I’ve always been fascinated by signs, symbols, synchronicity, coincidences (or not), and seemingly random convergences that make you shriek, okay, that has to mean something.
I believe that we’re all energy and that we can will an idea, or an image in our mind, into existence (or get close) because of the power of suggestion. It’s also entertaining to think that the universe has a mind of its own and can be a total bitch, acting out just to fuck with us.
I was practically strangled by a few random coincidences (or not) the other evening. And if the highly improbable had not occurred, and was therefore highly hilarious, I might have drowned in a puddle of my own tears.
It’s been awhile since I went to the theater. I’ve been busy, culturally unmotivated, and not in a Broadway state of mind. Shit, I never thought those words would ever fall from my mouth. In any case, a friend invited me to see the play, The Father. I didn’t know what it was about other than there probably was a father figure figured into the show.
I googled and saw that Frank ‘Dracula’ Langella was starring and who doesn’t like Frank? Certainly not my mother. When Dracula was on Broadway, my mother went Lady Gaga over Mr. Langella, and she was quite vocal about it. I remember thinking, whoa, mom, you’re a mom. You can’t like another man, you’re married—to my dad. Innocence is lost on the innocent.
I met my friend outside of the theater and we caught each other up on our lives before showtime. The more we talked, the more I realized how little socializing I had done this past year while I wrote my book. I put blinders on, and stayed laser focused, which worked, but I hadn’t tried to make anyone, other than myself, laugh in a long ass time, and it seemed that I had forgotten how to string words together to form a sentence without the aid of a keyboard and computer screen.
Once inside the theater, we padded down to the tenth row center. Geez friend, what’s with the lame seats. I was so close to the stage that if Dracula sneezed, coughed or threw up, I’d get it in the eye for sure.
The thing that I love about the theater is that no matter how many menacing announcements are blared through the speakers, or dirty looks from your fellow patrons, some entitled old bitty from Queens is going to confidently pluck a mint out of her handbag (fisted from the restaurant where she ate her prix fixe, pre-theater dinner) and unwrap it during the hushed denouement.
It is a mystery to me why audiences still have to be reminded not to be rude and douchey—in the same way that I don’t understand why there are still signs in women’s lavatories reminding them not to throw feminine products in the toilet. Are women throwing maxi pads, some the size of newborn sized diapers, into the bowl? Do men have the same reminders in their stalls? Please don’t flush your hanky? Depends? Condom?
The curtain went up and a regal Mr. Langella was sitting in an arm chair in a Parisian flat stage right. I knew what the play was about two minutes into the opening scene. A man (F.L.) is struggling with dementia (Alzheimer’s) and the effect it has on his family—what an uplifting topic to tackle on a sunny Sunday. My ex’s father died from Alzheimer’s. Again, totally uplifting.
Mr. Langella stood up from his chair, wearing pajamas and slipper, and shuffled towards centerstage where he addressed the actress playing his daughter. I hung on his every word and then something distracted me on the upstage wall.
Hanging on the wall was a poster—of what I couldn’t quite make out but my eyes were drawn to the bottom edge. I blinked, and then I blinked again. There, in big bold letters, was my ex’s first name. Clearly it was the artists’ first name as well. I blinked a third time because well, three’s the charm. Yup, still there.
There are over twenty Broadway shows currently running. My friend could have easily gotten tickets to an Off-Broadway show, which there are numerous. Nope, the first time that I get out to the theater after a long hiatus, I see a play about Alzheimer’s, seated close enough to the stage to make out the friggin’ details of the set dressing.
Why? Because sometimes the universe can be a real wench. “Give my regards to Broadway…”