“I want to be in the room where it happens.”
I wanted to punch someone, but of course I didn’t.
I wanted to scream, plead, beg the doorman. I didn’t do that either.
Instead, I cried.
Marci bused up from DC, taking a 2am trip and landing in NYC around 6am. She got food and then got in line. She was only in the city for the day, taking a chance that maybe magic would happen. And it did, for her. She got the last matinee ticket released.
Short blonde hair had camped out overnight. Unlike the three guys ahead of her, this was not her job. She was tag teaming with her friend, who came and subbed in around 4pm so blonde hair could go shower and change. Their plan worked. They saw the evening show together.
Holly flew in from California. She landed, stowed her luggage at her hotel, and got in line. She was the only single ticket ahead of me. Her magic struck at 7:05pm; her seat was Orchestra Row J.
Penguins jersey was so kind. She kept offering everyone mints, or suggesting where we could go for food, or where to use the restroom. She had a smile on her face the whole time while nerves clenched at my belly. She and her friend went in just before the two BFAs.
BFA 1 & BFA 2 were the sweetest girls. They were going to school in the city, studying musical theatre. Like me, they had brought homework to do while they waited. Occasionally, throughout the day, they broke out in song. We all wondered why we didn’t just start performing the show for ourselves. The doorman chatted with them a few times. He rushed them to standing room only, just before curtain, the last ones he was able to let in.
For the evening show, 13 spots opened up; I was number 14.
To love something is to open yourself up to the possibility that it will hurt you.
As I strolled in the sculpture garden this morning, the Sun beamed brightly. I took slow measured steps, drinking in lines, angles, colors, textures. I let myself sink into each piece, examining and reveling in such beauties.
Walking through the galleries felt like a pilgrimage, myself penitent and jubilant. So often I smiled, awed, or outright laughed. I lost myself in piece after piece, new love upon new love.
Twice I smiled at gallery monitors, who gave me knowing looks and grins in return. I almost envied them their job.
I’m glad I planned ahead. I’m better now because of this morning, those moments of beauty.
After my near magic turned misery last night, I drank down a bottle of wine in an hour, took a quick shower, and put on my best outfit. It was sexy and flirty, but I was not. Every six steps, I pulled at the bottom of my dress.
I made my way back to the theatre.
Penguin shirt found me. She loved the show, and assured me I would get to see it in the future. BFA 1 & BFA 2 did the same. I was happy for them, as I held in my tears.
I stood near the same spot I had occupied for so many hours. I held my Hamiltome in one hand and a Sharpie in another.
And then the vampires arrived: half a dozen with multiple branded items and little regard for me. Still, I was able to chat with one or two. They didn’t hate me; they just didn’t care.
The doors opened multiple times, with the familiar faces passing by. I was happy to see them, though I never had the heart to open my mouth. It was a two show day. They were tired. I could see it in their faces.
My two favorites left together, hurrying into a waiting car. A vampire tried, and failed, to nab the stars’ signatures. All I could do was watch.
And then, as if to show that love can still exist in the midst of sadness, she rolled down her window, smiled, and waved. I waved back and said, “Thank you.”
That would be enough.
Raise a glass to the beauty of the bitter pill, the almost joy, the near happiness which makes it hurt all the more.
Raise a glass to hope, as small as it may be, for without it why would we even live.
Raise a glass to them who made it, and those who struggle still.
To joy, and the bitter pill.
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