Friday, April 9, 2010

but they ended up out sleeping in a doorway


There's something about being in a show that is profoundly lonely-making.

Maybe because my parents live in Florida and Georgia, respectively. And maybe because, given the nomadic nature of our caravan decade together, we didn't accumulate the kind of "base" of extended family and friends that most people drag to these sorts of things. I'm not complaining. It's hard to expect people you love to give up an hour, a cover fee and a two drink minimum as you hold them captive from a tiny cabaret stage in a Manhattan piano bar. It's just . . . you find yourself surprised by the strange assortment of people who inevitably turn up. Some people you would expect to be there without your having to badger them are not. Others you hardly know are beaming over their martinis in the front row.

I figure if you have five people to count on, you're doing alright. And I have that. So, the rest—the favorite coworker, the tango acquaintances—are gravy. Strange and special gravy.

Walking home through Times Square, abuzz with neon daylight at 10:30pm, I found myself saddened by my own self-sufficiency. Forbidden to go dancing by my (very practical) director and declining cocktail offers in favor of rest before a full 9-5 Friday, I went home on the subway to an empty apartment, made myself a simple single girl supper, snapped the windows shut against the pollen, and went to bed.

Today it is threatening to rain and I am blue, blue, blue. My grey cubby, dismally lit by fluorescent overheads, feels more like a prison cell than usual. The men in my life are quietly—notably—absent. (Dost thou notice a pattern?) I feel closer and more connected to the strangers I sang for last night than most other people in my life.

I'm sure this funk will abate in time for tonight, but right now the minutes are leaden and this workday may never end.

3 comments:

Kathleen said...

Way back when, I was part of a theatre group that did Speed The Plow for an audience of four, or The Glass Menagerie for an audience of three... You can do it. If nothing more, it's something to add on your resume. And I shall always regret not SEEING your show. WHY can't I manage to BE there?

I admire you so much.

bard said...

This piece may be emotionally dismal, but it is still beautifully expressive!

Hannah Miet said...

I agree with your statement about five people. They may be inconsistent people. They may be people I just met while the friend I've known since childhood doesn't show. But five is a good number. It's loving, or at least it's something. It's smiling through cocktails.

I'm talking about poetry readings; you're talking about singing. I wish I was talking about singing. That's soul. Sometimes I think that if I could carry a tune, my heart would just escape through my lifts and the world would fill with it, unable to contain it's flight. Sometimes, because I can't sing, I feel trapped.

I love cabaret and sometimes haunt little places in the Times Square area. I wonder if it's possible I've run into you.

I have to tell you, you've comforted me with the knowledge that I'm not the only girl in New York saddened by my own self-sufficiency. A grey self sufficiency, like the walls of my box where I endlessly edit the grammar of strangers, and sometimes type to strangers too, when I read something that resonates so loudly it sounds like the rattling arrival of a train in my station.

Thank you for existing.