It’s only words … unless they’re true.

–DAVID MAMET

 

I’m sitting knee-deep in Mamet,
firmly ensconced in the drama
section of Powells.
8:00, Friday night.
I am forty-seven “fucks”
into American Buffalo
when the hairs on the
back of my neck start
to bristle. Out of the
corner of my left eye,
I can see him entering
the aisle, an interloper.
I have no time for men
who wear flannel and
skinny jeans. He’s
keeping a fair distance
away; he’s at “A” for Albee,
while I firmly hold my ground
at “M” for Mamet. He clumsily
pulls out random books and
pretends to read them, working
his way down the aisle,
past Caryl Churchill,
past Steven Dietz.
By the time he gets to
Tony Kushner, it’s too close.
He looks over at me, hopefully,
wanting to start a conversation.
I focus on amplifying my
bitchy resting face, I need
to find the perfect Mamet play–
the right one, with the right role
and nothing else matters at this moment
except finding that and buying the script
and going home to read the script, and then
figuring out who will direct it
and which space we’ll rent,
and planning on how to raise the money
for royalties and get people to come
and see it, because I believe that
producing live theatre
is one of the last brave things
we get to do.
When your life is in the theatre
this boy-meets-girl-meet-cute
is beyond comprehension.
It does not belong to you.
It belongs to civilians.
It is as impossible
as being able to sanitize
Mamet for preschoolers.
I leave before he can say hello,
my future stacked in my hands
in the form of used copies
of David Mamet’s plays.

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