I love that theater is illustrative and instructive. Theater is almost unique as a vehicle to provide an echo of humanity. Like a child marveling at the movement in an aquarium, we can watch emotions expressed that either mirror our own or antagonize us into new emotions. And it changes us in an almost singular way by demonstrating behavior worthy of emulation or demanding condemnation. It gives men permission and women communion. And theater isn’t limited by space. A parent teaching a child to tie a shoe is a life altering performance. Theater is show-n-tell.
The thing about age is that you don’t need to take your finger and poke the corpse. You know it’s dead. You mourn the apathy, not the loss. And you walk through the door; you don’t slam it. You don’t turn around. You just don’t love them anymore.
I just had a conversation with the nurse who’s taking care of me. I’m very open in my life so people share with me. She’s very sick. I won’t reveal her illness. But it’s severe. We talked about two things. We talked about having an illness that isn’t noticeable. The wound nurse treated my foot ulcer last night. It’s an open bleeding sore. It’s obvious. But when you have an illness someone can’t see, it’s dismissed. We talked about not wanting sympathy – merely wanting acknowledgement. I told her that I’ve lost most of my friends since I’ve been sick. I didn’t know why. And then she told me. I love she had my answer. “People don’t want the emotional responsibility of you.” I love that. So true.
And then we talked about hatred. I’ve noticed there’s an undercurrent of snide and snippy in conversations. I feel like people are ready to pounce. I had a conversation with a buddy the other day. As I spoke I felt like he snatched the words from my air. It was nearly violent. And the nurse and I talked about it. She feels it too.
Lately I feel sad and bitter and hopeless and full of hate. That’s not like me. That’s not who I am. I need to change that. I won’t let my soul become wounded. And I can’t inflict my sadness and hopelessness on others. So. Hopefully the docs will be able to adjust my meds to a reasonable and livable baseline. I’m going to concentrate on my play. And I’m going to tuck my writing aside and not gush until I’m certain I can control the flow.
The best aspect (okay only) of being sick? Examinations of Conscience. Inactivity makes one introspective and fear makes one reflective. I haven’t been as good of a man as I should have been. I should have been a better friend. Now I sit in waiting rooms alone and I know:
I’ve known people who were sick and I didn’t help them.
I’ve known people who were confined and I didn’t visit them.
I’ve known people who were alone and I didn’t sit beside them.
I’ve known people who were afraid and I didn’t soothe them.
I’ve known people who were troubled and I didn’t even ask them how they were.
I’m glad I’ve felt it.
Now I’ll amend my life.