munchkin is off to candyland for the night, so i’m forcing eric to go with me to see the jackson high school fall production of Alice In Wonderland. even though it will most likely suck. even though we will spend the majority of the evening gripping hands, gritting our teeth and avoiding eye contact to keep from bursting into laughter, and i will throw furtive glances around, trying still after all this time to steer clear of mr. kight.
why go? because i did it. because i loved the fall plays in high school. because we worked really fucking hard on a lump of shit, and got so excited about it, and there was never enough money or enough boys or even close to a full house. because even though the director always gave the prime roles to the girls from her church sunday school class and the REALLY NICE girl who couldn’t sing or act for shit but tried so hard you pitied her and goddamned if she didn’t go to the tanning bed the 3 weeks before opening night in her role as dracula’s wife because the sequined dress she was wearing as her costume would ”just look weird” if she were pale, even though every year the backstage area was one big naked dressing room UNTIL the mormon kid told the principal and we had to start trekking up and down the stairs to the locker rooms to change, even though we mainly used our own costumes and makeup and money and ingenuity – it was still A STAGE.
we still got to be ON STAGE. and when i was 16, i had the best 2 months of my highschool experience after 2 new inexperienced directors signed on and cast all my friends and i in the leads. the play was super short so we had to re-write it, we made it naughty. drank before practice out of the tiny SoCo bottles from the liquor store. my best girl friend, best gay friend, and the boy all 3 of us had crushes on were the lead detectives in that play, and we had a blast. the play sucked, the acting was clunky and the rewrites got us in trouble, but damn we were famous for a weekend – and for a few weeks before that we were hardcore (half-drunk) SERIOUS actors.
true, at the time of the yearbook photos for this particular fall play i was being detained by a police officer in a cemetery for leaving my keys and purse in an unattended car (some flower-bringers had discovered it and called the po), and by the time everything was explained and we were free to go to practice we’d missed the pictures and my participation in this play is barely documented, it was a helluva time. best teenage autumn ever.
so. i’ll go. i won’t laugh in a way anyone can hear me. even though it’s the highschool play, it will be held in the middle school (which was the OLD highschool) because when they built the brand new highschool with the better-than-most-colleges football field, they didn’t put in a real auditorium. gotta do the plays at the middle school. eh, teenage commerce. violence and sweat will always sell better than unintentional comedy.
and because it’s the fall play, my spirits will be riding high on nostalgia and there will be much debauchery afterwards…..