So…every so often, I get a rush of enthusiasm for writing and I don’t have my computer nearby (and I always type faster than I write, and I have a lot to get out). So I write it down on my phone. Sometimes it’s a story idea, but the ones I’ll share on my blog are opinion / essay / experience type things. Sometimes, depending on how long ago it was written, I’ll offer my opinion now, to compare with my mindset when I wrote the short piece. These are “Notes” – enjoy.
(Written on May 4th, that night, directly after, and May 5th 2016, the morning after:)
I just saw Hamilton. The musical. I wrote a bit about it in my book, Letters And Answers (which should be ready in hopefully less than two years), in my letter to writers, but I literally…I just…I just saw it. It was amazing. I’ll get straight to the point(s).
Leslie Odom Jr. He is fantastic. He is so raw, and deep, and he is symbolism for me. The British. Doing what you honestly believe is right, and you’re so adamant about it because you really, honestly, believe what you’re doing is right…and you die. Or your brother dies. Or mother, in an attack. Or you’re the young man waving the white flag. So many have died, and they won, and for a good cause, but…so many have died. Death isn’t fun, it’s not something you can just skim over. Remember that one line? That Hamilton had to win the war to meet his son? He’s one guy. I mean, we love him, but he’s one guy. Imagine…a few decades after the war, you’re sitting alone in your bedroom. Your dad died. A few decades ago. You have a better life now, of course, but to pay for one man’s (and by one man we mean George, King George) mistakes with his life…if only you could’ve been there. So I guess my point is that there could’ve been a dad on the other side of the war too. Who thought he just had to get home, but…didn’t. Love doesn’t discriminate between sinners and saints. Thank you, Leslie. Thank you for teaching us that Burr, and the British, and Mariah Reynolds..they’re all human. They’re all real, and forgivable. It wasn’t just you, but I heard it in your voice. It’s this divide, today, that causes Trump supporters to lose friends. We don’t understand the fear, and the hope, that goes into supporting a man like that. It’s time we understand. Love doesn’t discriminate, between the sinners and the saints. I swear, they will be playing that song at my funeral. I loved it. I felt it.
Lin-Manuel Miranda. I want to hang out with the guy. Everyone does, of course. But I’m serious. How often do you find someone that nice, who has that brilliant a mind and caring and thoughtful a soul? I met him. I talked to him. It was a short conversation, but long enough. I hugged him too. I don’t understand. How he came to be. That amazing, fiery gold soul, great heart. How. Someone tell me how. I need to know. I know I’m just a fan. And I know that so many people have shared a similar moment with him. But…I am special. Strangely. Wonderfully. Darkly. I will sacrifice so much for so many others. And you’ll all know what I’m talking about, one day. I will hang out with Lin one day. Because he knows. He saw the special. And yes, we didn’t have to pay because it was a gift. But no, I’m not…just a normal rich person looking for a photo of a famous person to boost popularity or business of whatever. I…am cosmic. I am cosmic. I am a middle class white cis-sex agender she/her-pronoun human who uses a wheelchair and loves and cares about everyone and who met Lin-Manuel Miranda, the beautiful soul. I “didn’t have words right” when I was with him, so he may have gotten confused when I began to tell him about the spirits helping the actors dance. What I mean, Lin, was that they felt their story being told. Washington’s charisma was perfectly inherited by Christopher Jackson. Angelica definitely appreciated the feminist touch, I’m sure of it. Aaron Burr felt safe, felt like a good person again, in Leslie’s hands. And Rory O Malley? He was no Jonathan Groff, but that didn’t even matter, I bet King George was dancing. They felt their story being told. And they loved it. Art connects the story and the storyteller in ways…unimaginable. So that’s what I was trying to say, Lin-Manuel Miranda.
And you know what was amazing about the whole experience? Lin-Manuel Miranda. (They were all amazing; you’ll see where I’m going in a second.) He was right there. Right fucking there. A man who I had watched YouTube videos of, a man whose voice I’d been listening to for months in preparation, along with other voices, he was right fucking there. Do you get what I mean? His body, his soul, his mind, he was less than a 100 feet away. And Hamilton the musical was like everything you expect in a positive way times 1000000 times infinity.
The Founding Fathers (and Uncle, Burr, who could’ve made it but just wasn’t in the room where it happens) were stupid. I mean, they were all genius. But they were stupid. They were stupid because they were all genius, and they all contributed good to the U.S and society and the world, but they couldn’t see that and all they could do was keep arguing and hate each other.
The U.S…there are a lot of problems with the U.S. Dystopian, almost. It is not my favorite country by the standard of unbiased kindness. There are a lot of idiots in charge. But let’s continue with the spirit of the Founders; Alexander Hamilton, and fix these problems and then rap about it. Write like you’re running out of time, free those who used to be in bondage from the bondage of a death scare from the authorities, let immigrants get the job done. And finally…I am an absolute pacifist who does not support the death penalty…love does not discriminate between the sinners and the saints.
Bless you all.
What was I trying to do there? Reach some profound conclusion? Well, I didn’t. The conclusion I made was forced and tacky.
But I do love that song so much. Wait For It. My father and I were listening to the soundtrack in the car a few days ago, because it’s so good that even after you see the show you have to listen to the soundtrack, of course, and I said to my dad, “You know what’s weird?” and he didn’t even have time to respond, I told him what I thought was weird, I said, “We met him,” gesturing at the song name on the display screen in the car. I was thinking of both the writer and the singer. That’s so weird! We met Lin-Manuel Miranda and Leslie Odom Jr! How weird is that? Weird!
We met, performer-wise, Alexander Hamilton, Aaron Burr, Angelica Schuyler for a brief hello, George Washington, and Jefferson/Lafayette. George Washington is apparently obsessed with a show called “West Wing,” and for good reason, according to his kind explanation of the content of the show. He was so kind and gentle for such a large presence on the stage. Lafayette was much quieter, more mild, but possibly just charismatic inside, and way less french offstage. I told Aaron Burr he had a beautiful voice. I could have told him so much more, but you know those celebrities, we’re just strangers to them, and they don’t have no time after hello. He seemed earnestly thankful.
I was surprised by how relaxed, and human, and right there Lin-Manuel Miranda was. He just…walked out. And said hello. And shook hands with my father. And hugged me (I already said that, I know).
I’ve said this before. But honestly. He’s the writer of the soundtrack that everyone listens to, and for a very good reason – and I got to hug him. He was right there. He was right there. He’s been shown on TV, written about, and I met him.
I will remember those moments until I die. And I’m pretty sure I’ll remember them after, too.