Sunday, January 08, 2006
The Show
Black box theater. Sold out and shoulder-rubbing room only. We were lucky enough to find three seats together and even more so, in the second row.

Before the show begins, I let myself a moment to indulge in the gloom of it all. Black-brick. Black stage. Black floor and seats. I settle on the black curtains that hang before us and I realize that I don't even need to close my eyes to see what only ever
haunts me in the final moments between dream and wake.

I blink. Breath. Make myself listen to the scattered murmurings of the audience surrounding me. Within moments the stage is just a stage. The curtains, only black.

I see the memory of my former self, sitting just one seat forward, hardly more than a year ago. Rounded and uncomfortable - with life pushing and turning inside me as the concert rose to crescendo. I let myself remember what it was to rest my palms on my drum tight stomach and how my lips curved with each sharp, sliding movement that rolled through me. My own private concert.

The lights dim until we are swallowed in black. Tonight, I am without my concert. We're here to see nine one-act's, one of which stars my aunt the Dancer -a natural to the stage. Ever graceful. Ever confident. We are witness to her acting debut, at fifty.

She's smooth. A success. And, she comes to say hello during intermission. So, what's new? The three of us shrug and joke, what isn't new? It's been months since we've seen her. Her elegant arm reaches to my knee, Well, you're pregnant.

Silence. I look to my mother. Nothing. My sister. Nothing. I was... I finally muster. Dancer-turned-Actress turns red, even in the dark. Her long fingers cover her lips, muffling the rain of sorry, so sorry, I'm so... Stumbling like she's onstage and forgotten her line. She keeps going, bumbling,
I must be thinking of someone else...someone who just told me they were pregnant...I must...

I smile politely. Breath. And look at my nails. Breath. The cuticles are a mess. Breath. Straighten wedding band.
Do not cry.

Finally, the conversation is dragged elsewhere, but I've stopped listening and eventually she slips away. Breath. The lights fade. Breath.

And the show goes on.

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7 Comments:

Blogger Weird said...

You really make "first person" work. By the end of every piece I can barely remember where you said "I".

Weird

Blogger michele said...

Mella,
I was browsing and stopped here because, like myself, you've used this Kerouac quote on your site. I was soon to discover we have more in common-mostly the writing life, and the experience of pregnancy loss. (Which I have been unable to write about) Your courage and honesty have been an anodyne for my own grief.

Thank you so much for sharing this.

And I hope to return often, as I enjoy your gorgeous writing very much.
peace,
Michele

Blogger mreddie said...

Well written - I felt my stomach knot up and even felt uncomfortable in my chair as I read, wanting to do something to bring you some sort of comfort and knowing I could do nothing. And yes, the show must go on. ec

Blogger Neo said...

Mella -You know the funny thing about this post is I was listen to Pink Floyd's "The Wall," before I read this. ;)

Oh the irony.

Let me know when you finish that book. I'll buy a copy. :)

*hugs*

- Neo

Blogger Mella said...

Weird~ Thanks so much. I worry that I write far too much in the first person...it's good to know that it's working at least.

michele~ I'm so glad that you stopped by and left your mark here. I'm so sorry for your loss. So sorry. Words are small and insignificant in comparison to the weight of the loss, I've found, but they have helped me to heal. I hope that you'll find words for yours too, when the time is right.

mreddie Sorry for the uncomfortable-in-your-seat feeling. Good to know it struck the right chord though.

Neo I think I'll have to have you advertise on your uber-blog whenever I finally do get something in print...my sales will soar.

Blogger Neo said...

Mella -LOL, sure. :)

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