25 January 2008

Uncomfortably Numb

Yesterday I hit a wall.

Not with my car or anything, just the mental wall. Here's the background: We just took a play to the Maryland Festival last week; I work full-time; I don't take time off work around shows because then I would never be there; it's Tech Week for Arcadia (please come); I've been working some random overtime; I haven't been sleeping well; and my building is doing some really invasive (prophylactic) pest control* which meant that I had to put everything I own that's made out of fabric into plastic bags, empty the closets, and move all the furniture into the center of the room.

It all came to a head around 4:30. I just couldn't any more. There were a few, small things that I needed to get done before I left but instead I sat and stared for a while. It all felt like too much effort. Everything felt like too much effort.

I don't get that way very often because, among other stupid characteristics of mine, I seem to thrive on doing what I call running on caffeine and oxygen. So Tech Week is usually a happy time for me. David requires a certain amount of downtime where he shuts the door and the world is on one side and he is on the other. My requirement for that kind of downtime is vanishingly small. So these walls always take me by surprise.

I did the few, small things that I needed to do a work and stopped by home to pet Pekoe the Fabulous Orange Tabby, put on make-up, and have dinner. (A spoonful of peanut butter, thank you very much. Eating before a show isn't a problem for me and, in fact, I usually do one-armed curls with whatever snacks are available at the theater, but when I feel like this, the thought of food kinda makes me sick.)

So I went to the theater, trudged up the hill, weaving only slightly, and wandered around inside for a while trying to get my focus back. I made myself a cup of tea, leaned on a door jamb, watched people, and waited to get anything like my groove back. To tell you how out of it I was, I was quiet.

The folks started arriving. The ladies dressing room is shared with Erin, Sarah, and Janet and it's just pleasant to be around them. And Erin is her own nuclear source which is pretty energizing.

The show is divided between two time periods, so when I am off-stage, the whole other cast is on, so I pretty much see Clyde and Michael and the rest of the 1809 men during green room and as we're leaving. Well, except for Sasha, who has the same assault-level of friendliness that Erin and I do, so he crosses over.

I spend most of my stage time with Dan and Patrick but Dan is more like David in terms of personal space and Clyde is teaching Erin to tango or something which makes poor Patrick the recipient of my excess attention. He bears up well, but spare some pity for him.

Eventually being in a theater and around theater people worked its magic. Theaters are energy stores. And being on-stage under the lights did the rest. Vitamin L, you know. Those lamps shining down on me are my love and approval. And like some kind of weird plant, I turn to the light and perk up.

By the time we curtained down I was back to my old self. And by the time I got to David's - a little before 1:00 - I was bright and spunky. Just in time for bed.


*Hint: good-night, sleep tight, don't let the....

Comfortably Numb by Pink Floyd

Is there anybody in there?
Just nod if you can hear me.
Is there anyone at home?
Come on, Come on, Come on, now,
I hear you're feeling down.
I can ease your pain
Get you on your feet again.
I'll need some information first.
Just the basic facts.
Can you show me where it hurts?

There is no pain you are receding
A distant ship's smoke on the horizon.
You are only coming through in waves.
Your lips move but I can't hear what you're saying.
When I was a child I had a FEVER
My hands felt just like two balloons.
Now I've got that feeling once again
I can't explain, you would not understand
This is not how I am.

I have become comfortably numb.
I have become comfortably numb.

Just a little pin prick.
There'll be no more aaaaaaaaah!
But you may feel a little sick.
Can you stand up?
I do believe it's working, good.
That'll keep you going through the show
Come on it's time to go.

There is no pain you are receding
A distant ship's smoke on the horizon.
You are only coming through in waves.
Your lips move but I can't hear what you're saying.
When I was a child
I caught a fleeting glimpse
Out of the corner of my eye.
I turned to look but it was gone
I cannot put my finger on it now
The child is grown,
The dream is gone.
but I have become comfortably numb.

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