I was dressed like a seamstress in an elaborate dress with strands of hair falling on my face. I needed to sport the look of a ragged woman who earned her living by sewing clothes for people in her town. My role was to mend clothes, thereby saving people from their nakedness. The director of the play inspected me and seemed happy with the costume and make up. I, too, noticed the way he went about my looks! I felt awkward.
“I think, she will look most dramatic like this. And dramatic is what we want. Don’t we?” he said aloud more to himself than to the make-up artist standing next to me. Then he walked away to get a smoke. I could almost read his mind – He didn’t want the excitement to kill him yet. He wanted the applause from the audience and the raving reviews from the critics to kill him. Slowly. Like a cigar.
I watched him walk out the exit door. It was there that he kissed me the previous evening just when I was leaving after the rehearsals. Today he spoke to me like I was just another theatre artist. He showed no traces of what transpired between us last evening. He confused me on stage and off stage. Perhaps all lovers of art are crazed in a way that even a fellow artist cannot comprehend.
70 minutes later, the play ended with a deafening applause from the audience. The play crew bowed to the audience and the curtains fell.
I quickly got to my feet and pushed my way through the crew to find him. I had to find him! I needed to ask him what it all meant. What I meant to him!
There, I found him standing outside the exit door looking at a rain-dodged sky and puffing away at his cigar. Was he revelling in the sound of the applause? Or was he revelling in the kiss we shared last evening? I needed to know! I walked towards him.
“You can only trust that the very winds that carry me away, will bring me back to you. For this is a story that we are destined to act out – the kind of story that has a soul of its own. Until then, sail away with me into deep oceans, fly away to the farthest skies so we can ride on suns that light up the night. And when darkness begins to set in, we can close our eyes and stay still, for there will be dreams that will light up the rest of our journey. We can then seal it with a kiss and leave the rest to history.” he said aloud against the clicking of my heels which were fast approaching him.
He turned around dramatically, took my hand in his and asked me as a matter of fact, “Will you marry me?”
How could I run away from the very thing that is out to hunt me down! How could I protect my heart from the very thing that is set to destroy it. How could I not fall in love with the man who will cause me pain! How could a poor ragged seamstress who mends clothes run away from the pricks of the needles or the joys of hiding others’ nakedness!
So, I said, “Yes!”
Wasn’t that a brilliant play!
*Image: Rendition of photograph by Kersti K