifteen minutes over.
The audience loved it, but I’m never doing it again. Still, I learned something about being more direct. More like Born to Run, less like Greetings from Asbury Park. Maybe not with this show, but I’m interested in telling a story in a more straightforward manner. Having the courage to speak about what I want to say without the extended metaphor of an old missile.