Every thought and curiosity; every confession and self reflection; every crush and heartbreak; every daydream and plan-for and fantasy; every hate and shame. From whimsy to grand scheme, all had been transcribed meticulously into a journal. It held the culmination of the last year. It lived in a carryall during the day and beside the bed at night. And then just like that -in a snap, it got left behind on a bus. She would never see it again. She felt raw, like she had been folded inside-out. She cried for days. This was the most mortifying thing she could’ve imagined.
Amber’s phone is plugged into an outlet on the bathroom counter while she showers. There had been a text exchange with one of her best girlfriend’s, Nicky, about an upcoming trip she was taking to New York. Nicky knows Amber is going to see a guy she was once in a very serious relationship with. This meeting in NYC between Amber and the ex is the closure type. The whole romance flowed so organically, it ran its course without either having to formally end things. They would both be in the city coincidentally. The dinner was politesse, being framed as the last time they would see one another.
Amber goes into the bedroom to dress, while her current boyfriend goes into the bathroom for his turn in the shower. The rest of the evening and into the next day go as usual, like all their prior ones together. When she goes home eventually, her phone rings within minutes of making it inside her front door. He timed it. Her boyfriend had read her phone while he was in the bathroom.
He was so full of vile and hurt; misunderstanding and false assumptions. He gave her no opportunity to clarify the matter before he hung up. The weekend was the last they saw one another. They never spoke again.
Curtains are drawn to either side
The stage lights glare down
They are the barricade between her and the attendees
She cannot see faces
all those watching and waiting
She is under their heat, but will not melt
Anticipation from the audience funneled to her
to witness her every move
She is blinded by the same thing illuminating
This tapers her nerves
as if she is performing for herself then
They’ve come along to be carried along
by character’s roles; all the voices she gives
The audience does not speak to any labor or tension in the plot
She reads lines as metaphor, knowing this is what they came for
to read between the lines.
to feel in on it and connected; yet they cannot engage
Staying seated in an assigned space
In the back row
She could not see you even if she wanted to -as if she would be looking out for you
You showed up to sit in silence
to never make yourself known
She does the dancing around to not settle down
or lay down
Nothing is lain down clearly
This play is to play it where it lays
This performance that had no practice
What could come out perfect on the first take?
It turned out to be a drama
You have only been watching, giving nothing away
Noting any mistakes
You came only for the dance
You do not clap or break
She will sing to end on a high note
for the love of the show, and for herself
It gives breathing room to the room
It gives the dialogue some space
The audience she held in high esteem, she never needed them to create
She will not perform for them again, as they never said ‘Brava’ at the end
The curtains close; the show is over
She comes out for one final bow