The past two nights Aaron has been rehearsing for the musical Peter Pan until 11:00 p.m. On Monday, after Clara ate lima beans and not ice cream and was off to bed, I made dinner for one. Is it just me or does eating dinner alone build character? Even when that dinner is a bean burrito? I had a character-building glass of red wine, read an edifying article about peanut allergies in The New Yorker, and wiped a trace of refried beans from my mouth with a pretty cloth napkin. (I know, the refried beans nearly kill it.)
When Aaron is away playing his saxophone late into the evening, I am known to take it as an opportunity to be indignant. But, sometimes two become one, and in such occasions, the one feels the other one’s visceral frustration at sitting still for thirty minutes while the clarinets rehearse and re-rehearse measure 116 of “Hook’s Tango.”
Sure enough, Aaron, who never huffs, huffed through the door at quarter after 11 with: “I am so very angry.” Then, we talked about the indoctrination of seven-year-olds into the cult of theater and how quickly unadorable this becomes when they are scurrying around, manic with the adrenaline of no bedtime, and pretending to be British versions of Peter and Wendy.
I once tried to drink the red Kool Aid and memorize monologues, but the Kool Aid never went down right. Once in college in an acting class, I was paired with this boy Brett and we were supposed to write and perform a skit. His idea: Let’s pretend I am a sleazy attendant at a sperm-donating facility, he’s there to donate his goods, and I try to seduce him. Long and hideously embarrassing story short, the scene ends with Tina Turner’s “What’s Love Go to Do With It?” blaring from a special seductress stereo that I like to whip out for innocent sperm donors looking to make a quick buck. Our acting teacher cuts us off as I put on my best “graduation photo serious look” and says in her Brooklyn accent (why does everyone in theater have an accent?) to the class, “Does ANYONE believe this?”
No, of course not, but I do believe that Aaron had a worse Valentine’s Day than I. Finally home, he tries to get out of the truck, slips, and lands on his elbow. I hear the moaning from inside. There was a lot of moaning. Then, he walks in and says, “I slipped because I’m a pirate.” And, he was! A pirate with treadless, laced-up brown boots to his knees and a gallant sash around his waist. In the theater, they dress saxophonists up as pirates, and Aaron drove home in costume so we could laugh. Love’s got everything to do with it.