Monday, December 05, 2005
Five Hundred Six Hundred and Twenty-five Minutes
That's Ben's version of it, anyway. Saw Rent on Friday with Megan and had never seen it on stage but loved loved loved it. Cried during most of the big songs (oh, those harmonies kill me! I will forever be trying to figure out a way to sing all the parts at once - in spite of the fact that my experience with the Tonight medley from WSS hasn't panned out thus far) and sobbed at the end. Tormented Ben with the CD when I got home. Wished I had been a good-looking hipster junkie performance artist in the eighties squatting in a four-thousand square foot loft in the East Village with no electricity and no money for “last year’s rent” instead of a Gap-clad depressed Upper West Side waitress in the eighties living in a duplex with a fireplace and a roof garden and no money for last year’s rent. Also it took me back to when I was absolutely sure I’d grow up to be a Broadway star, and although that didn’t pan out, I still sometimes have pangs that I didn’t do anything with my music. I’m not sure the movie was intended to leave one with the many layers of feelings that it left me with – yes, it’s a sad movie, about AIDS and violence and addiction and gentrification, but it’s also about love and art and friendship and family – but I’m pretty sure that Jonathan Larson wasn’t thinking about little Betsy Crane when he based it on La Boheme, or that the three chords he uses from the opera would send me into weepy convulsions thinking about my mom, who sang both female leads at different times, and my own childhood singing in La Boheme, which is about as Rent of a childhood as it gets, really, both literally and metaphorically and literametaphorically, although we had electricity – barely. There was a brief almost-evicted panic the summer of 69, if I have my years right. The funny thing is that my life now is more Rent than ever, minus the heroin and plus the rent paid on time and plus the living my life as fully as I know how. For whatever reason, as much that I couldn’t afford the rent as anything else, I couldn’t get my true bohemia on in New York. Ok, so I’m a little tired past ten these days, and don’t have much of an urge to light up the night. So I try to light up the day. Anyway, it’s about connecting, and living your life in the moment, and best of all it’s completely earnest, which rocks my world these days. How do you measure the life of a man? How about love?