Saturday, May 13, 2006


“So Mike tells us you got yourself a little job,” my mother-in-law says.

I fight back the impulse to answer through gritted teeth.

I have in fact reinstalled myself as a freelance writer for one of the local papers, a different one than I used to write for. A person gets preggers, and consequently sick as a dog, drops out of the loop for a few months, eventually tries to get back in but finds the editors have changed and wrangles unsuccessfully to pitch her once-embraced stories, has a babykins, drops out of the loop for a few more months, and then rises again, reincarnated with the competing print media. “Little job,” indeed.

So anyway, I had gotten my first assignment (the luxury of pitching not mine at this stage) which was a write-up of a dance performance. I read the press release and literally yawned. Dance-shmance. I couldn’t quite figure out what was meant to happen and I wasn’t all that interested in trying. Headline: New girl gets bum story!

As I left to do the interview, I regaled Mike with lines from themes songs past. Singing out my mockery: I’m gonna live forever! (I danced down the hall kicking my leg up behind me as I disappeared from his view into the living room.) I’m gonna learn how to fly! (High!) (I reappeared around the corner swirling my head and thrusting out my arms to dramatic effect.) … I'm gonna live forever. Baby, remember my name. (Rememba, rememba, rememba, rememba…)

But I’m a sucker. Always have been. I fell for her. The choreographer I was interviewing. She was nice. She was interesting. But most of all, I was reminded of living the life creative. Of what it looks like when someone has not just said she wanted to do more of her art, or imagines that when she retires, she’ll spend her days painting or writing or making films. She lives as an artist, 105% of the time. It’s different, so different, than talking to a 9-5er. I’ve hovered between the two worlds so long, I don’t know if I really understand how to live in either.

But what I realized mostly after my conversation was that I want Isaac to have these people in his life. I want him to have writers and dancers as “aunties” and “uncles.” Not famous people, just dedicated artists. I want to make poker games out of my theatre friends, so that the virtual smoke from our virtual cigars floats down to my son and fills his lungs with scripts and stage directions. I want the people that come to dinner at our house while he’s growing up to be the kind who have studios in their garage and poetry websites. Who knows, maybe someday his mommy might even be one of those people.

1 comment:

judy said...

I know you're too nice to slap your mother-in-law, so I'll do it for you!
PS I like the new photo.

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