“Lets do a show”, it was my only logical response.
There was nothing left to do. I thought I lost everything except art. I was slowly beginning to realize I had not lost my ability to create. Yes, there was nothing left to do. I asked Celeste to help me do a show.
“I am going to book a theater this week.” We talked about it for a year. I had not finished the script, but I was not worried. It needed to happen now. A show date was what I needed to push me along. There was no more job or relationship in the way. It was ironic, the things I thought were holding me back were what I desired most today. This was what rock bottom felt like and the only thing that was holding me together was art. I needed to validate this experiment I turned my life into two years prior. A show was the only thing that made sense.
I selected my date. It was going to be January 15, 2011. The date was symbolic on many levels. This the 60th anniversary of Pop’s Birth. He left us days shy of his 58th, but this night would be about life. Pop shared a birthday with Dr. Martin Luther King. Pop always said “I had it first.” That was not entirely true, Dr. King was about 30 years older, but I understood his reservations about sharing his birthday with a national holiday. It was the only holiday we both truly cared about. Pop instilled a love for all things historical, particularly black leaders.
Two years prior I said goodbye to Pop and in a frenzy of grief and panic I walked away from the only relationship I knew as an adult. I threw myself into a world I knew nothing about and did not understand. My thirst for life gave me some remarkable experiences and some risky ones I would rather take back. The risky ones make me question whether it was life I was really seeking. Nevertheless I survived. Though most days I want to retreat to the days before Pop was gone, when I could go to the house where I grew up and see Pop there watching his favorite sports show or outside on the porch. I could read him a poem or story I wrote, tell him about my latest accomplishment or plan. I go back home often, but he is gone.
Perhaps a show could make things right and be a new beginning. Sort of a rebirth. My re- birthday. One more thing I could share with Pop besides a last name and 23 chromosomes. Today I hear him saying “That’s my baby girl! She is producing a show”.
Tonight I am taking two years worth of mistakes, regrets, disappointment, frustrations and tears and I am leaving them on that stage. It’s SHOWTIME!