I bought an ordinary kitchen knife and a small bag to put it in. I hadn’t wanted to be brutal or stabby, but when I realized there was a waiting period for a gun, that I had no idea where to find poison, and I couldn’t imagine doing anything else, I gave up and opted for the stabby method. I’d deal with the trauma later.
It would build character. Challenge me. Get me out of my comfort zone.
Get him out of his comfort zone.
Would any of this do any good?
I returned to the theatre and entered its sacred lobby intending to sneak backstage and find a way to crash the play like the phantom, but the scent of programs, people, and perfume, like incense offered in honor of a deity, filled my nostrils and called to my remembrance the time of my own theatrical priestesshood.
That was the the theatre I knew before I hailed Michael its incarnation and lost him. The theatre I knew accepted everyone with open arms without judgment. It accepted the art and wonder of humanity and expressed it in front of anyone willing to watch. The waves of energy fed us human joys and sorrows, flowing back and forth between the audience and performers. Receiving it and offering it back again with a mutual agreement to laugh in the face of our calamities and cry together in our trials, to find some way to take the edge off of the misery of life.
The theatre would never say, “You cannot birth another.”
The stage always waited for the old and also accepted the new. New life would not be rejected. Michael was not the theatre. I expected him to be something he wasn’t. He was just a man with the theatre in his blood, like me.
After the show, I wandered around the lobby, looking at photos of past productions, contemplating the art on the walls, and basking in the artistic energy hanging heavy in the air.
Pregnancy kept me from this.
My heart almost ached with longing for the backstage area. I envied the performers undressing, removing their makeup, calling out “good show” as they grabbed their bags and prepared to leave. All that made my heart sing was taken from me. I reached to my side and felt the shape of the knife in my bag.
My child needed me there to teach them about this. They needed someone to pass the stories on to, to hear the theatre’s fragrance with my words, to experience it for themselves. I couldn’t go to prison.
Thespis’ incarnation entered the lobby, still in Angel’s makeup. He always left without removing his makeup, and his complexion suffered for it. He saw me. He didn’t shine like stage lights anymore. He was a pitiful human with a small wart under his nose.
He smiled, and his eyes twitched to my belly, then back to my face. “I am a buttcake, aren’t I?”
“Well . . . Great show. It’s totally sexy how you could do that kind of dancing in heels. You got me sexually confused, that’s for sure.”
He chuckled, averting his eyes.
“So, I’ll be hitting you up for child support in a couple of months, or I’ll be the muckraker of the century. Here you go. Present for you. Go to doggy hell with Evita the Akita. Come see me if you get religion or somethin’.” I handed him the bag with the kitchen knife and walked away.
‘Cause I’m a strong, independent woman who don’t need no buttcakes. Or prison sentences.
-Sarah Joy Green-Hart
Photo by @JuniorRodriguez