I leave Mr. Biggs, and start for the theater, calling home to see if all are OK and get the latest news, a few drops of rain quickly turn into a downpour and I run to find shelter while still talking on my cell. My pant legs are soaked as the wind drives the rain at an angle, I find a parking garage at the intersection of 42nd St and Dyer Pl and stand under the entrance, around me is a group of people doing much the same. I listen to New Age piped in as we watch others scramble or just walk and accept their fate, many are not dressed for this weather. When it lets up I walk down the block to Theater Row and go in hoping my body heat will dry my overcoat a little as I shiver in the temperature change and walk up to my theatre.
Theatre Row is a collection of newly renovated historic theatres in Times Square, New York City including The Acorn; Beckett; Clurman; Kirk; Lion; and Studio Theatres. The theatre is small 9 rows of about 24 seats each so although I’m in the back, it’s a good seat. The back wall is backlit with wood wainscot and will change colors as the scenes change, a open pantry in the back with a small table and two chairs, a pair of framed French doos stage left, a fridge stage right inside a similar frame as on left, a frame with hanging pots gives the illusion of a stove somewhere as well. This will change into a restaurant, a living room and back to a kitchen, during the performance a curtain will run across the stage continuously until stage hands have made the necessary changes, a truly brilliant use of minimal props.
What doesn’t change is the inability of the characters to really communicate as they talk over each others feelings as if they didn’t exist. The piece is tightly acted by a good cast and the underlying grief is broken by flashes of humor to keep the audience from becoming melancholy. In a very real sense the play is about the self absorbed nature of people and the consequences of that absorption. The tragedy is that life reflects this art all too often, and the people we care about the most are the ones we seek to (however unintentionally) destroy or at best dis-regard, when all is said and done, we are, after all, each of us alone.
I stand outside but decide against waiting for the cast, this is not a playbill show so I walk down to 8th Ave and turn left heading for Penn Station. The rain has stopped again, I am still very damp from my earlier soaking. Despite the rain the streets are crowded with people, I guess it always is until the small hours when the predators come out and most places are closed. I’m glad to be going home early for once, and go down the escalator to the LIRR, I walk to the big board showing all trains while the masses swirl around me I see that I’ve got 13 minutes to get my train, I should be home by 11:30.
I sit on the train contemplating my life a little, with all that’s going wrong in the world right now, for me personally, and my family, I can’t help feeling like I’m the luckiest guy on earth. To somehow overcome my station in life and the hand I was dealt, the problems that were thrust upon me at a young age. I’ve managed to do pretty good for myself and have almost become what I am. The man I work for even though he’s rich, is poor in spirit and culturally bankrupt. I may never be part of the upper crust of this world, but like the steam that will rise from the apple pie we will enjoy later, so too do I rise above the crust and float free in this most rich life we have especially today on Thanksgiving, when so many are going hungry.
So today I am thankful for the person I have become and for the many good experiences that I have made for myself in life. I wish all of you my readers the same happiness in what makes you feel alive and free.
I can only pray in the next few years that all the hope we were told to have is somehow brought to fruition, and that I can continue to tell my stories as long as it makes me happy… as I can afford to spend the money that it takes to bring them to you.