Here. She sits at the edge of the stage with her legs dangling down. In her head, she is singing some unknown showtune. Unknown to the world, but unknown to her as well. It takes her a moment to realize, through silent humming, that it is not Sondheim or Webber. The tune holds softer notes by gossamer piano strings and it tells her own sorry story. Yes, she now sees, the leaky melody is her own making.
This realization has two effects: simultaneously she is impressed with her own creativity and devastated with her own history. Luckily, she is the best actress she knows and therefore can effortlessly push the latter into the wings. She sings.
This is all I know
And this is what I say
You tell me I am gold
I know that I am gray
Yet in this life we hold
That all will be somedayyy
A light that shines alouuud
In foggy blooming Mayyy…
She stops. Coughs. Rheumatism maybe. Most likely not. From the balcony, I make myself known to her. I applaud her song and her mask. She stands, feigning surprise, and curtsies. The theater lights shine so bright on her. In her eyes. She can’t possibly know who I am. There is no one else here.
But the thing of it is that it doesn’t matter in the least. I could be a light breeze in her hair and she would be ecstatic. She would feel me anywhere. She feels every life. She experiences every touch, breath, laugh, raindrop. She is a shell collecting all the world.
I think to myself, “You would be perfect for my movie.” And yet, I walk away.
Out on the street, I imagine she is dangling her feet again… working out the rest of her song.