Sunday, November 26, 2006

Pleh

I'm beyond tired, beyond spent, beyond knackered even. I am what my friends back in England would say: utterly shattered.

My internal censor just punched out once she found out I couldn't afford overtime, so here I sit, brain (such as it is) to fingers to keypad to screen and out into the ether. Maybe some of the invisible people that live in my computer will leave me comments. I like comments.

See? I've lost it. I'm exhausted. Three days spent walking more miles than I care to imagine on concrete in Victorian-inspired boots; projecting past hundreds of customers, booths, parades, other actors; on my feet with my brain engaged and going at 110% for nine hours a day for three days running. And all done wearing a corset and a Yarmouth accent. Well, there were clothes on over the corset. Obviously.

Today was the day of melt-downs. Of sick children (our young David Copperfield was feeling poorly), people with short fuses and actors with failing voices and aching feet. This third day of the three day opening weekend is always hard, but from a customer and theatrical standpoint came off without a hitch. Personally, I'm barely alive and glad to be back to my poor teething toddler and messy home.

I spent the last few days on my perambulations looking for a friend who I've known for 20 years and is one of the best stage managers I've ever worked with. I finally found him today, not doing his usual job. He hugged me and took off his hat, to show me his bald head with whisps of hair. My smile faded slowly as I realized this was not a fashion choice.

"I have lung cancer. This is from the radiation and chemo," he told me.

I was shocked. His spirit is strong and he says he is doing really well. But I came home tonight and melted into Mojo's arms and cried the tears I could not shed in front of my friend. My friend, who has managed more stages that I have either danced or acted on than I can begin to count; who shares my birthday (though he is ten years older); who has always provided me a place of safety to retreat to in the crazed world of the theatre and the insane world in general; the friend who many years ago wanted to be something more and I kept him at bay; the friend who remained a constant and true friend.

I can't write anymore or make heads or tails of the world right now.

2 comments:

boogiemum said...

I'm sorry about your friend. With you already going through difficult times, I am sure this is no help. I wish him long term recovery.

I also am sorry you have been so tired lately. May you have a week full of rest and quiet pleasure with Arabis...

Artemis Rich said...

Ah, how blissful that sounds, a week of "rest and quiet pleasure with Arabis."

Thank you, my dear.