uma reads this blog, and it's in her favorite color, and i know she'll know this is here. as i think about her, i hold in my mind the time i fell in love with uma, when we first met, doing a play together, five years ago at the evidence room, called "pentecost".
we all fell in love, the whole crazy cast. after doing a torturously difficult (but O, how satisfying!) three hour long play, we still hadn't had enough of each other. every single night we would all stay until 3 in the morning, drinking bourbon and dancing to blaringly loud old rock, or our favorite: some damn good gospel.
when the play was closing, we were broken hearted to say goodbye, and i wrote the whole cast a love letter. i put it here, so that i can remember the intense love we all felt, feel, for each other, and right now, especially uma. i hold her in my mind, dancing in a circle with the girls from the cast, loving in our frenzied way, the way no other love in the world feels: love for our fellow artists and beautiful comrades of the stage.
"It’s gotten so I almost feel like I’m cheating. On the rest of my life. With this play. The tender feelings I have for it. The goofy smile that creeps over my face when I happen to think of it. How I know that if I can just make it through to 7pm, my bad day will become just a funny story to tell.
That dreamy flush of power that comes from falling in love. As one of the women said last week: falling in love is my favorite thing to do. Hallelujah.
I can’t believe I’ve ever lived without it. Where’s it been all my life? What’s a nice theatre like you doing in a neighborhood like this?
When you’re with a new love, the first few months of the relationship are entirely the “best of” months. When the “best of me” meets the “best of you”. And like a greatest hits compilation album, there’s something for everyone.
After a particularly late night I come home, and find my boyfriend in my bed, to surprise me. “You’re home late.” And he’s right. What can I say but the truth? “I’ve been partying in the lobby all night?” I feel a creeping sense of guilt as though I should have known better. I chastise myself just to keep the karma clean, then I fall peacefully asleep next to him.
We giggle and flirt, I and the play. It’s harmless mostly. Our newer, more luscious, personas get a night on the town, free of the restraints of the past.
The friends from the rest of my life try to understand. But when I try to slip enchanting little tidbits of, say, “what happened last night at the end of Act One,” into the conversation? My friend glazes over at the eyes. I can’t tell if she’s just not interested, or maybe, just maybe, she’s conflicted with envy. Feeling suspicious of my loyalties.
“You party every night? Huh.”
The thing I have to face now is that, the glorious love affair I’m having with you, oh Pentecost, may be just Summer Love, like in Grease? I’m afraid that even though right now it’s feels like it’ll last forever, in two years you won’t even remember my name. And when we break up, two days before I have to back to school? I’ll have no one to comfort me but my old friends whom I’ve outgrown over the summer vacation. Who will never understand just what love I’ve known.
I’m thinking about making a Break-Up Tape for myself. Like when your lover leaves you, and in torment, you make an “all the songs we used to share” tape, to let them know just how much they hurt you. I’m thinking if I make my own tape in advance, then just the thrill of the songs will be strong enough to tear the pain right out of me.
I’ll think back on all the things we used to share. All the stories we told, the food we ate, all the pickles and vodka. Birthdays we’ve had together. Dancing and drinking, 3 am confessionals, trips being wishfully planned.
It’ll seem like another life already. Like a marvelous dream. Will I ever feel this way again?
I think I’ll always carry a bit of a torch, and in time, it’ll slow to a flame, and finally an ember. But that place in my heart will now always feel spoken for.
And maybe someday, years from now, I’ll dig out that break-up tape, close my eyes, and think of you."
loving you, lovely uma.