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Claudine Jones

This Way To The Machine

Want to know the best way to improve your typing? Not skill, mind you; just speed. Ability to retype the typos, etc., & get ahead of the responses before the conversation dies, the person in the other room saying 'what?' which he does anyway, of course, but only for half of the sentence, as in 'why would a what say what?' & you madly backtrack & reformat so that only the relevant words remain. This is not counting the times when the person asks a question & then walks downstairs before you have time to type the answer.

Text-to-speech, man! That's what I'm talking about (or not talking, actually).

I'm out of the verbal stream, stuck at the keyboard, waving my hands, writing in the dust on the dashboard at a red light. Making the most of my winning ways at charades, which the person beside me sucks at royally & deeply resents my attempts to lift said person up to a level even approximating parity.

Wait...what the? I know, I should be in bed, sleeping it off, sucking logenzes, comatose.


Yet I ain't sick. No, I ain't. I am...not the victim of the Warriors latest win (don't go to games anyway) nor have I decided to denounce fracking without a bullhorn. Nope. I am innocent of all vocal wrong-doing. Hell, with the amount of music I have to learn in the next two months, I have been super good, as in just -before-Xmas-good.  No, I'm not willing to hoarse around with my instrument. Seriously. 

My director keeps score, too.

I admit to feeling a bit of an outsider amongst all those who have been with him for 10, 12 years...I get that. It's hard to pierce that inner circle, but doesn't mean I can't try. I've long since adopted a philosophy of why not: sitting in the front row, bringing attention to oneself, risking a slap-down. Historically that philosophy hasn't always been my best friend, but who bats a thousand? 

Listening to the phones ring & gloriously acknowledging that it is pointless, nay, rude to pick up & offer silence, although these days the chances are 50-50 it's Diane & she wants to clean my carpet, but she will never let me make an appointment. 

O guilt of guilt! Seeing my mother's caller ID & loving that I have an excuse not to get into it with her—o guiltiest of guilties! That she has had a fairly typical six-week crisis-hiatus, but now it's time & brother is it a doozy. It's all hands on deck, phone calls to doctors, visits & hand-holding & parceling-out of offspring duties.

I can't talk & I am so guilty & in such pain.

So how did this come to pass? There was only the sense in my throat of...potato chip? chunk of veggie from an innocent home -made soup? & an annoying inability to think about anything other than swallowing. Then that person said you're goin' to the doctor.

How did I end up with a waaay long q-tip stuck down my nostril & the old guy in the white coat saying hmm. gonna have ta scope ya. Camera in my gullet, raising his eyebrows in surprise well, nothing stuck in got yourself an infected epiglottis.

Was it the damn rat poop?

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Actor/Singer/Dancer Claudine Jones has worked steadily in Bay Area joints for a number of decades.
She writes a monthly column and is
a Senior Writer for Scene4.
For more of her commentary and articles,
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©2016 Claudine Jones
©2016 Publication Scene4 Magazine



March 2016

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