Saturday, June 15, 2013

The Magic of Live Theater (Family Edition)

The actor opens his mouth to sing, and in the darkness of the theater, the world abruptly goes from flat to 3D, surround sound, high definition real life. The actors are real people, performing in front of real people, and I can feel all of us together in this single room, warm and breathing animals alive in this moment that is actually happening right now.

I realize that my parents, who occasionally say terrible things to me, to each other, are alive, right now, in the seats next to me (my father on the aisle, because his knees don't fit in the narrow rows, my mother next to me, smiling in delight at the songs, almost singing along  but catching herself just in time), and we're seeing this show together, quite possibly the last show we'll ever see together.  All of those resentments, all of the painful memories, suddenly seem unimportant, and I literally feel a knot just under my sternum begin to unknit, like something from the end of a cartoon about the grinch, and I'm grateful, just grateful, that I'm here, that they're here, that we're here alive for this moment at all.

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