Imagining Her in the Cast
It’s an understandable mistake, and as I am told, not an uncommon one.
I’ll be telling a story to friends, and need to remember a detail, and look over to her and say,
“Was that on 43rd Street?”
And she’ll say,
“Why are you looking at me like that?”
And I’ll think but not say,
“Because I want you to help me remember if that was on 43rd Street, duh.”
And clearly I’m making a face as I’m thinking because she points out,
“That was before we met. I wasn’t there.”
And I snort and say,
“I know that. Duh.”
And then I think but don’t say,
“Really? Oh, yeah. I guess that was before I knew her.”
Do it all the time.
The romantics in the room might be sighing now, and saying,
“Aww, he doesn’t think life existed before her.”
And that’s sweet, but not quite on the money.
There was plenty of life, even some very good bits before her. People and things that I in no way regret and would snap up again if I had another go-round.
AJ Smith, and PAVAS and Annie Get Your Gun, Drake and Billy and Andrea and Thea and Little Mary Sunshine, that railroad apartment and interning and Horace Mann and Howard and Bonnie and Joe and Margie and Susan and Miriam and Dave and Carl and Larry and…
No, it took me thirty years to wise up and meet her, and there was a lot of there there. So it isn’t that.
And it’s not that our seventeen years together (sixteen spent as one) feels like a lifetime. To be honest, it feels too short, and I don’t think that will ever go away.
What I do believe, however, is that it is wishful thinking. Not wishing away the life before her, or thinking that nothing could be good without her.
It’s just my subconscious realizing that everything would be better with her.
Re-remembering history with her in it enhances the experience.
Sharing the surprise birthday party where I surprised the surprisers, or seeing Les Miz for the first time, or getting lost on that bike ride, or even ducking as the onion dip flew over head – the remembrance is brighter thinking that it is part of “us” rather than just “me.”
Shiny, as Kaylee might say.
It’s like having a favorite show – you really like the show. But then someone suggests a dream cast member, and you think – “wow, that show would be even better!”
Suppose, say, you really like the play Waiting for Godot. (I’m not saying real people do, I’m just saying “suppose.”)
Now say that you hear that the play is being done with Steve Martin, Robin Williams, F. Murray Abraham and Bill Irwin.
Just imagining your favorite play with that cast, even though you haven’t seen it, is a delight.
That’s what I think is happening.
I’m just imagining my history with her cast in the first act, even though I haven’t seen it.
And imagining her in the cast is a delight.
Just my thoughts,