I’m Condescending

At a production of “Guys and Dolls” at Petaluma Senior High School

Theaters and entertainment undertakings require specific talents. I was trusted to be an artist; and I was. I was needed, and I helped only after a massive persuasion mobilized by my sister and her best friend, who happened to be the leading lady; although my heart wasn’t (at first) in with the business. I went. (Producer) Bill said (and this is to be read to the tune of “The show must go on”), he said, “Three sets must be completed”; therefore, I got involved and some concerned people came over and I worked with them. The sets were completed, and I was approximately proud of the fact. I had (at minimum) a hope the play would come off every wrong, and a lack of objectivity. Opening night: I walk in, past the ticket at the door table. I don’t pay. (Producer) Bill sees me, but says nothing. I sit down, alert. I open the program, thrilled to see my name under “Staff.” The first act comes on every right. Intermission is erasure. I think my own thoughts. I watch every person, acutely, aware. I feel very tall. I create my own play: friend i lost before: (out of a deep involvement with her own friends—recognizes me. Flair of happiness, friendliness) Oh! Hi, Tom. What the hell are you doing here? me: (intently enlightened before walking away, smiling under my serious mouth) I’m condescending. curtain

November 1970