It used to be easy, to sit and free write, filling pages without pause, without concern that any of it made any sense. Now, I stop to think about the next word and look up to see the titles in the stacks: See Jane Lead, Primal Leadership, Game-Changer. I think about my husband who reads such books and how it was that we exchanged sharp words this morning about the location of the checkbook. The words were sharp because we each thought the other had spoken the first sharp word.
Where's the check book?
I don't know.
You had it last.
I want to believe he was sharp first, though it's just as likely that I was, because I was out so late, though it's possible that he was sharp first because of the very same reason. I didn't expect to be out so late, having gone to see The Tempest at 8. The play was only a five minute walk away, but I snuck out before the kids were in bed in order to get a good seat. I sat in the front row with T. who enjoys the same performances I do and who plays in the Gamelan band with me and who happens to be divorced. I've been trying to fix him up with a friend of mine, who I invited to the play but who couldn't come. So to some, it might appear as if T. and I are dating since we do things like go to Shakespare plays together in the evenings and sit next to each other in the front row and go to Jim's Place afterwards with five London actors. This is not something I would normally do, go out with the actors after a show, something, I have in fact, never done before, but we ran into M. at intermission who told us that Ariel used to be cast as a man until the late 1800's when Ariel was first cast as a woman which suddenly changed the preception of Prospero from a hero to a villian. M. knows such things because she is smart and a professor and thus does things like go out with Shakespearean actors after phenomenal performances. "Would you like to come along?" she asked.
The workmen are gone. The sun has come out. A train rolls by. I'm stuck again trying to think how to describe the feeling of wanting to go out with five actors who are so brilliant, just to memorize the lines would be enough, but then to make each character (multiple ones per actor) come alive as they do, beyond comprehension. Meanwhile, The Fear sets in. Let's just say that to call my Shakespeare rusty would be a gross understatement.
But we do it! T. and I join M. and one of her professor friends (who has been blogging since 2002, I find out, after bragging how I have been hard at it for a solid month), and we hang around the lobby until everyone goes home and the actors come out and we shake hands and congratulate them and everyone thanks everyone for coming and we are all instant friends. We talk about what we always talk about with friends - beer, fried cheese curds, Chicago. But it is Jenn who played Miranda and Ariel who I want to invite to my birthday party (not my two daughters' birthday party, but my own) since after a couple of hours, it felt like she'd been my friend for years.
I didn't want to go home, but eventually I did, T. driving me the three blocks to my door.
Seven a.m. and the electrican was knocking. Oh yes, the landlord had warned us about the plans to change out the ancient electrical service before the assessor comes. We get the feeling that the landlord is getting ready to sell the house out from under us. So all through a rushed breakfast, the electrician drilled outside the kitchen window, the high squeal still buzzing in my ears when I confronted my husband about the checkbook. So on second thought, maybe it was me, short of sleep, hard of hearing, who was the first to wield a sharp word. But then again, once again, it's just as possible that it was him.
Regardless, I am at the library because we have no electricity today and I hardly know what to do at home when I can't check my email, even though I have lots of other things to do at home besides checking email, like baking carrot cake for my daughters' birthday party and figuring out some way to buy my new friend Jenn a Gillian Welsh CD before her performance this evening, a small thanks for bringing to life, one evening in small town Wisconsin, characters that were dreamed up more than 400 years ago on the other side of the ocean.