Final Curtain

I went there, you know:  to that grand theatre, that place of debauchery, illicit passion and tragedy.  Only this time I went as an observer as opposed to a participant – or would “victim” be the more appropriate word?  I suppose that if I was a victim, I have to admit that I was a willing one, so perhaps that negates the term.

It was strange to be there and be nothing more than a ghost; to be even less than the shadow I had been in the original production.

Oddly, nothing had changed there, except your absence from the play.  This time it was just me onstage, playing to a theatre empty of everything except ghosts.  At first they mocked me a bit, but eventually they seemed to take pity on me – perhaps because they recognized my absolute sincerity, pain and disillusionment.  I am, if nothing else, a method actor; gotta live the part to play it.

When I sat on the hill at the cemetery where once we had lounged, eating lunch, laughing andtalking, the wind whispered, in a soothing voice, that I would survive.  When I slit my wrists and carved the first letter of your name into my palm with a bright, shiny new razor blade (surprisingly found in the bottom of my purse), the spirits of the grandparents with whom I sat cried out for me to stop.  But I couldn’t.  I didn’t.  I suppose I must have lost a fair amount of blood because the next thing I knew I was lying on my back and the sun was low in the west.  Moving incautiously reopened the dried wound on my left wrist and I just stared at it, trying to remember why I had even done it…and then I noticed the white rose in the grandfather’s flowers, tipped in red – the scarlet was my own heart’s blood (remember “Greenwood Cide-o”?).

Eventually I walked down to the tree under which we often parked, reveling in its shade, and dug a small hole.  I half-burned a copy of that poem you wrote for me, and buried it, along with a couple of other things, hoping it would help me leave my pain behind.

Where it belonged:  in a cemetery.

Knowing, at last, that the final curtain had fallen on this production.  And a bit sad to know that there would be no more re-writes of the script.

July 2010


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