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Fruit Salad

I can never write when I want to. I went home last night intending to write a story. When the words come, they’re when I least expect it. And even then, the burst of inspiration doesn’t last long and I have a strong urge to finish it up and never leave whatever I’m writing to get back to at a later date. Add to that, I never edit or review my work. This is probably why I’ll never be the kind of writer that I envisioned I would become someday.

So I realized that I hadn’t given you an update on the various goings on in my life since the move to the new house, which I highly doubt you’ll be interested in reading. I’m opting to shove it down your throat, none-the-less. 😉

The most important thing is that I miss Stitch & MoCuishle. It’s been over 2 weeks since I’ve seen them and my heart breaks so many times a day when I think of them. They used to be the last thing I saw when I went to sleep and the first thing that greeted me when I opened my eyes every morning. I need to bring them over to spend a night with me one day soon. There’s nothing like sinking your face into Stitch’s silky coat at the end of a long day.

The great Dharmasiri Bandaranayake seems to think quite a bit of me it seems. He invited a friend of mine and I to perform in a Sinhala play with him. A classic satire of his from the 70’s which he is remaking in November. Needless to say, it has been a very different experience. It’s almost a complete 180 from the English theatre I am used to. Hopefully I’ll be able to pull off the performance because it is an absolute honour to be invited into his fold and be cast in a role without an audition, merely based on one previous performance he managed to catch the video of.

In terms of work, my office has turned into a factory. I churn out ideas and copy as though I was making hoppers. As a result my output hasn’t been brilliant. Some ideas are good, some are ok and some are just downright shit. If I had the luxury of time to think about one campaign at a time, the situation would be quite different. As it stands I have 4 jobs in hand!

I opened a Twitter account in April and “tweeted” (is that what you call it?) once about Attia in Rome. I suddenly got the urge to tweet again and I’ve been on a roll since a few days ago. Nothing of substance there either. Some random things about a Snuffleupagus and others about work. Following the right people is the key I hear, so I’ve been finding people who inspire me which seems far more interesting that updating my own excrement. Stephen Fry has proved to be a very interesting follow I must say!

And then the beautiful Cinderella bestowed this award on me called loyal friend and reader and now I am to name five bloggers to give this same award to. So here goes…

RD, for finding the occasional bit of substance amidst my blogging madness and becoming a friend in the process.

Brandix, for inspiring me to become a blogger. This blog exists because he introduced me to it and it has become one of the best outlets for my twisted mind.

Dishi, for writing from her heart and speaking from her heart as a person and a blogger. Her writing moves me and so does she as a person.

St. Fallen for reading me from the point he became a blogger himself. And along the way, I’m really glad we’ve also become friends.

And finally to Gyppo, whose posts make me feel like I’m in a scene from Ground Beneath Her Feet. She writes the things in my head, only she puts them across better.

There are many more I would like to give these out to, but alas I am limited to only 5. To my chosen 5, go ahead and knock yourself out picking another 5 yourself! (That is if you want to, of course)

That’s it in the life and times of the missing sandwich. Besides finding my first grey hairs and going into a state of manic depression interspersed with the occasion bout of OCD.

I’m terribly sorry this post became such a mixed fruit salad of things. Enjoy the weekend y’all!

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After an unusual, yet nice Monday night, Tuesday dawned with a sense of doom, gloom and sadness. I was in the weirdest of moods and I just couldn’t put a finger on what the problem was.

And all of a sudden I felt strangely nostalgic for Elsie’s Bar. There was a thread going around Facebook, a thread that’s lasted months. One that started on closing night to be exact. It’s been dormant for a while and suddenly got very active because WDR is leaving to college in a few days. My darling Malli. And everyone’s suddenly in a frenzy about meeting up one more time. It was wonderful to communicate with the guys again.

I came home and had one of those rare nights alone with Stitch & MoCuishle. Fed them, smoked some pot, put on some Smashing Pumpkins and opened up Harry Potter & the Chamber of Secrets. In the middle of the whole shenanigan an epiphany struck. I was feeling.

And the last time I truly felt something, really intensely, was when I was with the Elsie’s crowd. At the bar. Drinking ale, drinking beer, singing our songs, crying on eachothers shoulders’. I felt alive.

I was reading this post of Brandix’s and I remembered what a perfect day that was and then I went through all the blog posts that had to do with Elsie’s Bar in all our blogs and I almost felt this urge to cry.

Then, late in the night, Brandix and Absent called with the bright idea of having Long Island’s at Cheers. They came, they picked me up, we had unusually twisted conversations about the things we do with and to ourselves and I was in my happy place all of a sudden. Things were far from brilliant in either of our lives, but it was beyond nice to just sit and talk like that again. And then the thought of most of us meeting up on Friday again makes me even happier. I have started to feel again. And it may not directly link to them, but in general when I am around this crowd, I can feel. I can be open and honest and really let myself feel a spectrum of emotions vs. the numbness that sets in when I’m left to my own devices.

I have another post about my inability to feel, but for today I think this is the post that needs to go up on my blog. Tomorrow we’ll talk about the lack of emotion. Today is simply a celebration.

I miss you my babies. The play truly was the thing, wasn’t it?

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Three cheers to a fantastic production crew for handing their first production with such finesse and thank you so much to the cast for a performance well pulled off. (I think there was some syntax error in that sentence there, but what the heck!) It was an experience to work with such diverse personalities. And thank you Revati Chawla, for some super photography.

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Shall post more pictures when I have the time with a proper run-down of this highly controversial production. Performed to a closed audience, but none the less, one I would like a wider group to see someday.

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Sathya, the Women’s Support Group’s first theatre production, supported by the Trikone Arts Foundation goes on the boards this Friday. An eye opener about marriage, sexuality & the definition of love.

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There are times in your life where you feel you’re standing still. It’s like you’re in this one stagnant place and you can’t quite put your finger on what it is you need to do to move on. You look for inspiration within and without and still… you feel like it’s so very senseless. You’re simultaneously standing still and drifting around that place like some out of body experience in a B-grade sci-fi movie. But you’ve never let yourself get to this place before.

So why now?

How is it that your resilient, albeit somewhat fake smile still manages to stay on, plastered on you like a good caking of kreolan stage make-up? You look at photographs of the folk at Elsie’s and you’re happy re-living those moments with people who over the last few months became your family. And you think of how attached you all are to eachother now. You met on Monday. Conference called on Tuesday. Met again on Wednesday and with some again on Thursday. Today may not be any different. And come Saturday, you head out of Colombo together. How long is this going to last before other parts of your life scream to get back into your system and you start to drift apart? A few months down the line you’ll hardly be in touch as a collective and you wonder if you’ll all be ok with that. Or will you talk about how much we miss eachother and not really do much about it. That’s show business for you.

And then you go and quit your job. Just like that. Partially on impulse. Partially thought through. Many don’t hesitate to tell you that you’re an A-grade fool. How bad the economy is and how you need money to clothe, feed and intoxicate yourself. Well, fuck it. Honestly. Just fuck it. You’ve come to this point in your life where you realize that most of the past few years have been based on a lie that you foolishly let yourself believe. To the point where you may not even know yourself anymore. And you’re ready to discover it again. What will you do for a living? Do you want to even be in advertising anymore? Do you want to be an activist and fight for human rights? Do you want to sing? To act? To even write?

I don’t know.

And for once in my life, that doesn’t scare me. As long as I am not standing still, as long as I am drifting in limbo, as long as I am starting to discover myself anew… it’s all good. 

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Till we meet again…

The knife has cut an inch deeper now. Almost as if it knew how long it could cut to a certain depth before the numbness sets in. I can’t seem to do the one surefire thing to ease my pain… I can’t find a song that relates to my mood. I want to sing all our songs over and over again and cherish the pain because it keeps me closer to you. The curtain is closed. For the last time. The last vocal warm up. The last make-up call. The last circle of love. The last second on stage. Elsie’s Bar was truly a place I could trust. Probably the best bar in the world. And it’s closed for business now. But before it did, it healed my broken heart.

As I hugged each of you for the last time, I handed over a piece of me to you. I have fallen in love with each of you in my own way and you have walked away, taking me with you. And it hurts. This is my tribute to the magical souls I shared the last six months of my life with. 

Feroze… Naana… you’re truly a magnificent person. A visionary director who believed in my lost soul. And for that I thank you. Your intelligence, your passion for theatre and your big brotherly attitude with us is truly the embodiment of the word “naana” which we fondly call you. I love you truly Naana and I’ll never forget what you have done for me through the years as a friend & a director. 

Sij, your temper mixed with your teddy-bear like sweetness will always make me fond of you. I also have so much respect for the fact that you treat everyone the same and wouldn’t even hesitate to yell at Naana of you have to. Watching you mime all our songs backstage was an absolute scream, especially “but he killed Rosie & Gilda”! 

Dinna, my partner in crime when it comes to harassing anyone just for kicks. A high five to you. You’re wouldn’t hesitate to count me as one of the guys & still come up with every possible boob joke you can muster up to annoy me. 

Rana, you’re truly an amazing musician and an overall nice guy. I’ve worked with you so many times before and was even a groupie during the Kreb’s Cycle days. And every time, you reinvent yourself and bring something new to the party. The daily hot box sessions after practices which I have occasionally popped in for have been truly memorable. 

Katunayake Dilan, our very own vocal director and much feared thug at the airport. An addition to the party and a welcome one. You constantly thought I hated you because of my killer gazes. I’m glad we cleared that one out! You’re amazingly talented for your age and I’m happy to count you as a friend. 

Mikey & Princo… the two of you are such darlings. And so is that amazing little Malli of yours. Russell Daminen Sam Holsinger am I right? I’ve worked with you, acted with you, drunk with you and been in awe of the amazing lighting design you concocted in the last few productions that I have been in along with your amazing cocktails. I love the two of you like I love my own parents. I really do. 

Brandix, my kindred spirit. I’m glad we finally shared a stage together. You have opened my eyes to so many things about myself that I have been afraid to admit for so long. You see me for me. Very few people do. And for that I love you. I am in dumbstruck at the levels of energy and passion you carry on to the stage, every moment you are there, passing on some of it to the rest of us with you. You are the epitome of talent and I am honoured to know you.

Nathan, I am so proud of you. I have seen you come out of your shell and shine. You have the kindest soul and a passion for Harry Potter which I share. Everytime I look at my bookshelf & see the copy of Beedle the Bard you gave me, I will remember you and smile. 

Gayan. Mugabe. You were one of my babies long before this production began. I have watched you grow into an amazingly powerful actor through the years and still not lose your edge of sensitivity. I love your beat up car and I think it adds character to your personality. You’re one of the first babies I adopted in theatre when we worked backstage together on Run for Your Wife and I have loved you since. I hope you find what you don’t know you’re looking for my friend, because you more than deserve it. 

Absent, my dear sweet Joey. You’re someone I can sit down & talk to until the sun rises in the west. 😉 You have that same “I can’t go to sleep after a good night out” madness that I do which results in some of the best conversations I’ve ever had with anyone. You listen to me whine over & over again, and still know exactly what to say to me. This production cut a little too close to home for you & it brought out a newer, more passionate side to your performance which was mesmerising to say the least & I am in awe of you. I know I’ve made a friend for life & this production was a reaffirmation of that. 

Swasha, you darling, slow-on-the-uptake, wanna-be-the-stylish-one, dahling! You are an amazing actress, a super friend and someone I would love to act with over and over again. You bring something to a production that is bigger than just your acting skills, you bring with you your ability to make us all smile. You asked me last night why you end up being the most bugged person in the cast, it’s probably because you’re also the most endearing. You’re a soft, gentle, compassionate, beautiful soul and I love you for it. 

Natasha, you’re a goddess. It was truly amazing to have you on stage with us. Someone as talented & famous as you being on stage and pulling off a kick ass acting performance to boot was truly wow. You sang powerfully, slapped Yasas and Gayan with such finesse and made your audience clap not only at your singing but your hilarious acting as well. Please come back and act again, I loved exchanging those evil glares with you on stage & our scene together was truly fun. Thank you for sharing bits and pieces of your life with me that made so much sense of mine. You have really been an inspiration to me. 

Gypsy… you’re exactly what everyone says you are… a ray of sunshine in each of our lives. Especially mine. You have a special blend of magic you’ve woven into each of our hearts with every little second you’ve spent with us and unlike the few of us who knew, your beautiful smile never faltered letting people know that your heart was broken. You seemed to have been placed there to heal ours instead. And you did nothing short of that. You are the true spirit of la vie boheme. You have a special place in my heart baby girl and that’s exactly where you’re going to stay. 

Maheshika, Latha Walpola’s prettier, long lost twin. You have never ceased to amuse us with your natural talent for comedy and it shows when you’re out there on stage. You’ve got this perpetual mischievous grin on your face that says you’re always upto something. I am so honoured to have shared Rosie Crantz with you. You gave her such a fitting farewell that I had tears of joy in my eyes watching you on closing night. And the boobies aren’t a touch on how big your heart is. 

Tracy, my little mighty mouse. For the tiniest member of the cast you have managed to terrorize all of us including giants like Raj & Yas. I honestly pity the man who’ll marry you thinking you’re this tiny, adorable thing and then see the harpy that rises from within. You’re amazingly talented, have way too much energy than it’s possible for one tiny human being to have and I have thoroughly enjoyed exacting my revenge on you each night on stage, turning you from your bearded disguise into a bashful, blushing little girl. You’re perfection in the tiniest package possible… you’re a doll. 

Buddhima… my rock & roll nangi. You have inspired us all with your music and lyrics and quiet way of overcoming the mountains life seems to place in your way. You’re awesome and I am going to become your number one groupie someday. You rock my world. Just remember that we are all here for you in the bad times as well and that you don’t have to handle all the shit that is dealt to you all alone… your problem is everyone’s problem and we’ll get though anything together.

Pasan… you’re a special child. We connected fairly early on in this production & that connection has never wavered. No we will not lose touch, we will continue to message eachother the weirdest things in the middle of the day or night & share our passions for the queer side of life. I know you’re going places in your life & I couldn’t have been able to tell that you had only done Sinhala theatre since you clutched on to the role pf Ben Johnson with such finesse & it was an experience to watch you. 

Pierre, you darling… constantly forgetting your lines, adding in your little bits n pieces, making me want to crack up on stage. That vigorous spank you give me on your non-existent bum at the beginning of the play has swollen it into existence now! You’ll never forget to come looking for me before I get on stage and wish me all the best. You always come looking for me to congratulate me when I do well in a scene and that means a lot to me. 

Saajid, you started off with us looking all awkward and unsure of yourself and when you found your wings became such an annoying little darling. You’d get on stage and become the bane of every single actor you possibly could resulting in me slapping right across the face on stage during performance nights, everytime you would lecherously demand my attention. You have more soul in you that a lot of us do. Your encouraging mail to us on opening night uplifted all of us, giving us the strength to go on. 

Kevin, another on of my babies from before and my very own Harry Potter on Drums. For someone who joined us to be part of the band, you have turned into such a talented actor and I am so proud of you. Your amazing sense of humour makes you an instant darling of the stage. You’re a pleasure to watch and super friend to have in any production. Here’s to many more together my little padwan. 

Sanjeewa, you crack me up. Everyday. Every rehearsal. Every performance. Without fail. You’ve perfected the fine art of singing & speaking in squeaky falsetto and it’s brilliant. I’ll never forget how you kept chucking fake money in my boob to get rid of me everytime I tried to make you lose a game of cards or draughts on stage. You’ve got classic expressions on your face my friend and I can’t wait to act with you again and again and again… 

Dinesh, my personal pervert. I love acting with you on stage and off it. Between the two of us we can concoct the most vulgar things to do, just for kicks. You are my soul mate on the dance floor & my friend when I want to sit down and drown my sorrows with. You and I go way back and we’ll never lose touch, never stop being friends and never stop being utterly vulgar when we can. I love you and will jump on you when I see you next. 

Yasas. My Loku Lamaya. My apple-cheeked doll. Moreover, my Malli. I love you truly, madly, deeply. You instinctively know when I’m upset, know exactly how to handle me & when all else fails, to hold me when I cry or just need someone to be close to take the pain away. You’re the bestest little brother a girl could ask for… almost! Don’t you ever stop writing or acting or expressing yourself in one way or the other. That silent storm raging in your head you keep trying to ignore is there for a reason. And if you ever need anything, I’m here. I’m sure you didn’t call me akki for some random reason. So my phone’s on and my heart is open 24/7.

Yashoda, my cutie pie. It’s official. I am adopting you and I am NOT kidding. I’m just trying to figure out the legalities of it, until then I suggest you start packing & kissing your present family goodbye. You have the most adorable expressions that even puppies can’t beat. You manage to look like an angel even while humping Dinesh on stage and that’s just amazing. You’re mine and no one is taking you away from me!!! 

Anush, my anus. You came back. And now you’re leaving all over again. We bonded over Sunday morning Milos at my house where we’d pour our hearts out to eachother whilst nursing our hangovers. Come back to me soon Gonzago. You’re my neighbour, my friend and another one of my babies from a time that’s imprinted in my heart forever. You tried your hardest not to get emotionally attached to this production but I know you did and I know how hard that must be for you because it’s a whole new set of goodbyes all over again. I’ll miss you babe.

Randy you are brand new and it never showed. You have the soul of someone who’s been in theatre all his life. You were supposed to play a lead but you were big enough to step down when you realized you hadn’t dedicated enough time to you role. A lot of people I know just crave the limelight of theatre. You my friend, just wanted the passion. And that’s rare. I remember how you clutched on to me to ease by unending cough and tears on our dress rehearsal night when I didn’t think I could do it. You held me until it all subsided so that I could go out there and kick some ass. Thank you for that and I’ll never forget you.

Dilrukshi you’re a sweety with your peter pan tights. You have beautifully expressive features and should be in theatre more often. You remember my harmonies when I forget them and holler them in my ear so that I don’t look bad on stage. You’re not so shady my girl, you’re a real star. Always helpful, an actress who is smart on stage, fixing other people’s problems when you can and trying to keep everyone’s energy levels high with your bouncy attitude. Thank you. 

And that is why my heart is broken. When so many people do so much for you, you tend to let your heart be taken away by them. The tears that were building up whilst I wrote this are falling shamelessly now. How do I go on without you in my life every day? How do I come to terms with the fact that it’s all over? How do I go on with my miserable existence when I know I am so much more when you are with me? Goodbye my beautiful angels at Elsie’s Bar. This play was the thing I was looking for to heal me and it truly has. Everytime I pour out a drink from now on, I will drink to us. 

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I’d like to say it’s getting better 4 years down the line, but I’d be lying. How do you recover from sending someone to feed the roses? Some days aren’t as dark as others. But then I wake up one morning and that gut-wrenching ache returns and I want to scream out at the injustice. And my deep rooted anger at you. For leaving me. For making me bury you when you were just coming to life.

I can’t go into another painful list of our memories this year, my love. So this year, it’s just a note to you from the me of now.

Things haven’t been the best. I’ve come close to the door of hell just this last year. And its been a while since I walked by your grave and let the tears flow. But not a day passes that I don’t miss your face, your evil eyes, the careless chuckle permanently etched across the lines of your face.

When things are all quiet, in the stillest, darkest moments of the night, I still talk to you, as though we were still cuddling in that water bed of yours. You still lay by my side and tell me your dreams and listen to mine.

I wonder if you are still listening. Still watching over me. The way I knew you did during those first dark days. Or have you moved on to a point where you don’t even see me anymore? My beautiful Eyes of Thundera. My sword of omens. My protector. My independent love song. 

It’s hard. I’m doing better than I thought I ever would. But it’s still hard. There’s this huge, swelling inside, clogged with un-named emotions that just won’t go away sometimes. And then I start flipping through our pictures. 2 little Jedi padwans, full of dreams and hopes and ready to take on anything that came our way. But then you went and died on me. And I walk the wilderness alone now. 

A decade may go by, but the pain will feel as fresh as if it was yesterday. I maybe angry with you. That’s never going to end. But neither will my love. 

 

In memory of Mirantha Fernando (27th January 1979  – 26th February 2005)

Come back & be with me one last time. When I step on that stage tonight, I will look for some trace of your face. I’ll perform for you only. You’ll be in every breath I take and every note I sing. You’ll be in the laughter of the audience. Their applause will be like your heart beating one more time, so close to mine. Come back to me, my love, for just one night…

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