Hi, honey, I’m home!

by Esther Emery

Dearest blog readers… Oh, how I have missed you, my darlings, let me count the ways. I have missed being creative over my coffee in the morning. I have missed the personal accountability that happens when you go around announcing what you believe in on a daily basis. I’ve missed feeling connected to the world while also holding Milo on my lap. And, I’ve missed the flood of fiction writing that I was so proud to report last month. I’m dry.

As some of you know, I have a fiction and poetry swap with my incredible sister, Sara. She is currently living in Spain, which has inspired some hysterical fish-out-of-America mommy blogging. Although we use the mechanics of the blogosphere to post our writing for one another, This Breathing World isn’t linked by either of our sites. It’s a secret, sort of. Most of the MOXIE’s have had my laptop thrust in their faces with an enthusiastic, “Read this!”  Then I watch them read it, and then I smirk when they get to the funny part, and then I ask them what they thought. It’s very relaxing to be friends with me.

I’m a week behind on my side of the writing exchange, but all that is about to change, because I Am Home. Sight Unseen opened on Thursday. My first regional theatre opening has come and gone. Two days after, I’m feeling heartsick for the show, which has been my every thought and breath for the last couple of weeks. I fell in love with the actors and have come to see opening night as a shotgun toting father come to break it off. I feel walked out on.

Have I mentioned how grown up I am? In a particularly mature effort to deaden my feelings of loss, I spent last evening consuming a certain quantity of a certain fizzy pink concoction. This, you will not be surprised, was neither good for me nor actually effective in easing the transition.

My writing isn’t the only facet of my life that I’m reentering.

Here’s a picture of me on the way to opening. I asked Nick to take it so there would be a record of the evening according to someone other than a theater critic. I bought the dress in the single free hour between Milo’s morning nap and afternoon rehearsal. (Yes, we rehearsed on opening. I’m so that director.) I didn’t have time to rely on luck or sales racks, so I went directly to a vintage resale store, strolled Milo over to the rack of simple, black cocktail dresses and bought the second one I tried on.

What you can’t tell from the photo is that just an hour before, while sitting down to read a chapter of Perfect Madness: Motherhood in the Age of Anxiety in the lull between rehearsal and getting dressed, I had reached back to wipe something off my neck and found it was a hunk of partially chewed brown bread.  Saving that for later, Milo? I don’t know how long it was there, mostly hidden under my hair, but I decided not to keep it for him.

Here’s a picture of a painting I did in college that I reproduced on my opening night cards. The biggest laugh of the opening night was the skeptic’s take down of the painter: “They aren’t necessarily fists. They’re just poorly drawn hands.”

These are fists. No, I don’t really know how to draw hands either, but these are fists.

I have a hard time with opening night parties. I am always sad, although some processes allow me to cover better than others. I’ve actually had an actor ask me point blank to take my emotive sad-sack face home to bed so that everybody else could have a good time. 

At Terra on Thursday night, I hid for a moment behind my bowtie pasta and my drink-coupon-procured vodka tonic and watched them all. I watched all these amazing, excruciatingly beautiful people celebrating their ability to thrill the public. After two vodka tonics (I had to pay for the second one) the beautiful people start to meld into a kaleidoscope of shiny dresses and ties. Gather, separate, spin, change partners, do-si-do…the faces run together. I’m cutting the cord.

I’ll miss them. I feel a little foggy still, as I write this, like I have a thousand loose ends in my brain that need to be set free by language. Is there a defrag button on this thing? But I’m happy to wriggle my way back into my housekeeping/homemaker/parenting skin; I’ve missed that, too.  And I’m happy to be starting rehearsals for No Exit at Diversionary next week, with a schedule that allows me to be with Milo all day long.  Soggy bread and noodles as fashion accessory, here I come!


In the meantime, I think I’ll do some more writing.