Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Beowulf Man! The Musical. Act Two.

The curtain rises. Beowulf and his trusty band have successfully removed the malfunctioning washer-dryer unit from my apartment and are refreshing themselves with lemonade from concentrate. As Beowulf and I communicate in my bastardized amalgamation of English and German and his fifth century lingua franca, I reflect upon the fact that despite having a landlord, it still takes a witch, a spell gone awry, and a hero and his men frozen in time to remove an unwieldy appliance down the cramped back stairwell of my now (even more) overcrowded apartment. I try to explain my gratitude to Beowulf as he picks some unfamiliar lemon pulp off his tongue.

Me: How can I repay you and your men for removing the broken washer-dryer unit for my apartment and placing it on the cement slab that is my back yard?

Beowulf: Where am I? Can you help me get home?

And thus the second act begins in earnest. (Where is MC,GB in all of this? MC,GB does not like strangers and is recuperating from the shock of so many sudden house guests by hiding under my futon.)

As I wrack my brains trying to remember everything I learned about time travel from traveling with the Doctor, Beowulf and his men produce general hilarity as they sing and dance and flail their massive jazz hands while recounting the trials and tribulations of being transported out of one's own time, frozen in ice, and dropped from an airplane onto a North Oakland cement slab. For my part, I find I constantly have to reinvent language to explain the contrivances of twenty-first century American life. For example, the microwave becomes the "cooking box," whereas the toaster oven and space heater become, "Don't touch that! You could burn the house down." We really get some good laughs when I take the men to Target (Tar-jay, I explain) for some new clothes and then to Super Cuts for haircuts and beard trims. Anyone staying indefinitely at my apartment is going to need at least a part time job if they want to eat like a warrior. One of the group, Hondscio, I think, seems a little lewd and grabby with the buxom stylist but I'm pretty sure he's going to get it from Grendel once the he gets back to the fifth century, so I let his chauvinistic behavior slide for now. Also, I am pretty sure the men are feeling restless without any trolls to kill. And even more also, there is something kind of sad about watching all these long-haired berserkers lose their locks in order to get jobs at Jamba Juice.

At this point, Beowulf and his men break away from the comic stance taken so far and deliver a poignant and heartfelt plea to the audience for understanding of their plight.

Hondscio: Please don't tell me not grab that tit!

Beowulf: But we're in a different time! We're living it!

The company: We want our old clothes back! We want out old lives back!

Me: (suddenly dire) I waaaaa-aant my hoooou-se back!!

The second act ends with a tete-a-tete between Beowulf and myself. By this time we have become pretty close as I shepherd him through twenty-first century life. There have even been hints at romance. Apparently, a witch, a spell gone awry, and a hero and his men frozen in time is also what it takes to get me a boyfriend. We share a sweet kiss with the promise of more to light-hearted music. Then curtain. Foreboding music. Intermission.

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