Wednesday, September 11, 2002

The city of Tallahassee seems to be afflicted with a general malaise of sluggishness. It reduces the urgency of work, makes you want to sleep later, and blunts the need for accomplishment. Last year, I thought it was related to moving to a new environs in general, but after a summer spent back north in hectic northern Virginia, I can say that it's definitely unique to this city. With the exception of teaching, which I still attack with verve, all my grandiose plans to read, write, and listen this semester seem less important now that it's time to get to work. I wonder if there's other folks out there who've encountered the same suppression of urge that I've described.

"In one production of the opera, Carmen, at New York's Metropolitan Opera House, real horses were used to draw a coach carrying Enrico Caruso and co-star Maria Jeritza onstage. The bright lights and large audience so startled one of the horses that he 'expressed his stage fright in a highly unsanitary fashion right on center stage'. In a following scene, Caruso was supposed to stab Jeritza, and she was supposed to fall to the stage. But she refused to die, even when stabbed. So Caruso stabbed her again and shouted, 'Die! Fall, will you!' to which Jeritza screamed back, 'I'll die if you find me a clean place!'" - Uncle John's Bathroom Reader

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