October 24th, 2008: I’ve given it some serious thought, and I think I’m going to change the title of the play to Kurt Vonnegut in Khartoum. It’s definitely less Jewish, so I lose that theme, but a lot of people probably already think Vonnegut is Jewish, despite his inspirational essay, Thank God I’m not Jewish.
And if Philip Roth doesn’t come to see the play, it will feel like a slight and depress me, whereas Vonnegut at least has a reason for not coming. Maybe James Salter in Khartoum? He could sign my copy of Light Years, and I’ll bet he’d have a drink with me, whereas I feel like Phil would probably want to head right back to Connecticut after the show. What if Philip Roth hated it? I don’t think Alanis Morisette ever recovered from Joni Mitchell saying she sucked. A good cautionary tale, though a wildly inappropriate comparison. Maybe Mr. Roth will invite me back to Connecticut with him. Maybe he’ll say, “I’ve always wanted to co-author something, David. Would you like to write a novel together?” I wonder if we’ll go out for breakfast or maybe just have something light on the patio when we get up? Spend the morning kicking around ideas, share regrets, anecdotes about Cheever and Yiddish speaking grandmothers.
October 25th, 2008 – 10:30 AM: My director, Rubin, doesn’t want me to have all the guys get naked in Scene 7. But I don’t think his objections are dramaturgical. I think he has issues with male nudity. He’s agreed to meet with me naked to discuss. I think a steam in the LAByrinth Theater conference room should allay his fears. I believe he went to boarding school, so his providential attitudes are a bit surprising.
October 25th, 2008 – 3:20 PM: Rubin brought his agent to our naked meeting, which I consider a bit of a betrayal. It was supposed to be something between two artists, two collaborators, and instead it became a rather formal business transaction.
After a rather drawn out negotiation, Rubin has agreed to stage the naked scene. He has learned that nude conversation and gratuitous sexuality, though related, are not the same thing, as has his agent. Not to mention the new office intern who accidentally entered the room looking for highlighters.