Friday, March 7, 2014

Escape from New York...

March 7. Three years ago tonight was our last night. The last night I would fall asleep with Summer in my arms, her head on my shoulder, her sweet little feet hooked around my ankles, holding my hand. And we went to bed a bit early that night. It was a Monday, so it was her day off from doing On The Waterfront but she & I were in rehearsals for Blackbird so she was working double-duty and she was tired. We both were. It had gotten a bit chippy in the afternoon. We were rehearsing at ACT and they kept moving us every other hour. Something went awry with the space rental, with the scheduling, and they kept coming in and making Michael French pack everything up and move us to yet another room, yet another floor. When we got back to the apartment we were beat. I asked Summer what she wanted for dinner and, shockingly, she asked for pizza. We almost never had pizza. And only in New York where Summer liked Two Boots because they have that one with the whole grain crust. So I called for delivery. Some place in The Mission called, fittingly enough, “Escape from New York”. (I put it on my AmEx. I remember because that statement is taped to the wall over my desk. Because that charge is the last one made on my card before the accident. I wrote “still alive” next to it and taped it there after I opened and first read the bill three years ago. I’m looking at it even now…). We ordered pizza and then forgot about it. We forgot because they took like an hour to deliver and when it arrived it was big enough to feed a small battalion. Most of it got wedged into the fridge overnight. We ran lines for a while and then our hands over each other for a much longer, much needed while. Coming up for air at one point, breaking the clench slightly, Summer looked into my eyes and said with a wry smile “you were pretty mad at me today, huh?”. “No! No,” I insisted, well aware that I’m a complete pain in the ass in rehearsal. “I wasn’t really. I’m just…”. “You’re a such diva!” she said laughing. “I know, I know, “ I said. “I’m sorry, sweetheart. And I…. I…” There were more words after that but hard to make out while kissing. I do remember later as we lay there entwined and talking in the kind of whispers that lead to slumbers that she said so sweetly to me, “all you ever needed was just to meet the right…” “Girl”, I said in the same moment that she said “woman”. And nothing truer was ever spoken. I believe my whole life was a route, circuitous but determined, decreed, leading to her. Summer liked to say that she “found me”. And I like that idea. She found me and I needed to be found so that I could meet her and know her and love her. That’s why I was ever here. I really don’t know why I remain but I suspect (one of her favorite words, “suspect”…) that she holds that answer for me, too. Goodnight, little sweetheart…

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