Last Friday I ended up staying late at work for two reasons. First reason, I had to finish a blog post for my 9 to 5 job. Second reason, I decided to catch the 6:04 bus to San Rafael to go see A Man, His Wife and His Hat by up at AlterTheater.
Right around 5:45 I realized it was time to get going to the bus stop. I threw on my scarf and grabbed my umbrella (which kinda broke that morning) and briskly walked through the drizzle to 1st and Mission. Somewhere along the way (or quite possibly earlier in the day) I lost my earring. I realized it was missing when I got to the bus stop. Disappointed, I tried to keep in mind that even though it was one of my favorite earrings I did almost lose another favorite earring earlier that week. It miraculously turned up in the oddest of places and so if the Universe had to take one earring away, well, I guess I could part with the one I lost Friday. Though, Universe, if you're listening, I'd be happy to find it somewhere under my desk.
The bus arrived on time, but as we slowly moved along in the rain and heavy traffic I realized we were behind schedule (the Golden Gate Transit buses publish their schedules so you can tell if you're on time or running behind based on if you arrive at say Civic Center at the time they're supposed to arrive). We were in fact about 15 to 20 minutes behind. Normally this sort of delay wouldn't bother me, but then I was going to see a play that started at 8pm and the bus was scheduled to arrive in San Rafael at 7:30pm. Then there was the 15 minute jaunt to the theatre on foot.
I got nervous. You see, I have this thing about time. I do not like being late. In fact, for a long time I was always notoriously early to things. I've gotten better about this, but due to the fact that I rely on public transit I usually am still early or sometimes late to events. Usually it's early because I build in time for issues in transit.
I tried to remember the sage advice that I recently got in the form of a flowchart:
So I was mildly anxious. This was partly due to the fact that my entire work week had my head in a stress vice grip. To mitigate my lateness I texted Ignacio, a fellow playwright and AlterLab writer. I crossed my fingers hoping he was going to the show and could perhaps pick me up. Unfortunately he replied that he was not going to attend. Drat!
So I decided to text a message to Nakissa, my dramaturg, who was working on the production. I asked if they were scheduled to start on time and explained that I was running late on the bus. A moment later I got a call from Nakissa. Or, I should say from Nakissa's phone because the voice on the other end was not hers and it took me a moment to realize it was Hugo.
Both Nakissa and I met Hugo this past summer when he read the part of Miqueo in my Heart Shaped Nebula reading. He's currently in AlterTheater's production of A Man, His Wife and His Hat playing a fiancé that almost floats away.
Hugo E. Carbajal tries to not float away. I loved watching Hugo clinging to the chair, trying to weigh himself down.Photo by Benjamin Privitt
Hugo had good news for me: Marilet, his roommate was also going to attend the show (Marilet played Dalila in my summer reading of Nebula). So I gave Marilet a call and arranged for her to pick me up at the bus station in San Rafael.
As luck would have it, even though the bus was a full 20-25 minutes late when we reached the Golden Gate Bridge, we made up all that time and then some once we crossed it. How? Well, I guess the fact that it was raining meant less people were interested in waiting for a bus. There were hardly any people waiting at the bus stops so we zipped right along all the way to San Rafael and I arrived at like 7:15pm.
Marilet and I were actually the first people to arrive at the theater space. (Yes, I felt like a total dork for worrying).
We waved hello to Nakissa, Hugo and Lauren (who was in town for opening) and settled into our seats for the show.
Note: I am not a reviewer and this isn't a review. But I will say I enjoyed the production. There's a lot of whimsy in this play, but not just for the sake of being whimsical. It's rooted in an emotional earnestness, which I appreciate. And I also appreciate Lauren's treatment of the older characters in this play. So often I see older characters used as fodder for comic relief, and while these character's lives are filled with comic moments, there is depth to them. We see that they've lived lives, have regrets, loved deeply.
And yes, one of the characters is a wall. It took me a moment to realize why the voice was so familiar to me...it was Nakissa! Who was ,"So Awesome. So awesome. So awesome."
After the performance there was a bit of a party with yummy tapas. I chatted with a subscriber about AlterLab and congratulated the actors on their work. Jeff Garrett was especially great as Hetchman.
With Nakissa busy fulfilling her dramaturgical duties, I caught a ride home with Marilet and Hugo. We sang songs in the car and I confessed how I don't really like the original 4 Non Blondes version of What's Up. What can I tell you--my college roommate played it ad nausem and even the lead singer didn't like how the studio made her voice sound with that song. I prefer a cover of the song.
So that's where this blog post will end, with the cover that saved this song for me. And by the way, it was a great way to end the evening as well. Good friends and a good play. Sounds like the perfect evening to me.