Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Greg Pierotti

Journal Entry: Greg Pierotti

The altitude makes me thirsty, and I was totally parched as I came into Laramie on 287, so I drove passed Gardiner to go to the Kum and Go – yes, that is what it’s called…the Kum and Go. The decision was made so automatically, and it struck me. In the middle of a town like Laramie that should have been completely off my radar for my entire life, I know automatically and without question that there is a convenience store five blocks up on the right where I could get some water. It was the kind of unconcerned decision making I do when I am at home. This town has become part of me in the same complicated way that home is. The Kum and Go was there two blocks past the ranger motel – which has beautiful new neon signage.

It seemed like late night because the sky was completely obscured with a steep bank of blue black clouds. Over the Snowy mountains to the North and West, there was a little gap of bright light - tornado yellow and streaked with Verga. The freezing wind was tearing small branches from the trees and tossing them into the road. I was struck, just as I was the first time I came here, by the extremity of the environment. The land and sky here are massive full of power and threat. They seem to dwarf all my concepts about how Laramie should have changed. I feel intimidated in the face of this work. It’s hard, alone in the middle of the night, to get a perspective on it. Here I am again, eight years later, to ask these people living in this fierce vastness, how they have changed!

I’m at Beth’s now. I have arrived in Laramie in the wake of the other company members who left on the 15th. It is strange to be here alone. I was here one other time alone, for the interview with Detective sergeant Rob Debree after Aaron’s death penalty trial (Rob hadn’t been able to speak with us till the trials were over). But everything was such a hurry then, and I think I was only here for one day. This time I am here for 5 days with none of my collaborators. My friend, Beth Loffreda, whose place I am staying at, is gone too. She left for Caspar not long after I arrived. So this is new, this alone-ness. In the company of friends, I am talkative and love to laugh and joke. Without that to distract me, I am left feeling incredibly sad and shaky. Sad about Matthew and Aaron and Russell, sad as I read the other company members entries, sad about how time just keeps going for all of us. It doesn’t help the intensity of my mood that a branch that screeches shrilly against the window of the guest bedroom. It sounds like Freddy Kruger coming to get me.

I can hear a train passing.

I head back out again in the morning to see Rulon Stacy at the Poudre Valley Health Center in Fort Collins. This is a man who I have spent only a few hours with in my whole life; a Mormon, who once said to me that Homosexuality is not a lifestyle that he agrees with. Yet he has lived in my mind over the years as one of the purest examples of how courageous and tender hearted human beings can be in the face of great pain. Thinking of him, I feel lucky to have been a part of this.

More trains.


mmegill said...

You are not alone. We read your blog, and we are doing your play, and Laramie speaks today as it did 10 years ago, to a new generation of people who understand. Keep writing and keep sharing and keep helping everyone to understand.

tristen said...

I am glad to see that your going to be doing another part to this, but there is so much that you left out from before. There is so much more to this case then everyone knows and I sure hope that you get all the information in it this time. Thanks for doing this..

greg said...

Hi tristen,

seems like you are here in Laramie. I leave tomorrow but could meet in the morning on the 21st at coal creek down town. You available. I would like to here from you what else you feel needs to be talked about.

Let me know here.

Simone said...

Hi Greg!

Our school is putting on the Laramie Project this year. We are all keeping up with this Blog. I, being a cast memeber, cannot wait to meet you when you come to our school the weekend of October 3rd. This play has deeply moved me. Whenever people call things at school that are stupid 'gay'... I can't help but to tell them not to. I have to for Matthew's sake. For every person whos style of life is a hard road. It shouldn't be.

I just had to thank you for sharing this, for even going and finding out what happened that night for the world, and for showing people that they should not forget this tragedy, yet learn from it. Thank you so much!

greg said...

Hi Simone,

I am really looking forward to meeting you in October as well. Thanks so much for doing the play. I am happy to hear it has been a meaningful experience so far.

MJ said...

We are doing the Laramie Project right now at my college and the cast and crew are all reading this blog. Last night after the performance, a woman came up to me, hugged me, and just said, "Thank you." She didn't have to say anything else. I understood. It's the same thing I felt when I first saw it.

That's why you're doing this. You've helped so many of us. I just wanted to say thank you for writing the play and for continuing on with your work. We all want to know what has happened in Laramie. It's a continuing story...

Chris said...

Hi Greg, I, like many others are taking part in sharing the Laramie Project with my community. I'm a senior in high school, and I am acting as, well, you. This is a real honor to actually "contact" you, and, I was wondering if it would be possible to hear your voice and view your mannerisms. The reason why I am acting so intrusive is that, I really want to do this right! Whenever I see a name in this play, I can only question what they are like in real life, and I want to be able to come as close as I can to "become" that character. Thank you if you find a chance to read this, and I hope to hear from you!

Peace good sir,

Anonymous said...

Hi Mr. Pierotti, my name's Roberto and I, like many others whom have posted before, will also be playing you in our upcoming production of the Laramie Project. I do not know anything about you except for your spoken words in my script, and honestly, that is all I need to know. We may be different people you and I but I will do my best to say it correct, I promise you that.

Olivia said...

Hey Greg,

Like many of the other posts listed up on your blog, my school is also putting on The Laramie Project this coming March. One of my friends, Mark, is playing you. I really enjoy reading your blog, I really love the style of your writing. I aspire to someday being someone, not necessarily a writer, that can change the world like you and the rest of the Tectonic Theatre Project.

If you are ever interested in seeing ANOTHER version of the show, just let me know, I would be happy to give you the information.

Thanks for listening =]

Alley said...

Hello Mr. Pierotti,
I know you may get a lot of these but my high school, G. Ray Bodley is doing the Laramie Project for our Fall play. In my understanding we are only the second school to do it. Yesterday was the 14th anniversary of Matthew's death and a lot of us cried yesterday during drama practice. I know that you are probably busy but I'm inviting you and all of the Tectonic Theater Project to our play. It is on Oct. 26th at 7:30 and Oct 27th at 7:30. We live in Fulton New york. And I know that all of us in Quirks players, which is our drama group, are proud of how strong you and the others were to do all these interviews. I play Catherine Connolly and The Baptist Minister's wife. I hope you can make it. Thank you for your time.
Alexandra LaRock