Friday, February 13, 2015

50 Shades of Drago


Well, not much.  Honestly, I read the Fifty Shades series a few years ago and remember little (Anne Rice's Sleeping Beauty series is better).  Maybe if it had sparkling vampires I'd recall that part (with disdain).  Anyone who works that hard to enjoy time in the bedroom is doing something wrong.  It's about meeting your partner's needs.  The same thing applies outside the bedroom.  Even more so.  Once you understand that, relationships are much easier (and more successful).

I actually want to talk about my playroom.  My toy closet.  You know, where I keep my matchbox cars, my action figures, and my wiffle balls.  Where I stash my poker chips, my dominoes, and my backgammon briefcase.  I've always loved playing games.  Candy Land, Connect Four, Life, Hungry Hungry Hippos, Chutes Away (don't ask me how the fuck I remember that one - maybe the Dick Van Dyke commercials?), Trivial Pursuit, Pictionary, Taboo, Apples to Apples, Cards Against Humanity (now).  You get the idea.  The memories I have of playing games with my family could be what I cherish most about my youth.  (For anyone reading who remembers "the thing you stick in a stick-in-a" I hope I just made you smile.)

Mostly, I enjoyed personifying my toys.  What good would my collection of model trucks have been if I didn't pretend I was my grandfather driving his R Model Mack while I pushed one around on the bedroom floor?  (My grandfather had the coarsest facial hair, and I always cut my lips when I kissed his cheek.  He'd holler at me, in the same voice I now hear my dad use, for giving him what old Italians called the fungi - pronounced foon-jee - for puckering my lips like a mushroom.)

I made my action figures come to life by changing my voice, improvising a scene, and (of course) drafting my little brother to play a supporting role every time I opened the toy chest.  We had The Six Million Dollar Man (complete with bionic eye), Darth Vader, Bert and Ernie, He-Man, the entire collection of pro wrestlers, Dracula, Godzilla, Lion-O.  I didn't care for that Lego bullshit.  I'm not a builder.  It's so fucking boring.  What do you do with those tiny little pieces once you've assembled them anyhow?  Stare at them?  I'm not a museum curator.  Watch them fall apart because they never stay where you want them to?  Fuck that.

Playing with toys was where I found my first stage, even though my brother and I were our only audience.  I love narrating and storytelling.  I enjoy fantasy.  It's so much more real than the truth.  Does that even make sense?  I thank my parents for giving me the opportunity to let my imagination run wild as a child.  From freewriting short stories to laying out my baseball card collection in a fantasy league that vaulted the New York Mets to the top of the National League every year, I never shut off the switch.  They gave us air hockey, the swimming pool, the pool table, Little League.  They let us play.  They let us be children.

If you'd like to watch me play my guitar (my adult toy) and sing (mostly three-chord rockabilly), check out my YouTube page

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