Wicked is structured like a queer 1950s Rodgers and Hammerstein musical. It follows many narratological and musical conventions of the “golden age musical” but places two women as the central couple. Like the heterosexual couples of mid-twentieth-century musicals, Glinda and Elphaba begin as enemies and competitors, as opposites in voice and temperament. Constructed as a butch- femme couple, they eventually merge vocally through the show’s numerous duets. By the end, they express their love for one another and promise eternal commitment in “For Good,” as they sing, “Who can say if I’ve been changed for the better? Because I knew you, I have been changed for good.” In this duet, they cross voice parts: Glinda sings alto, Elphaba sings soprano, and they finish the song together on middle C. Wicked’s very project is double divadom.
If the mean people in our lives were crappy 100% of the time, it would be easy to leave them. We would shrink from becoming friends with them or jump aboard the nope rocket in the early stages of trouble, and we would feel only relief when they are gone from our lives.
The problem is that very few people are evil all the time. They don’t wear villain costumes purchased at ForeverEvil. They don’t laugh maniacally and stroke their evil goatees while monologuing about their evil plans. They appear in our lives as People-Who-Would-Be-Awesome-Except-For-That-One-Glaring-Problem. They have potential to be awesome, and sometimes they are awesome, and they make us feel awesome, so we relax and let out that breath we’ve been holding in, and then BAM! They show their mean side, and we do a ton of mental work trying to reconcile the mean stuff with the awesome stuff.
Breaking up brings relief, as you lose the constant mental labor of managing the relationship AND the stress of being constantly disappointed and hurt, but it also brings grief. Shitty people who forget your birthday and give little backhanded compliments and gossip about your secrets sometimes give really good hugs, or presents, or are your favorite people to get drunk and watch figure-skating with, or were the sole witness to an important time in your life. The good times were real.
I cannot express how much of a lightbulb moment it was when I realized people did not have to be unilaterally awful in order for you not to want to be in a relationship with them
“At the height of his cocaine addiction, David Bowie weighed only 95 pounds, hardly a healthy weight for 5’11”. He later said that he spent most of the mid-Seventies trying to perfect telekinesis and trying to keep Jimmy Page and witches from stealing his soul.”
trying to keep Jimmy Page and witches from stealing his soul