"The unexamined life is not worth living" Socrates

- - scatterings of ideas sent to my younger self, a sensitive girl who was fooled into believing she was a boy because of anatomy - -

Monday, 30 April 2012

All Actors in a Play

I have been in a reflective mood about the nature of relationships lately. Some ideas that I think others might be able to relate to might make it here. Carly Simon encapsulated today's idea in miniature when she wrote in "Anticipation": 

And I tell you how easy it feels to be with you
And how right your arms feel around me
But I, I rehearsed those lines just late last night
When I was thinkin' about how right tonight might be. 

That Wasn't In The Script

She and I might have been friends (especially if I had been born in a female body), but instead became lovers.

I didn't know it, but she had a part in her life play for a man, the sort of man she saw when she looked at me; a kind and considerate (her words)... man.

Our time together began with shared breaks and lunchtimes, and soon that turned to evenings and weekends. She was a quick study into human nature, and figured out what it was in her that appealed to me. She did what she did (accentuate the positive, they say) because it seemed like the right thing to do since she and I were going to spend the rest of our lives together, with me as co-star in her production. Certain sacrifices would need to be made, and it would be worth it all, she was sure.

We work-shopped her production for a while, and she began to live the part in her mind, then in reality. Once she had her own character fixed, then she could start writing mine. She could sense a malleable nature in me (if only she had known how malleable I had been). I would do nicely.

Even though she had no acting experience (of the stage sort anyway), she took it on and carried it through. Acting is hard enough when you have good writing and direction, but when you have to write your own lines (and what you hope everyone else's will be too) every day and the blocking and the inevitable re-writes of the script and then correct everyone else in your play when they get their lines wrong, things get tiresome after a while. Undaunted, she carried on gamely year after tedious year. Hard work, but it was worth the sacrifice.

It is only natural that when one of her characters would 'go rogue' on her, forgetting their motivation (as she had written it), or their lines, it was majorly upsetting. There were several surprise re-writes over the years; mostly as the young ones became older and objected to following her script. Sometimes minor characters like the one who played her supervisor at work would be totally uncooperative, but she coped and eventually worked it all into her ever-so-perfect little play.

Of all her supporting cast, I had been the most solid and reliable, until that day….. She could never have anticipated me pulling a stunt like that.

A change of this character's sex would mess up the continuity of the production entirely. Surely I could see that…



  1. A marvellous post. Yes, that would be an unexpected scene in the play, like working around an earthquake that hit during act LXIV scene 77.

    I do want to see where this is going. Your metaphor is wonderful.

  2. I would like to say something but this post makes me speechless, in need of .... enlightenment?

  3. Halle, that sounds really difficult. It's hard enough when expectations aren't so tightly specified and held...

  4. But the truly sad part is how long this sort of daily choreography seemed normal. Right now, I cannot seem to stand it and am dying to do some improvisational living, as myself, not the character of so long ago.