So I got this cold. The one that concedes your morning coffee before sucking your energy, followed by the headache, relieved only by slathering muscle balm on your temples until your eyes water. Or fall out. Our litmus test was always: do you still want morning coffee? If the answer is yes, then the cold won’t last too long. But this dumb thing is just annoying. I did have a good laugh with Mr. Halfstory, though, as we applied said heat/muscle balm in an over-zealous fashion, eager to rid the congestion vise around my head. Because that much balm probably shouldn’t be too close to your eyes, people.
I finished The Fault In Our Stars, by John Green. I’ve read him before; Paper Towns was a strange and moving book. His primary characters in this book, two seventeen-year-olds battling cancer, are heroic, not because of the cancer, but in spite of it. They refuse to be defined by the disease even though they have little choice; in fact they meet at a cancer support group populated by other teens. Green writes original and authentic teenagers, albeit intellectual ones who discuss literature, are decent to their parents and who are extraordinarily tolerant. They also play gruesome video games but this has not, apparently, sapped the morality from their beings. If this is a true rendition of our future I’m not worried; they’ll do a better job than our generation. I thought a lot about Shakespeare while reading it, crying next to a sleeping Mr. Halfstory, and by that I mean his tragedies. It’s worth your while, though, as Green is a disciplined and talented writer, doesn’t take cheap shortcuts, or go down predictable paths. And, from what my cancer-survivor friends tell me, his portrait of the disease, especially in how kids handle it, is unexpected and uncompromising.
Also saw a play on Friday night with Ramona, who not only read the book upon which it was based, but also read a review of the play. It’s been a long time since I was in the City on a Friday night with someone taller than me (who wasn’t Mr. Halfstory). Little Brother, based on the book by the same name (written by Cory Doctorow), was surprisingly good, energetic and really well-directed. I was surprised because it was a pretty small playhouse, complete with ratty chairs, located in an Episcopal church that I’m sure the Templars rejected. The bathrooms were downstairs in the basement; I’m 90% sure a serial killer was waiting for me in one of the stalls. But they packed the house and the performances were riveting. Again, it’s a play about hyper-smart teens during a terrorist attack on San Francisco, torture on Treasure Island, hacking (computers, not lungs, like I am currently experiencing), underground networks buried in benign RPGs. I already don’t know what I’m talking about anymore. I need to go figure out how to change my ringtone.