THE ROAD TO NOWHERE

4:00AM and the morning mist hovers over the driveway pavement. It envelops the rose bushes and the base of the two maple's next to the cemetery and detached garage with no sign of dissipation. Blades of grass drip with dew. No wind, no rain; just dew. Weird, somehow among the stillness and calm, there is a sense of uneasiness and nervous energy. Perhaps this will fade when the clouds break and the sun warms the earth?


"When will I find out", I thought to myself, anxiously. I'm not sure how this time will be any different than the last dozen or so. The same shtick for the past four decades and no advancement besides the detached one-car garage. "Is this what making it feels like?", I think again. I thought the last time was the greatest achievement. Each one comes disguised in anxious excitement and joy only to have those emotions fade like everything else in my life. A momentary high followed by a crash and silence. Empty, vapid silence. Almost to the point of hearing my own heartbeat without putting a hand or finger on my neck. It's a lonely feeling. Wishing and wanting something greater, only to find out when it's here that it isn't as great as it was made out to be; it was an illusion.


"I thought you were going to the bathroom?", "I was."

"Come back to bed, it's cold out here.", "Give me some more time."

"No sense sitting out here waiting for the call, they said you will know by dawn."

"I'll be in soon."


She could have a point. Hemming and hawing out here won't bring about a decision any faster. It's like waiting for the kettle to boil. She doesn't understand the trials and tribulations of a theatrical performer, though. But who could expect that of her? I've done my best to expose her to my world and me to hers. Baking isn't a performance art per se, however, it does take craft and persistence, I'll give that one to her. But people need to eat, do people need the theatre? Maybe it's a want? Gosh, I'm so stupid. Listen to yourself! It's 4AM and you're going on your existential rant again and all about something out of your control. Roles come and go, if not this one then there will be plenty more, although I'm a bit older than most in this profession. Maybe now is a good time to retire.


I always thought this side of the rainbow would be colorful and filled with riches, prestige and adoration. Wrong. I was dead wrong. They were dead wrong. It's all a facade. It was romanticized and glamorized by everyone and I foolishly bit the bait. It's the only thing I was good at and could do very well. They would applaud and lust after me and it felt amazing. Having that power and control over a room of people waiting to see you do your thing. Curtains would rise and the moment I was recognized that was it; the "standing O". So loud and booming that the roar of the crowd shook my skull; I couldn't hear anything. My thoughts were nonexistent; it was bliss.


Only so many standing O's though before that feeling rushes back again and you're left questioning; why am I here? Did I finally leave my mark? Has an imprint been left on their hearts? Have I achieved the level of what some deem success by my one-car garage and two maple trees? Has my questioning enslaved me these past several years to where I'm now a washed-up talent with barely any accolades? Surely someone would hire me to do a song and a dance once again. I can't imagine why they wouldn't, unless they're placating me to try and make me feel important.


Nope. I'm not playing the role of martyr again today. It's still early, I have time to script something else. "Brrr...", I shutter. She was right, it is cold out here. Perhaps I'll get a call. Or I can take up baking and try it her way for a while; she seems peppy most days. I can learn something new. Or I'll sit here on the porch and wait for the morning dew to evaporate. I don't know...

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© 2020 Kevin Lynch