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Cast of Characters

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October, 2011 - October 04, 2011

March 20, 2006

6:53 p.m.

The Cast of Characters in My Very Interesting Life

Everybody isn't in here, but the most oft-mentioned are.

Rose: My sister, elder by 2-1/2 years. She's an N.P., working with a doctor in private practice in Connecticut. Rose is an active volunteer with the Ghana Health Mission, an organization that takes her to Africa every year to help run a brief, free health clinic for a large, poor, uninsured population. The first time she went over, she fell in love with the people and the affair is going strong.

So is Rose; she's strongwilled, headstrong, strong in spirit, and a constant source of strength for me. She's also funny as hell. Rose was divorced from her third husband (now referred to as "The Was-band") in the fall of 2006. She lives with three cats, a niece by association, and her new husband Marc (see below).

Marc: My sister Rose's hubby, as of October 2007. Fun, very articulate, geeky; a wonderful carpenter and cabinet maker, fixer upper of old Mercedeses (and everything else, it seems).  Loves finding ways of living off the grid -- alternate energy, recycle/reuse.  Has a passion for hydroponic gardening.  Knows a ton about computers -- builds them, in fact.

Pearl: Marc's neice, whom he rescued from a very abusive upbringing. Early 20s, smart, very cool, student.

Chris and Carol: My bandmates. They happen to also be married to each other. I've known Carol for over 20 years; we've been in three bands together, and had a brief affair during the second one, at about the time that Chris was falling in love with her. She was very hesitant, though, so we transitioned back out of that, for the longterm best as it turned out. She's compassionate, funloving, and ambitious. She embodies a curious dichotomy; she's a brilliant musician and songwriter, and a graceful pianist, yet has many lazy speech habits and often exhibits clumsiness and a profound lack of common sense. I admire her tremendously.

Chris is a wonderful clown for her Sad Girl, a voice of reason for her Worrier. He's very spiritually focused, yet has a firm foothold in the earthly. Not a songwriter but very good at limericks. Also a pretty slick guitarist. He works diligently at being high-minded and evolved... but can still come up with an award-winning fart haiku on a long drive.

Dar (otherwise known as Darwin): My dear, dear friend. We met in the theatre in 1998. He is my single biggest angel; he financed two of my albums and has helped out in the middle and around the edges in ways I can't even enumerate. (The first time we got together for a play day we met on a town green, and I'd just had bunion surgery and was barely walking again. None of my old shoes fit any more, and I didn't have money to buy new ones yet, so I was literally limping across the green towards him that sunny afternoon. When we met up, we were laughing already and I said, "Would you please buy me a pair of shoes? I'll pay you back, I promise!" And he did. And I did.)

We were friends, then had a dating/intimate relationship for a time, but we've always lived a couple of hours apart, and busy as we both are, we've never seen each other very regularly -- except for the time I worked in Boston and commuted in. But it evolved back into a friendship over a couple of years. I can't live with anyone and I'm not in love with him exactly... although I love him dearly. Dar's an actor and owns a commercial cleaning biz. He's smart, insane and makes me piss my pants laughing. He can do just about any accent. Loves NPR and music and theatre, and appreciates all things rodent-related. Feeds the squirrels in the Public Garden regularly; springs the mousetraps in the basements of his accounts. Thoughtful to a tee, and picks the ideal gift for any occasion (which is always a fart machine). Rose has said more than once: "I know you're not going to marry him, but Dar will always be my brother in law."

Normandy: A chum from high school (circa 1975) with whom I got back in touch in 2007. Recently divorced, she lives in NH with her 6 year old daughter. She's been teaching middle school music for the last fifteen years or so. The trouble is, she is a whimsical, spiritual, eccentric Sillyheart in a very conservative environment, and she is aching to her bones to find a job and a locale that is more in keeping with her true purpose.

Will: Will is a bass player for whom I was sick with desire for a couple of years. He had cardiomyopathy then, so it was all made more dramatic by the fact that he was sick and might be dying. I have written six songs and some dozen poems about him, and about getting through the aftermath of severing from him. He eventually got a heart transplant and, the following year, to everyone's amazement, got married to someone no one had met, with two days' notice.  I haven't spoken with him since summer of 2004.

Sig: The engineer I've worked with on all my solo albums so far. His studio moved from Massachusetts to Connecticut in '04, about the same time I moved back into this apartment. Last I heard he was finally divorcing his mentally ill wife, who had kept him in emotional (and financial, etc.) bondage for some 20 years. It's a sad, sad story and a scary one. My sense of him is that he hasn't been allowed to evolve emotionally in all that time, and his behavior and "vibe" reflect that in a personality that's rather timid at times. But he's a really nice guy anyway, and anyone who loves Seinfeld as much as he does has got something going for him.

Sig was the one who told me about Will getting married. Weirdly, he's my only remaining connection to Will, and though I see Sig only once in a great while, it always makes me think of Will in some way.

Steve: I dated Steve for 6 months in 2005. He house managed a gig we played that January, and contacted me afterwards. Eventually he convinced me to try a dating relationship with him, and it was fine for a while... but I wasn't in love with him. It was the first personal interaction of its type since Will, and I knew that unless I felt some vestige of the passion I'd felt for Will, it wouldn't be worth it to me. I still feel that way. We're still friends, though, and get together occasionally. He's a sweetheart, an old hippie who loves to Morris dance. He's a filmmaker, a writer, runs a film series in town, and lives in Massachusetts with three dogs... and a lot of dust.

James: Met him in June of '06. He's a Jersey boy, divorced after 25 years of marriage. He does company branding and is also a wedding celebrant and a Quaker. Half Italian, half Luxembourgian. Was a rocker in his youth. Articulate, speaks German and Middle English. Years of therapy have made him satisfyingly self-aware, but he's retained his sense of humor. We dated officially for 8 months or so, but I couldn't hold up my end of the bargain, owing to my schedule, the fact that we live 3 hours apart, and that there isn't enough of me to go around, emotionally speaking. We're very close friends, however. I miss him.

Wes: My buddy who now lives locally. He's half of a duo that was famous in the 70s, then blew all his major-record-deal money on drugs and whatnot. They're still out there gigging, though he's closer to 60 than 50. He's a big baby and has a loving and gentle heart. We go to movies once in a while, or make chili.

Aubrey: A singer-songwriter who's also been touring for probably 35 years. I used to open for him a lot. We enjoyed playing gigs together, though now I hardly ever see him.

Joan: My actress friend now living in upstate New York with hear beau. We lived together in New Hampshire during a very crucial and poignant time of transition, '98-'99. I don't see her often but I love her dearly. She has wild, curly hair, big eyes, a wide mouth and a loud voice. She plumbs deep for her parts. She has access to depths of emotion most people don't even dream of. She is also gut-bustingly funny and would exist solely on canapes and turkey pepperoni if possible. I miss her.

Ducky: My actress friend in Boston. Gorgeous, literate, funny, with a moonlike self esteem that waxes and wanes. Had an on-off relationship for a few years with a drunk who  abused her on numerous occasions. This was a mystery and a frustration to us all.  It seems to have died down.  She spent a couple of hellish years in L.A., but returned with a flourish.

(Dr.) Josh: Rose's boss. He's a diminutive, balding Jewish elf with a wild sense of humor and a passion for photography. He's travelled all over the world and his framed photos cover the walls of his practice. He's very, very good. Possibly wins the award for buying the most albums from the band, and from me as a soloist. He either gives out a lot of gifts, or just keeps them in his closet and enjoys supporting the group.

Austin: My estranged and lawbreaking brother.

Bethany: His daughter, whom he did not raise.

Rianna: His ex-wife after 24 years (not Bethany's mom).

Sunny: My neighbor on the first floor, who bought this house in 2007 and is now my landlady. She lives with Ben, her boyfriend.

Melissa: My massage therapist friend, majored in art in college. Lives in a huge custom house on land that she bought with her boyfriend before they knew whether they wanted to make a commitment to each other. Now loves her house, her massage business, and her art -- and feels ambivalent about the boyfriend.

JW: My first roommate from when I moved to NYC in 1982.


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