By: Ann Brown
Have you heard The Word?
May I stand at your front door and talk to you for a few minutes about The Word?
Hello? Wait. Come back. Fuck.
You see, I have been to the Promised Land: Sag Harbor.
I have surrendered my body to the smooth – one might whisper, tho not unkindly, “well-worn” – velvet womb of seat #3, left mezzanine.
Once there, Egypt is behind me forever. I will never again dwell in the land of the stranger.
Because David Mamet spoke to me. To me. Through the mouths of the cast of the Bay Street Theater’s production of “Romance”. He spoke The Word.
And the word was fuck.
I am still in thrall.
Regular readers of this blog know about my relationship with the word. It is the beloved child I determinedly strap into the stroller and parade through my ‘hood, knowing full well that the child is not pleasant for others to behold. To me, of course, the word, this child, is beautiful, perfect, a reassurance that the issue of my tissue will live yet for another generation, but I am not unaware of the looks we get outside our home. The wide-eyed anticipatory smile that – once the child’s face is revealed – tries, unsuccessfully, to mask a wince, disappointment, judgment. Yeah, I see you.
Not so in seat #3. Not so. Mamet’s play is punctuated with, propelled by, and validated through what I can only call the most awesome, kickass word EVER.
Oh, my darling “fuck”, how I have missed hearing you in public. I will never leave you again.
“Fuck” is the greatest all-purpose word of all times. It could be the entirety of Esperanto, leaving only the tiniest of vernacular carbon footprints on our planet. Unlike “drats” or “shoot”, which – let’s just be truthful – run the descriptive gamut from A to B, the word “fuck” can convey appreciation of a finely chiseled naked body (“fuuuck”), totally cherry cylinder, spark plugs, valves and pistons (“fuuuuuuck”) or the perfect bagel (“fuuhhhhhhk”).
And then there is the “fuuuock” barely whispered to oneself when you are counting on a quickie with your husband and you find that he’s lit candles and showered and brushed his teeth and there’s just no way you are getting out of the bedroom before “Project Runway” starts.
At the risk of Mamet blasphemy, however, I have to mention that I find the word far more powerful when said not in anger. Here’s what I know. Sh’ma, David:
Anger is best expressed in repressed, staccato, high-falutin’ language of subtle character assassination that alludes to disappointment in the size of a partner’s penis. I’m just saying, in case you are open to suggestion.
Still, I owe Mamet – and the fucking awesome cast and artistic staff of the Bay Street Theater – a debt of gratitude. They reminded me that when, inevitably, some people are offended by your truth and walk out on you, or demand their money back after spending time with you, it only means that you are totally superior to them and they are probably the kind of people who still say shit like, ” Look at that bling”, but not ironically. At least, that’s what I got from the play. Thank you, David Mamet.
I am considering getting a “WWMD” bracelet. Because I know what he would do. He would say, “fuck”.
Maybe an entire play consisting ONLY of the word “fuck”. OMG, could you imagine?
Dear Murphy Davis of Bay Street Theater,
Please call me. I have a killer idea to pitch to you.
Hunh. He put me on hold.