Friday, June 19, 2015

Fight for Your Right

It sounds worse than it is.

Excellent plan! Magpie at 6 before cock at 8. I like it!

You have your cock on a schedule?

Wanna make sure I allow time for it.

It's fairly important to some. Can't say as I blame you.

The cock in question was TheaterLAB's production of "C*ck" at the Basement and joining me were Pru and her beau. In fact, they were gracious enough to collect me for an evening in my 'hood, an evening that began with the more manly of the two calling up to my open window, "Stellaaaaaa!"

We arrived at Magpie sufficiently early to nab three bar stools and a bottle of M. Lawrence "Sex" Brut Rose (Beau's Vivino wine app saved the data) because what could be more appropriate to pair with cock than sex?

It was accompanied by an amuse bouche of heirloom grape tomato halves with a blackberry, olive oil and fennel pollen, one exquisite bite that tasted like summer.

Matter of fact, most of the specials sounded that way, like the heirloom tomato and watermelon salad with Feta and salsa verde, a solid collection of fresh flavors Pru and I dove into. Why go to Magpie and not order the sausage of the day, in today's case pork with wildflower honey, a somewhat spicy link with just enough kick to make you pay attention?

Duck spring rolls rounded out our meal, their accompanying pickled vegetables adding nice tang to the duck's richness. Remember before pickling everything was a thing? Yea, neither do I.

Waiting for our food to arrive, we chatted about adjusting to living with Mom for the first time in 35 years. Not always an easy job, Pru attested, citing her Mom's doddering yet risque habits ("She told me she doesn't have filters anymore. She says f*cking a lot"), all of which are new to her now that they're under the same roof.

Personally, I thought the combination of doddering and risque sounded like a fun way to spend my golden years, but Pru quickly assured me that's not what we're aiming for.

The big topic was employer surveys seeking personal information about staff sexuality, time spent volunteering and other none-of-their-business issues. Pru cracked us up talking about the staff meeting today to discuss the survey and how it devolved into an Austin Powers skit with talk of good and evil.

Since we had a curtain to make, we moved on to dessert: chocolate beet creme brulee with peanut salad and, because we needed a second treat, a melange (not a menage, as some people hoped) of two gelatos - dulce de leche and buttered popcorn. I was ready to write off the latter as too "Jelly Belly" until I tasted it but the rich saltiness of the gelato won me over completely. I'm so easy sometimes.

We allowed 15 minutes to get to the theater barely over a mile away. Conveniently, that was enough time to park once, walk a block, reconsider, go get the car, re-park and walk two blocks (mind you, some of us walking pros, even in cute espadrilles).

This is the last weekend for Mike Bartlett's "C*ck" so of course it was sold out. I was feeling good about grabbing three seats in the front row of the low-walled, four-sided set (and I use the term loosely because the set was brilliantly conceived as a ring with dirt on the floor and chicken wire on the sides, an ideal setting for a cock fight), only later to realize that often actors sat on the bench in front of us, mere inches away, but with their backs to us.

You are a stream. I want a river.

I'm not complaining because it's pretty compelling to watch acting and theatrical interaction from that close up. At times I felt as if we were part of the scene, observing like a fly, eavesdropping.

You might be the one. That's why I'm still here.

The story of a gay man who breaks up with his boyfriend of seven years because the relationship has been going downhill took a detour when he met a woman and decided to sleep with her, eventually falling for her.

I'm not going to let you go, John, but you could contribute.

The cast of four was strong, each actor circling the others like they would in a cock fight. Deejay Gray as John showed the heartbreaking high wire act he was trying to balance deciding whether he loved a man or woman and going forward.

He eats tinned food...right from the tin!

That turned out to be the crux of the crisis: is it about the orientation of your sexuality or whatever person you wind up falling for? In this case, poor John can't decide which one he wants, swinging back and forth in his allegiance, and it's making the two people he loves crazy.

Each scene began with a character ringing a bell fight-style before another round of verbal battle began.  It was clearly a fight to the finish, assuming John could come to terms with his own needs and wants instead of caving to someone else's. The hard part, it seemed, was deciding what he deserved.

Good question. Do each of us deserve to be happy in love? And how much convincing should go into keeping a relationship going? Do you always know when it's right? What happens when you make a mistake and leave? How important is the way your partner makes you feel?

Don't look at me. I said I make sure I allow time for cock, not that I understand the way they think. "C*ck" made it seem that sometimes the minds that go along with it don't always know, either.

Streams, be gone. Some of us insist on a river.

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