Sandra Tsing Loh

My wish for you, somewhere in this life, is that you too could experience the ease, the euphoria, the sudden brightening of air, the kicking of the perfect soccer ball into the perfect goal on the most perfect ever blue sky day one gets from performing a 75-minute solo show you’ve been honing over 10 years in brutal circumstances with moldering Blimpie’s sandwiches on many different lipstick-stained counters in many different cities (featuring dressing-room toilets where you have to continuously jiggle the handle, spongey-floored showers you’re afraid to step into even though you truly need that rinse, and of course let us not forget critics that hate you, the Desperate Buttons, the rainy Manhattan, the filthy Broadway deli, the three-headed baby, the absolute wrenching lonely bombed-out Dresden feeling, etc.,etc./blah blah blah)–anyway, I wish you the euphoria of doing that blood-soaked, sweat-wrenched 75 minutes for 99 living, breathing, fresh-faced, cheerfully $28-a-ticket-paying Los Angeles human beings who are hanging onto your every word and movement and gesture because all at once, in spite of corporate America’s Harvard-trained marketing executives’ best efforts, and their 1,000 digital fiber cables full of perfect shit, the never ending shit, the absolutely endless shit, anyway, imagine that the heavy curtains of late-20th-century life and the resolute dreck and the never ending shittiness that hammers at us from every angle–in our homes, at our work, in our cars, everywhere! everywhere! everywhere! “Tuesday Is Comedy Night!” “Wednesday Is Handsome Cleft-Chinned Doctor’s Night!” “Thursday Is Funny Gizmo Night–Bring the Kids! Sponsored by Burger King! 10% Off From Blockbuster! Half-Off on Special Digital Photo-Shots of Monica Lewinsky’s Labia!”–anyway, what I’m saying is, imagine, for a moment, that all this spirit-heavying, soul-killing morassy goo that is the dreck and the poop and the soul-killing emptiness, imagine that it suddenly parts, for just a second, with a certain giddy arbitrariness, for no earthly logical reason, against all odds, against all the chilling/vinegar/silicone/plutonium/arid-as-a-witches-teat wisdom of market-testing, against all sensible demographic predictions, indeed, you’d think it was a perfect impossibility at this late hour in the 20th century, at this extremely late hour, at this laughably late hour, we’re talking Fellini movie, we’re talking blind guy with Bozo-the-Clown Hair, he’s playing the accordion, on an achingly beautiful deserted beach, with its crazy sorrowful flapping tents, and its endless white sands, those sands that mark the utter end of our 20th century, and it’s so beautiful, because we as a human race have been so utterly flawed and so utterly wretched and so utterly disappointing in every way, surfing the Net for our porn late at night, although perhaps that’s your ideal, it’s certainly not mine, not due to any high-handed moral thing, it’s just that I can’t really get my Web stuff to work on my 1995 “IBM-Clone” computer made by these hostile Koreans on Ventura Boulevard (long story), and the truth is I’m more stuck on late-night two-deck Solitaire anyway, 40 Thieves (why are there 40?), anyway I digress, I’m off the subject, let me beg you once again, and finally, and utterly, to imagine one small roomful of humans, together, at an impossibly remote outpost, let’s say for instance a theater with a type of, you know, laughably Luddite construction, with wooden flats and rope-pulleys and quivery continually overheating lights with plastic gels, imagine yourself looking out at these 99 castaways who’ve been nuts enough but beautiful enough, for whatever Weekday Date Night reasons, to drive somewhere because they want just that one chance of seeing that perfect white soccer ball hanging in the perfect blue air on that perfect summer day in that magical pulsating space which explodes suddenly into a bright, perfect, forever-gone spark at that moment when we take that one quick sharp breath, all of us in the dark, together. Not that that’s exactly what happened tonight. No. It was Thursday, you know, my first trip back to the Tiffany in Hollywood, emerging from my three nights off, a tad rusty, joints clanking, a vampire emerging creaky-hipped, spitting, saying, “Feh! My knees!” out of a dank moldy coffin. It wasn’t a wildly enthusiastic audience. Full house, and we thank God for that, because of the good reviews, but a tad professional, a tad respectful and a tad I thought scared, scared by my officially Huge Charisma. I was also scared. And stiff. But there were moments–there were moments when we soaked, together, in our humanity. And all I could do was say nod nod, wink wink, come hither … I have a sandwich. You know. I have a sandwich.