March 21, 2016
The spectacle of life on the spectrum
How’s this for an opener?
“Dear Future Roommate,
Don’t worry about us getting along. I’ve lived with crazy people all my life. My father is a poet, and his artsy friends—eccentric writers, boisterous musicians and neurotic painters— could populate a whole season of bad sitcoms.”
Obviously, this is penned by the long suffering child-of-a-creative. One of our composer’s, Lori Laitman’s collaborator, poet Dana Gioia’s son, to be exact. This “tell-all” was part of his college application to Stanford. (I believe he got in.) It is now set to music by one of America’s best composers of 21st Century art song, Lori Laitman, commissioned by Lyric Fest.
But oh, how on the heels of my first chuckle did follow the inward shudder: The letters my children could write on a similar subject…
Not that there is anything wrong with crazy-artsy people. Well. I take that back. Perhaps it is a trial for those who have to live with us. Just this weekend I stayed in my first Airbnb. Lovely. However, I wrote in my profile that I was visiting Easton, Maryland for a three day painting workshop. My host said she read that I was a painter, she thought to herself, “Humm, an artist… My ex was an artist. Maybe I’ll check ‘No’.” She checked “yes” – although I do wonder what poor Jeannie would have done had she known that I was ALSO a singer. Needless to say, since I was clearly representing my people, I remained on high-alert best behavior throughout the weekend. No moodiness, no kitchen fires, no wet, oily paintbrushes dropped on the carpet, no early morning warming up. I got a good review. Phew.
Anyway, let it be known that the future roommate comes to a reassuring conclusion:
“No odd habits or quirks of yours will bother me. I will have seen much worse from academic kitchen arsonists to human jukeboxes. I think we’ll get along just fine.
Artists. Could be worse. At the very least we’re doing our part to people the world with our low-maintenance, resilient off-spring.