People sometimes say that 'everything happens for a reason.' I never really bought into that. I think it's simpler and a little more existential than that: 'everything happens...'
Sure, if you look back in hindsight at the events in a life, they appear to have happened for a reason; you grew from the event, you found a deeper place within you where compassion and anger dwell, you learned not to rollerskate
with the confidence of a twelve-year-old at age fifty-something, learned not to poke your face with a stick, or that dreams can lead to heartache, especially when you poke at them with a stick.
Here's the thing. Yesterday, in some sort of primal mimicry of the emotional lather the boys have been in, I allowed myself to dream a little dream, hope a little hope, aspire a little. I really worked myself
in to a lather. You see, I decided to think about considering auditioning for a musical at a local stage here. They are doing OKLAHOMA (which is apparently, always in caps, shouted I suppose), a show I did in community theater as a kid and know well.
Thinking about considering it included a Facebook post asking advice, sort of. Well, a lot of people responded helpfully and a slew of others offered true encouragement. It made me feel good, it really did. I guess it's good to be considered, remembered by old friends, perhaps as a brilliant Thespian but more likely remembered as a person who deserves happiness, someone who was once such a Dreamer.
So I decided yes, I would audition, mostly because of the kind thoughts of others. I got busy, I found music, I sang, I thought about what to wear, I sang, I remembered auditioning classes in school, I sang. It was fun.
I also allowed myself to consider a bit of success; tangible, viewable success. I am not always viewed as a successful person, actually I feel as though I am, but, hey, I'm a stay-at-home-dad who writes a blog, hand me the L for my forehead. But, for a while yesterday I was a star, oh I don't mean a capital S Star, no, just a guy, on a stage, in a hat, singing my heart out. A guy who gets a favorable mention in a blurb about a local stage production in a community paper. A guy appreciated by his new-found friends, happy to be a part of something again. A guy whose little dream, well, happened.
There's an old Joke about a guy whose buddy tells him there is a girl from Hawaii who wants to meet him and all the guy can think is: I don't want to move to Hawaii. Yeah, that's how far I got ahead of myself here. I went as far as explaining to the boys that I was thinking about considering auditioning for a musical. They've seen a few things at the local schools so they knew what I was talking about. I explained that I would have to be gone quite a bit, mostly after dinner. I said it was something I would like to do and that I had done a lot when I was younger. I explained that I would have to miss their soccer game tonight. They seemed to get it.
I went back on their website and looked again at the the things I would need. I had a song, I was eighteen or older, I was prepared to do some dancing, (God forbid) and I would certainly be able to read from the script. I was thinking about how I would introduce myself; whether to play up my acting background or focus on what I do now. Should I be all upbeat and happy or low key and intense. How should I interact with the other kids? Would I be an outsider? What if I got a bigger role, really nailed it? What if...
Oh, right, I should have noticed that... August twenty-seventh
, not today August twenty-eighth
The auditions were Monday, this is Tuesday.
The Tuesday I was a star.
There's a little bit more to the story. I was able to go to the soccer game, the boys were excited and we were sort of rushed. They had the game and on the way home, from behind me I could feel the heat of the lightbulb going off above Z's head.
"Hey Dad, what about that thing you were gonna do? The place you were going... tonight?"
"The musical I told you about?"
"Well, Dad sort of blew it, guys. It turns out that the tryouts, remember, auditions, were last night not tonight. I missed them so I won't be able to be in it."
There was a long beat from the backseat.
"Yeah, sorry Dad, that's too bad."
It is too bad, I guess.
The reason I don't
think this happened is so I could hear that quiet moment in the backseat as their little minds extrapolated and construed and twisted a number of facts and feelings; as both those beautiful, generous souls understood the inherent melancholy that comes with disenchantment. They had glimmered, I suspect, the hope in my tone, the excitement in my voice, the slight twinkle in my eyes. They could tell, and they knew
I was disappointed.
If there is a reason this happened, and I am not saying there is, it might be because I was going to wear my cowboy hat. That cowboy hat makes me look stupid.
Honestly, I guess I am bummed out a little, but, everything happens...
Let's not leave on a down note:
It's just always funny...