RE(nt) – Cap (Desire)

Posted: February 17, 2010 in Road to RENT

February 12, 2010 (Part 2)

A good chunk of us ended up at Stanley’s.  Being on the clueless end of directions, I followed my seasons of love partner. Upon entering the bar, the heavenly voice greeted me:

“There he is!”

A few sighed with relief and I beamed with shock:

They cared that I came. Nice!

I took my seat next to bookworm, knowing he would fill the evening with all the conversation I needed, for the both of us. I ordered a similar dish as before, chicken wings, requesting to drown it down with water. I then looked around. My body urged:


My mind set out to diverge:


I sided with my body.

Soon, I was sitting in the lap of my Season’s of Love partner, taking ridiculous photos of the fist pounder, who sat in the lap of salt. I was claiming the rights, playfully, to Mojo’s affection and all together laughing at the hilarity that ensued around me.

I moved.

I found myself seated across from one song glory and the heavenly voice, and next to glowing ring. Glowing ring spoke, staring at a news anchor on the television:

”Does that guy have on blush?”

I sharply turned my head, appalled that he had asked such a question:

“Dude, you have on eyeliner?”

Tilting his head and laughing he replied, pressing his lips together in thought:


We laughed.

One song glory began to sing the praises of pork, capitalizing on a unique story. I hinted about my bullhorn voice drowning out his eardrums during the performance, to which he replied:

“Honestly, dude, I am totally tuned out during performances. One performance (of another play) I missed my cue because I was thinking about a pork sandwich I ate earlier that day.”

I doubled over.

One song glory’s eyes brightened as his smiled filled his reddening face – a toothy child-like grin. More talk ensued about the many dishes to be had in life: pork roasts, bread pudding, steak, restaurants, to which the heavenly voice interjected:

“Everyone needs a fat friend to show them how to eat.”

I took humor out of her statement, as well as a personal shot. It was as if she hinted at my lack of calorie consumption. I ate one and half of my ten hot wing platter and considered myself full; however, I did consume all of my celery.

I love celery.

Soon we were all engulfed with stories of one song glory’s travels with pit stops along the way, crashing a Baptist Church’s feast, claiming to be lost:

“They asked me if I was hungry… I ate my weight in pork that day.”

I couldn’t help but get lost in his cleverness, tucking away his example to use in future adventures. And as he rehashed story after story, resurrecting scenes from my own past, I couldn’t help but finally see him as so much more than a harmonious velvety voice. The light of his personality shone through and what I could see ignited me, ignited us all.

I could see him, him in a new light, beyond those of the stage.

I liked what I saw.

February 13, 2010

The performance started off with the main director frantically yelling, his arms making heavy motions:

“Clear the aisle, clear the aisle… Jeremy, go, Go, GO!”

I stood totally confused, drowning in the commotion around me.

The beginning of my music wasn’t heard. Going from silence to a sudden interruption of an electric guitar, the music breaking through the speakers in an unknown position, I tossed my head around wondering if I had missed my cue. Furthermore, I stared in front of me wondering if I would possibly make it into the auditorium.

Before me stood an older lady with a walker, blocking the doorframe. As the usher’s and others tried to urge her through the door, she staged a one person protest, yelling:

“I’m not moving until I have a seat with arms.”

I looked around the auditorium; all the seats seemed to have arms. I looked back at her, trying to figure out what to do. The main director yelled to me:

“Try to get around Jeremy!”


It was my cue, but the lady, getting louder and more insistent, would not move. I pressed my back against the frame and inched by her. The aisle was crowded but the show had started. I dropped into character leaving my apprehensions behind.

I moved close to an older lady, with neatly placed white hair. She grabbed her chest and screamed. I thought:

Another heart attack scare.

I moved through a myriad of people, going through a more careful version of my usual routine. Somehow, as the bodies quivered then scattered, I was able to miss coming into contact with any of them – even my kick avoided landing against anyone, including the wall.

I made it to the stage, somehow, in perfect timing and began my routine.

A little jolted, more so by the fact that we were being recorded that night than by the entrance debacle, I forced my jitters aside. I knew the camera would catch my every move and solidify my every emotion. If anything, I had to perform for it.

I got to my headstand, the easiest part of my routine, and lifted my body into position.

I wobbled.

I repositioned myself.

I shook.

I tried to compensate for the loss of balance.

My body began to tremor.

I was losing control of my body and my emotions. My face clearly dropped wondering if I would plunge into the crowd. I could feel myself tipping towards the front row. I tried to, while heavily unbalanced; throw myself back to the ground.

I fell in a loud clump.

I laughed, thinking:

Figures. This would happen on camera day.

I put the mishap behind me and moved through the rest of my routine. Oddly enough, the mishap had rebooted my confidence, challenging me to make the rest of the dance better.

I moved to the edge of the stage enticing the five people that were in my view. I jumped in the air, came crashing down to the stage, my left hand, somehow, did not anchor my weight.

My forehead bounced off the wooden stage. A lady in the front row spoke, one in which I had focused my tantalizing attention on:

“Did he fall?”

I looked up at her as the gentlemen next to her answered:

“No, he just jumped in the air and came down; it is part of his routine.”

I thought:

Maybe she didn’t notice my basketball head bounce.

I stared in her face.

Her head was twisted to the left, leaning into the speaker. Her eyes were focused on no particular point. I knew that gaze. I looked to a lady next to her; she had the same look, someone next to her giving her the same synopsis. My heart beat with compassion:

They are blind and they came to the show.

I wanted to leap off the stage and hug them both, to thank them for their presence. Instead, I grinded against some inanimate objects, and retreated offstage to change for the next scene, throwing my blunder asunder, melting in the presence of my two new motivations.

I moved through the next scene elated.

Although they couldn’t see me, I wanted to put on a show. Give their interpreters something to talk about.

I flowed into my first scene on an emotional high. Trying to push my drugs, flour in some packets powdered detergent in other, felt real, as real as the slap that my dance partner landed in my eye. I shook it off and moved through my placements.

I found myself on the ground. I reached into my pocket to grab some drugs to snort.

The bag with soap detergent had busted. My mind flew into motion:

I can use this for realness, smearing it across my face to look at if I really were on drug.

I brought my nose close to my hand, imitating a real drug addict, scrapping my face, from nose to cheek, with the soap. I felt it sticking to my skin. I turned to the crowd catching a few people’s heads retreat in disgust at my sickness.

It elevated me.

I stood to my feet, turned my back to the crowd and took a huge whiff in, rebooting my joy. Suddenly I felt woozy. My nose gripped a sharp pain and my eyes lost focus. I mentally panicked:

What is happening to me?

I grabbed the side of my face, stumbling around the stage, accidentally forcing some of the powder into my mouth. The bitter taste threw a chill through me. I then knew I tasted the exact same formula that had attacked my nostrils:

This is not good!

I entertained thoughts of losing brain cells or causing permanent brain damage. I swatted at my nose trying to remove the remnants of soap.  It only forced more in. Soon, I was leaning against the wall, a waterfall of snot pouring out of my nose.

The colorful hoodie came close to me, helping me to my feet, going through the scene we had always gone through, except this time, real concern flushed her face. My eyes were rolling back and my head was beginning to pound. I could feel the snot dripping down the sides of my mouth, it mixed with the soap.

It foamed.

I moved to the edge of the stage and fell before the pleasant blind woman and interpreter. They began:

“What is happening?”

“The druggie guy has drug powder all over his face, he is foaming at the mouth, and real snot is coming out of his nose.”

“How much?”

“A lot, it’s going to get on you.”

She began to back up in her chair screaming and waving her hands:

“Get it away from me, get it away from me!”

My vision was blurred, but I could make out her motions. The end of the scene came about, she spoke:

“What is he doing now?”

“He has passed out over the edge of the stage.”

Leaning forward, the pleasant blind woman spoke:

“That’s what you get you dirty drug addict!”

Even though I was in dire pain and fearing that I had washed away some vital brain matter, and precious memories, I took joy in her ability to take in her surroundings. I couldn’t help but want to give her more.

After cleaning myself up, blowing all particles of soap from my nose and hoping I hadn’t caused permanent damage, Act II came about and I couldn’t wait to shower the pleasant blind woman with my Seasons of Love.

Oddly enough, as I looked down, her other blind friend had left. Only she and her interpreter were left. And although she could not see me, I sang to her. I reached out to her with my voice and lent her the visuals of my emotions through each word that I sang. I knew there were others in the crowd, but that day, that song, I sang for her.

By plays end, sadness swept over the cast. The tall photographer had given his last payment to RENT and was off to enjoy the friendly skies in other parts of the world. As he made his final departure, you could feel the love we all shared for him. Missing him was an understatement, for he had given

Tall Photographer

generously, listened fully and encouraged openly everyone in the cast.

To some, he was the friend we had always hoped for, yet never obtained. For others, he was simply a breath of fresh air, always lending a gentle breeze to soothe over the emotions.

I found myself comforted by such a breeze at times.

As the day progressed and the cast ate merrily, I found myself standing next to the video recorder. His deep accent pierced through his infectious smile as we talked. And although I didn’t know him too well, I held on to every word he spoke.

It wasn’t necessarily what he said that captured me, but the sound of his voice brought back the memories of my many scattered friends – in all parts of the world.

I looked around and realized that soon, these people too will all be going their separate ways. My cast mates, my friends, scattered amongst the many theatres and places this land has to offer. I couldn’t take it, I retreated into the auditorium.

I sat on the table directly in the middle of the stage. Looking out into the empty seats I filled them with hopes of the future, instances of the past and passions of the present. My eyes alternated between filling with water and blinking the moisture away.

I grabbed my knees.

On the other side of the doors I wrapped myself in the laughter that ensued. The mood was light, but my heart was heavy. I laughed with them, gently hugging their images with my mind. The fist pounder broke through, steadying her voice to give an announcement, to turn over the yearbooks she and the tall photographer had worked so hard and diligently to put together.

As she spoke I placed each cast, crew member and director in the image I wanted to remember. I imagined what each of their faces looked like, neglecting my ability to simply press through the doors and confirm my assumptions. However, I couldn’t move, my emotions wouldn’t allow me too.

So, there I sat, listening to the praises from the directors in love for their gifts. I could feel the hugs, draped with love as bodies embraced and emotions traded places.

Eventually, I silenced all around me and dipped into my own thoughts. Taking slow methodical breaths, staring into the empty chairs once again, I smiled:

Thank God this moment’s not the last.

As I bathed in my new revelation, knowing I would have one more chance with them, the friendly bassist interrupted my daydreams:

“You’re sitting here by yourself.”

I smiled, hoping he did not catch a glimpse of my tears.

Soon he was enlightening my mind with his carefully placed enthusiastic words and one song glory stole him away, disappearing around the corner.

A few people brought their commotion to my side of contentment and I forced myself to break away from my sullen mood.

I took a few steps, turned back to the stage and whispered:

“Thank you new friend!

I turned away and walked into the arms of desire.


“If you greatly desire something, have the guts to stake everything on obtaining it.”

Brendan Francis


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