Status Of Toe, Interrupted By A Totally Unrelated Story About Musical Theater
Know how some people have those little text boxes on their websites, that tell you their mood and their latest book and what they are listening to, and other interesting information? I do not have such a thing, so tonight I shall improvise, for I am providing you with a status report, because naturally, you are wondering. Here is my report:
Comments Counter: Still broken
Favorite color: Greenish
Does that help? It is kind of insightful. Hello!
First off, thank you all very much for your concern over my very debilitating and tragic injury that happened to my poor toe. I believe it is growing back nicely, except I will not look at it, for it grosses me out completely.
Indeed, I have no idea of what is going on down there. Something squishy. That is all I know. My toe could secede from the Union that is my body and I would probably not notice. The Toe may rise again! I am really trying not to think about it too much, and yet, clearly I am thinking about it too much.
Anyway, turns out, there is both a Good Side and a Bad Side to my recovery. I will share both with you, starting with the Bad, simply because I am one of those people who when you say, "Good news first or bad news first?" I always say, "Bad news first! BAD NEWS FIRST!" because apparently I cannot experience joy unless it is already ruined.
ANYWAY. So, here we have:
The Bad Side: Other than pain and general reverse-tiptoeing (try walking without putting any pressure on your toes. Seriously! Try it! You will look like an idiot duck), the Injury has forced me to wear very ugly shoes. And y'all, I am not an ugly shoe person.
I am currently wearing shoes with no heels, and huge, round toe areas, that allow for the bandages. The only shoes that I own that fit this description are a pair of kind-of-scary boots with wingtips, wingtips, people, and I do not know where they came from and also they look very weird and oddly like they belong in a stage production of Oliver Twist, and so I am trying to compensate by wearing long pants, only then I really look like an urchin attorney because long pants and only kind-of-visible wingtips are really not a recipe for Fashion Success.
I feel like walking up to people in my office and looking at them hungrily. And then I will ask, "Please, sir, can I have some more?" and they will hit me with a cane or something, and sing about it.
Actually, this is kind of unrelated, but for some reason I feel like sharing that the only play I have ever appeared in, in my whole entire life, was Oliver. And I was in the sixth grade, and I was Mrs. Bedwin.
Mrs. Bedwin is not exactly a major character. She is not Oliver, for example. No. She is Mrs. Bedwin.
As Mrs. Bedwin, I was matronly and had gray hair and a long black dress with an apron, and I spoke two lines. In my first line, I was to walk into the room, and announce, "There's someone at the door." I was then to walk out. This was not a very challenging role.
In my second line, Oliver was to sing a song to me, about loneliness and sadness and urchinness or whatever, and I was to put my arms about his small shoulders and gently announce, "I understand."
That was all. Because those are all of the lines Mrs. Bedwin has. Mrs. Bedwin is not some kind of super star, people. She is a senior citizen.
But this did not matter to me. The stage! The lights! The fame! It was clearly my calling.
So, I practiced. Oh, how I practiced, in my little sixth-grade world. I would sit in my room for hours, in front of my mirror, and whisper my lines to myself. "There's SOMEone at the door," I'd try. Then I'd mix it up a bit, I would feel out my character, with "There's someone at the DOOR."
"I understand," I would say. Then, with tears in my eyes: "I...I understand."
It is kind of like how Meryl Streep practices, I bet. That is the kind of devotion I had to my role: a Streep-like devotion. And so, when the night of the play came around, I was ready. I was ready for middle school stardom. Please go ahead and give me my Tony now, is what I was thinking, because I had that bitch down.
But...oh, you guys. There was a problem. And the problem, of course, was that in the sixth grade, I was madly, passionately in love with the "actor" (and let us use this term loosely) who played the Artful Dodger, and I believe his name was Keith, and I was pretty fucking sure that Keith and I were destined to be together, and that we would have a thousand babies, and that we would probably live in my parents' guest room and that I would bake pies and do the ironing. The problem with being in love with Keith, however, was twofold: with (1) being that Keith did not actually realize that I existed, seeing as he was a worldly eighth grader (and eighth graders had totally gone to second base by then and were listening to 2 Live Crew, duh) and I was a lowly sixth grader with braces and insane hair and skinny legs who was always dressed up like an old woman during play practice but whatever, that may have been surmountable except that I also had a tendency to (2) TOTALLY LOSE THE ABILITY TO SPEAK when the beloved and manly Keith was in my presence. So the fact that I was in a play, with actual lines, which involved speaking, in an out-loud fashion, while Keith was watching...well. This posed a bit of a problem.
On the night of the show, I sat in the green room and did breathing exercises that our music teacher (and underpaid, miserable director) had taught us. I got into my character. I considered my motivation. And I pretty much held my breath for an hour before the stage hand came to collect me. Then the door opened -- "You're on," he stage whispered.
And, oh! The excitement! I remember standing up briskly and straightening my apron, looking at him, and nodding confidently. I was born to perform, I thought to myself. I should probably just live on a stage somewhere. I am very likely a theatrical prodigy, with my two lines. The world...the world is not ready for the degree of talent that I am about to unleash onto this Middle School auditorium.
Grandly, I walked onto the stage for my first line. And I was feeling very cool and collected, and I was just supposed to walk into the room and announce that there was someone at the door. There's someone at the door! That...is an easy line! Many people say that without falling down or vomiting on themselves.
Except! When I went out there, and I saw all of those people in the audience, and I saw the lights and the other actors, I kind of...froze. I froze. And I turned to my right, and THAT is when I saw Keith, talking to the eighth grade WHORE who played Nancy, and he was NOT caring about the fact that I existed, even though I was a sixth grader with needs, KISSING NEEDS, and as a result of this total betrayal of my Life Dream, I completely and totally balked.
I stood there, silently. Approximately nine million eyes were trained on my little gray head.
And so I tried to collect myself.
"There's SOMEone at the door," I thought, furiously. "There's someone at the DOOR."
"I understand!" I announced, to the room at large.
The "actors" looked at me, confused. Nobody, who ranged in age from eleven to thirteen, knew what to do. Ad-libbing was simply too much to ask of our collective experience. Finally, the guy who played...someone, finally let loose with the clever, "Well, bring them in!" which would make sense, HAD I ANNOUNCED that someone was at the door, WHICH WAS IN FACT my line. However! When that statement follows up the pronouncement, apopros of nothing, that I UNDERSTAND whatever it is that is happening in the room at large, then...not so much sense! More "senseless" than "senseful."
So: I ran. Zoom! I hiked up my apron and skirt, and bolted off of the stage, and not into the arms of Keith, who should have fucking COMFORTED me, seeing as he was supposed to be The One, but he was busy nibbling on the ear that belonged to the girl who played Nancy, and PEOPLE, at that moment, my sixth grade heart turned black as coal, and maybe that is why I am cynical and mean to this very day.
But the evening was not over. Oh, no. I still had one more appearance. I was to comfort Oliver, and put my arms about his shoulders, and tell him that I understood the pain and misery and whatever else about his fragile emotional state. And all of this was to happen after he sang to me.
And so the two of us walked out onto the stage for the song (Where is Love? if I recall correctly, which of course I do), and he lifted his small chin to begin singing, and we waited, together, for our cue, and this is what we heard:
Because somehow, the music was...not working. OF COURSE IT WAS NOT WORKING! The P.A. system had gone out, because GOOD TIMING, and so all of the wondrous canned karaoke-style music that we were supposed to sing along with had spontaneously died, and now we were standing there like IDIOTS on stage, me and Oliver, ALL ALONE, and he was unnaturally short for a sixth grader and I was stragely tall and he was looking at me in horror, because he was NOT ABOUT TO DO THIS A CAPELLA, NO, and all I could think to do was announce my line ("I understand!" "I understand!") and so I said, with total conviction:
"There's SOMEone at the DOOR."
And then we both bolted. We fucking ran off of that stage. And the play...uh, ended. And the music teacher did not speak to me for a week, and THAT, PEOPLE, is why I did not go into musical theater as a career. If you were wondering.
Not that any of that really has any bearing on my foot. But it's nice to remember the most embarrassing moments of your life sometimes! And it is nice to hope that Keith the Artful Fuckhead eventually got run over by a bus.
Sigh. No, not really.
No, definitely not. That is Hateful.
(But maybe a very...light bus, that only held, like, feathers and...balloons?)
NO. That is Wrong. BESIDES.
Now it is time for The Good Part of chopping off your toe pad thingy (remember when that was the subject of this entry, lo those many paragraphs ago?), which is:
I have been placed on the disabled list in my building, and no longer do I have to participate in the annual fire drill, or, as it is commonly called, "The Annual Having To Walk Down Twenty-Four Flights Of Stairs In High Heels And Then Spending The Afternoon Waiting For Your Turn To Go Back Up The Elevator So That, I Don't Know, You Can Get Something Accomplished Today That Vaguely Resembles The Practice Of Law And Not An Adult Obstacle Course."
Y'all! Because I am on the disabled list, I get to ride the serivce elevator! O, happy day! Yay, missing toe! Thank you for this silver lining.
And, that is about it. The toe remains unseen and secret and squishy. The service elevator awaits my call. And Keith is probably living happily somewhere in the midwest, selling insurance and not -- absolutely not -- participating in musical theater.