Monday, June 20, 2005

let her see it

Know that I was happy.

Know that I made pasta and peach cobbler and ate strawberries.

Know that I wrote. I kicked the power chord of my computer out accidentally a few times from the loose outlet beneath the desk, but that was all right. I saved it. It reminded me of a story I had forgotten, almost lost. When I played Amaryllis in The Music Man, they built an entire piano for me, a prop out of wood. I kept banging on the real one, by accident, interrupting lines. So they build the wood one so I would be silent. I was eight. In rehearsal, I sat at the fake wood piano and put my feet on the pedals, like my piano teacher had taught me to do.

Amaryllis, the director yelled. No one called me by my name, then or ever. I was Alice, Dorothy. Don’t put your feet on the pedals. You’ll break them.

Know that I sat in the courtyard, ran my fingers through my hair.

Know that I took a bath, let the light from the window break over my body.

Know back, then, eight years old at the Renaissance Theatre for the first time--we had practiced at a church--I stood alone in the center of the stage, closed off to the audience by a thick curtain I was warned against--chains in the bottom; she had broken her leg as a young girl. One of the stage hands called to the other, let her see it. They pulled back the curtain. The audience swam up to me, two thousand red velvet seats, empty, waiting to be filled, the balconies, the lights. Spun in a circle, I knew I was home.

Know that I was happy, and thought of you, and was happy, and wanted you, and was home.