LISTEN!

/I’m not at home in my own home/

MY Life Is A Musical! Yes, it's true, Songs play in my head all the time. Almost any phrase suggests a song, or a line from one, sometimes an entire score. 

And it's the title of a new musical comedy. I’m not like Parker, the lead in the show. No one  around me burst into song or busts out dancing. I’d love that! Unfortunately, singers, dancers or otherwise, there is no one near. I am alone. Alone at a crossroad . . .

 Cast from the play belting out a song in Parker's personal musical.

Cast from the play belting out a song in Parker's personal musical.

 I saw My Life is A Musical at Bay Street Theatre in Sag Harbor. (You can see it too, if you hurry; show runs until Aug. 31.) That title is what drew me to the play--that and because my visitor Dawn suggested it. (That’s the Truth About Visitors…can’t deny them.) Here’s the blurb:

MY LIFE IS A MUSICAL is about Parker, who isn’t like anyone else. When Parker wakes up in the morning and leaves his apartment, he hears people singing, he sees people dancing - and no other person on earth knows this is happening. Because Parker’s life is a musical. And Parker hates musicals.

This morning, my fourth day back in Trinidad after being gone for more than 2 months, that line: I’m not at home in my own home/ from that song Listen sung by Beyonce in the movie version of Dreamgirls, is cycling in my head I’m not at home in my own home/

Have you ever noticed how, as soon as you share a problem with certain someones, they respond with a solution? Usually the perfect fix! Exactly what you need to do! According to them… and without you even-ever-asking for their advice, expert though it may be. (I know--squirm, squirm--I’m guilty of jumping in with the quick fix, too.)

Then why share our problems if we don’t want answers? Why not keep it to ourselves?

The answer is the title of that song; we want you to Listen! 

Maybe more than that, we want to/need to talk it out. We know something wrong. But it’s all tangled up in other stuff. First, we need to figure out exactly what is the problem. And in order to do that, we often have to pull a situation apart, study it, turn it over, dissect it, chew it up and spit it back out in order to break apart to find out what it’s all about, Alfie. . .

Hashing out a problem with someone else is easier, more fun, maybe less painful, definitely more social acceptable than talking to ourselves.

But, but, but, all we want you to do is Listen, not solve.

This crazy life I’m living—bouncing from home to home, Tulsa and Texas, Westhampton Beach and Port of Spain—sounds exciting, but the truth is, it’s strange. I'm not feuding like the Hatfields and McCoys, but I'm close . . . 

 Wait! James was helping me pack in Vermont. Did he take it?

Wait! James was helping me pack in Vermont. Did he take it?

Have you ever been on vacation, and woken in the night and not known where you are? Walked the wrong way to the bathroom? (One long ago Christmas, my brother turned left instead of right, opened the door and peed on the furnace.) Looked everywhere for a certain blouse or dress, but couldn’t find it?

With part of my wardrobe there, the other part hanging here, and more still stuffed in my suitcase, that’s every day for me. It's frustrating, but it’s not the worst of it. The worst of it is, it's lonely. Unlike the song, I am alone in my own home/


STOP! – I feel your wheels turning, already thinking up solutions to my aloneness. Thinking how much better off I am that someone else—just, Listen!

I know I’m one of the lucky ones.  I’m not alone, alone. I have somebody, lots of somebodies. . .  Yeah, but. . . . But, I’m alone—now—and it doesn’t feel good, so . . .

See, this is what we do: Writers. This is why we write it: to figure it out. Folks are called CRAZY for talking to themselves. But, when we write to ourselves, it’s called work.

That being said, er, written, on with the song: Now I’ve gotta find my own . . .

Just in case you want to be like Parker, here is today's playlist:

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