when i think back on the many years i spent acting my mind gravitates to the space just off-stage. to the countless moments just before an entrance. the great gaping mouth of that threshold between reality and make-believe. the cool, dark nooks ringing-round the edge of light. the sacred space in which fear and potential mingled, lived-side-by-side, drew breaths one from the other.
and then onto the stage. into the space. into the light.
i was never aware of being watched. never aware of even thinking up there. it was...it just was. perhaps the purest, most authentic form of myself. but cloaked under the pretense of...pretend.
(and under the pretense of pretend everything is a bit more real).
i don't miss acting. i don't think i do. if i'm really honest, i don't. and then i feel tremendously guilty for the not. the not missing. the not wanting. the non-pursuit.
but maybe i do. maybe the not is really the non-remembrance. perhaps if i found myself in those wings once more i might suddenly become aware that i have lived the past three years without ever once breathing.
i don't think so. because there is this, this writing. and there are lungs to these words.
but the thing about writing--at least in this domain--is there is an immediacy and a lack of anonymity that i am suddenly finding all-together-terrifying.
i find myself. center stage. staring out. breaking down that fourth-wall. aware of all those eyes.
and i am, for the first time, more aware of what cannot be written than what can.
of how i cannot write of the boy i met on the bus from boston. or the one who took me to a wine bar in the west village. i cannot write about the man who's face i've conjured up so many times i can't remember what he looks like.
point of fact, i cannot write about men at all. except the imagined. always the imagined. only the imagined.
i cannot write about loneliness or the holes in faith that pepper most mornings.
i can't write about the new scented soap that lives in my bathroom and makes me utterly sick to my stomach. how the scent creeps out into the hallway, into the living. room. how i hate that soap. hate what it stands for.
i cannot write about any of these things because these things--these thoughts--are tethered to people. and these people deserve their anonymity, if anyone.
i cannot write about the monotony of the days now abutting one.into.theother. nor how i am suddenly aware that a thinner frame doesn't make any of this easier. i mean i knew that, but now i know that. there's always someone skinnier, blonder, more vibrant.
how it's apathy i find most dangerous. most unnerving. how i take in deep breaths and am met with no air.
i cannot write about how i just want someone to go grocery shopping with. how i went to make dinner for them. do their laundry. it all sounds so terribly un-feminist. so not-of-the-moment.
and if these things are to be written, to be read--if they are to be read would the words lose their air?