December 30, 2008

Present, Past and Future

Last night my folks, Matt and Rachel, her mom and I went to see the new production of West Side Story at DC's National Theatre. Climbing to the third floor balcony I realized that our seats were nosebleeds. As I stepped into the theater we had a direct view of the ceiling and looked down on the lights. As this was happening I remembered a dream from a few nights ago in which the Earth was falling away from me and I was unattached, disconnected. It took my breath away. I had awakened a moment later and couldn't shake the two words: unattached and disconnected. That's how I have felt for so many years; out of control, alone, angry, and damaged.

I tried my seat and then felt the need to get up and step back against the wall. As people shuffled to their seats I continued to stand against that back wall next too a guard/usher in his red jacket. He took no notice of me until I asked if I could take an empty seat in the back row because I was concerned about the height. He shrugged his shoulders and said sure. But as the theater went dark every seat was filled except for mine. On a scale of 1 to 10 of fear I was at about a 3 which was pretty good. The guard exited the theatre and I decided to sit down on the floor. Now I was down to a 2 and I could see the performance just fine. As the music and dancing started that 2 became a 1.5 and as intermission started I was sure I could take my seat for the second half. The fact that no one was making an issue of my fear was a huge help. In the past I felt like an idiot and embarrassment to everyone around me. Not this time.

As we re-entered the theater after intermission I took my seat and my fear was now a 1. I even got up to let my mom shuffle in to her seat after she braved the endless bathroom line. There I was, in my seat, enjoying the performance without fear. That was until the gunshot in the final scene, which is my other theater snaffoo. I'll work on that next.

As we exited the theater we asked some of the staff about the sound system and lack of supertitles which we had heard would be used for the scenes acted in Spanish. Their response over and over was that this was just a preview for Broadway and they were working out the kinks. We kept responding that that was good and fine for them but for us it was a "real" night out and not a preview. I suppose we were really saying that we were experiencing it in the present whilst they were looking at the future and to take it one step further I was letting go of the past.