I Married Ethel Merman
Volume 3 Book 2 Part 4 of
Living in the Bonus Round

[ Book 3-1 ] -- [ Pt 1 ] [ Pt 2 ] [ Pt 3 ] [ Pt 4 ] [ Pt 5 ]
[ Pt 6 ] [ Pt 7 ] [ Pt 8 ] [ Pt 9 ] -- [ Book 3-3 ]

December 25, 2002.
Staying In For The Holidays.

Jim with cat.

The pictures are in. Jimmy is the sick little Santa elf and, positioned at his usual station is the Steinbeck cat. For the past week, from even before the trip to the ER, the four of us, cat Thurber included have done very little except stay in our cocoon.

The house has been quiet except for the sound of DVDs. A good friend of ours with an extensive collection of movies has been lending us DVDs to watch. So, we bundle up, the four of us, and watch the unending cascade of lights and sound.

Now, for the record, I don't seem to have caught anything this year, but there is a slight lingering cough and loose phlegm (aren't you glad you asked?) in my body so I feel vulnerable. Like Spring's first flower encountering an unexpected layer of snow, I have chosen to accompany Jim on the couch to watch the movies, wrapped in fleece and covered in cat.

*sound of pitchpipe* "Good King Winceslas looked down..."

An email from my dear, hilarious mother:
"I am glad to read that Jimmy is feeling better and I know he will get well quicker if he has to hear you sing every time he uses his breathing machine."

My whole family imagines itself to be hilarious. A family reunion would remind an outsider of a comedy club filled with amateurs all competing at the same time for a microphone.

*pitch pipe* "Blow, Gabriel, blow..."

All is well here. We have gone nowhere. We have spent no money. We have sent no cards. Bought no presents. But we're fat and happy just to be alive. Jimmy is still sick but getting better. Going into the ER he imagined that he had cancer, pneumonia, aids and everything else. (He doesn't). He says it's an "Irish" thing.

So it's quiet. For Christmas we just bought a few new things for the apartment. A new towel for him. His old one was threadbare. (Does this sound pathetic?) New filters for the water container in the refrigerator. I think that was about it. We're hoping his actor union insurance will cover the ER. But we don't know so we're just keeping our fingers crossed on that one.

Rochester is going to be cold. I was looking forward to the cold but it's been so cold here, lately, that I"m starting to yearn for California again and we haven't even left it yet.

(But, on the other hand, I'm thrilled to be going to Downstairs Cabaret to see Chris & Ann Marie again. A warmer place on earth does not exist than that little theatre space. I've been wanting them to meet Jimmy for a long time. We're going to have a blast up there. Not only that, but we are working on some TLS surprises for our run there).

*tone* "Have a holly, jolly Christmas."

From Marie Cain:
"Just be happy he is not in the middle of a barbershop quartet convention with that contraption!"

It's always a melancholy thing, to be sick on Christmas Day. Last year, I was the one with the upper respiratory infection. It lasted over a month, so I'm trying to be extra careful this year. Plus, we have two last shows this weekend. By the way, Frontiers Magazine named us in the Top Three LA gay theatrical events. Not bad for a show that didn't even exist 7 months ago.

Anyway, Jimmy's waking up. Time to make him some hot drinks and wake up the house.

Merry Christmas!

[ Book 3-1 ] -- [ Pt 1 ] [ Pt 2 ] [ Pt 3 ] [ Pt 4 ] [ Pt 5 ]
[ Pt 6 ] [ Pt 7 ] [ Pt 8 ] [ Pt 9 ] -- [ Book 3-3 ]
© 1996-2002 by Steve Schalchlin.
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