I listened to Phantom of the Opera this morning as I did my Friday morning cooking. Big mistake. My obsession who had been asleep, woke up, stretched sinuously, looked at me, and winked. Help me God she is on the prowl again.
I call her Gilda. With thanks to Rita Hayworth. Mostly she sleeps, sometimes for years on end. But when she awakens she makes me miserable...eventually. She passionately personifies the urge to merge. Kicking over the traces is her usual exercise. She has made me very popular in times past. Almost irresistible in fact. She is very persuasive. And demanding. She wants who and what she wants when she wants it. Trouble is, she wants the oddest people and things and then will not let them go. When I let her have her head I end up in trouble. If I give in she leads me into idiotic situations, and when I am up to my ass in a quagmire, she goes back to sleep leaving me to wonder "how did I get here," and to clean up the mess. Damn I hate her...mostly.
Alright back to POTO. And Gerry Butler.
Oh I forgot to say Gilda is filled with boundless energy. POTO is the barely disguised real life story of Andrew Lloyd Webber's mania for Sarah Brightman. The whole thing is obsessive from the first crack of its overwhelming overture to its final plaintive fade out. At least Andrew was able to put his obsession to some good use. He got an opera out of it. Gilda just runs amok creating havoc.
Anyway, for a whole series of reasons Gilda went nuts over Gerry Butler as the phantom. I had never even heard of Gerry Butler before Mark urged me to go see Phantom. I did not go happily. Jesus Christ Superstar had been enough Andrew Lloyd Webber to last me a life time. But I went, and Gilda woke up. I remember stumbling out of the theatre and wondering what the heck had happened to me. I knew it was unhealthy and attempted to put the movie and G.B. out of my mind. And I almost succeeded until Mark's secretary gave him a copy of Phantom. I watched the damn thing day and night for a couple of months. I also looked up G.B. on the internet. Whoa Nellie. I was to quickly learn Gilda was not alone in her obsession. I began to haunt these sites. I also began to buy all of Gerry's movies, t.v. appearances, and commercial appearances. I downloaded vids of him. At the time we had a 56K dial up modem. I tied up the telephone from 8am until 5pm. The hours Mark was not at home.
Mark hated Gerry from the first. He said it was because he liked Michael Crawford better as the Phantom, but I think it was instinctual. He knew I was choosing Gerry over him. He had also never before met Gilda. She'd been asleep for fourteen years. He was totally unnerved by her and rapidly began to despise the object of her affections. He said all of Gerry's movies stank. He was mostly right. He said the only good thing about any of the movies was that Gerry usually got killed in the end. I tried to keep Gilda under wraps when Mark was home. It was not easy. Damn she was determined to have her own way.
She has lots of energy. I was in the beginning stages of my abstinent life style. Just thinking about it really. She took one look at me and said, "We are going to get rid of that lard. I can't function dragging around all that fat." So we started. And I began to lose. Gilda signed us up for a Gerry Butler fan convention in Colorado. "I am going to get a look at him at least. You can come along for the ride." I convinced an unobsessed friend to go with me. Gilda and I began making preparations. Mark was not pleased. But I went blithely on. I hate to imagine how all of this would have turned out if God had not intervened.
I did not tell many people about Gilda and Gerry Butler. I knew it was nuts. But I did, through Grace, confess to my mentor about my overwhelming obsession. Mary is a wise Godly woman, she said,"Bea you are wandering straight into sin." SIN? Naaah, just a little harmless day dreaming. Not hurting anyone. "How about Mark," she said? Oh, Mark...who said Gerry Butler made "his guts creep." What was this obsession doing to Mark...? Gilda dropped off to sleep like she had been pole axed. What the heck was wrong with me? I had been acting like a fruitcake. "I have been acting like a fruitcake I told Mary. I will fix this mess." I called Pam and said let's stay home. She was agreeable. I went to the computer and deleted vids and websites. I gathered up all the movies and took them to the thrift store. When Mark came home I said, "I have been acting like a fruitcake, forgive me." He did.
But, I did never did get rid of the POTO CD. And I listened to it this morning. And Gilda woke up. This is all about energy. My ability to obsess is filled with energy. Like my fat. (See yesterday's post) This is in some way all related. I do not have it all put together yet. But with God's help, I will.
When Gerry's latest movie "The 300" came out Mark said we could go see it if I wanted. I declined but asked why he was so willing. Mark the inveterate history buff said, "I will enjoy the ending."
Take care of yourselves. Love Bea