Tuesday, January 05, 2016

The Februaries: Two Lists


I've got a bad case of the Februaries tonight. There are various factors at work here.

#1. It's winter. And we all know how I feel about winter. I'm into winter for about two weeks around Christmas, and then I'm over it. It's time for summer to begin again, please. I'd like more hours of daylight and to stand outside without having to wear shoes. Too bad I have like, five months to go still.

#2. I'm not at the theatre tonight. I know, I know, I was just there last night. And I'll be there again tomorrow night. I just love acting so much! And I love working with the wonderful people I work with! And I love telling this story and making people laugh. And after being in rehearsal every night for the last two months, having every other evening at home is jarring. The hours stretch before me like...some depressing thing. (I'm too winter-weary for similes.) I just want to do theatre every night, all the time.

#3. I'm on the very edge of being sick. I'm not quite fully sick. But my head kinda hurts, and my nose is kinda stuffy, and my throat is kinda scratchy, and I kinda have a cough. In my melancholy state, I'm not sure which is worse--being totally sick, or being almost sick. My main thought is that if I was totally sick, I could justify eating unhealthily and laying around all day. As it is, I feel obligated to go about my daily activities, and I just feel vaguely blah as I do so.

Getting sick was probably inevitable. Between tech week and New Year's and Christmas and everything, someone in the cast was bound to get sick. Andy had it a week ago, and then Ben, and now Bryan and I, which means it will eventually get to Todd, and then Becca, and probably Ben again. Ah, the perils of stage kissing.

#4. Did I mention winter yet? It's just such a big factor. When it comes right down to it, a therapeutic light therapy box just isn't the same as a long walk on a summer night. I need a giant greenhouse to wander through, or a bio-dome of eternal summer to live in. The plant parts of me are curling their leaves inward and oh, how I ache with it.

I feel vaguely overwhelmed by the Februaries tonight, so, like Hemingway advised, I'm trying to just "write hard and clear about what hurts."

It seems I write a blog entry like this every winter. There's this one from almost a year ago, where I compared my winter slump to the sound of a wet comforter falling onto the floor. And this one where I named my impulsive coping mechanisms and also listed the things that keep life shimmery enough until spring.

So, in an effort to remind myself of the invincible summer within, here are the things that are shimmering for me lately.

#1) The moments of perfect communion onstage, when something passes between actors and audience and everyone's connected in this beautiful, temporary microcosm. That sounds so so cheesy, but it really is one of the greatest things about theatre.

#2) "Parking Lot Talks" with friends after the show...talking about characters and life and art and friendship while the the cold gathers in clouds around us, until we're shivering too much to talk any more, and I get in my car and drive home filled with gratitude for the people in my life.

#3) How the stars are almost always there to greet me each night, glittering in constellations. Even on cloudy nights when I can't see them, the knowledge that they're still there calms my soul somehow.

#4) Recent shenanigans with family and friends, including meals and Cards Against Humanity and good movies.

#5) This is going to sound silly after the other semi-profound items on this list, but the awesomeness of the X-Files deserves a spot here. I've just discovered the show, and I've been binge-watching it on Netflix for a solid month, in all its mid-90s glory. I have a mild crush on Fox Mulder, and I want to believe, and the truth is out there, and I'm only halfway through Season 3, so hopefully this franchise will last me until spring.

Keep on keeping on, all you summer souls. Our lemonade hearts will thaw soon enough.

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