Dude asked me if I’ve ever been in a play.
The question instigated immediate time-travel to a time when I was 16. Sixteen and awkward. Slightly more than I am now.
It was high school, a time in every boy’s life when everything evolves around woman, like every other period of a man’s life. The play was about mistaken identity and I was cast in a supporting role, the love interest of the lead actress. My character was a real Casanova.
In the cosmic dictionary one can find a picture of me at 16, cast in the role of a womanizer, defining the word IRONY. At sixteen I was all limbs and skin and bones with facial features still migrating from boy to man and a voice that dropped two days before. Kind of a late bloomer.
But I had a girlfriend and nothing else matters. I was king of the world, implying that she understood the importance of a great personality and a brilliant sense of humour. Looks could not have defined her choice in men. Don’t worry, I’m all George Clooney now, except for the square chin, bedroom eyes and other attractive features he might have.
Since my girlfriend was cast as the lead in the play, I was determined…NO I was driven with every ounce of my being to be cast opposite her in that particular play. No one else would be good enough to hold her hand on stage, not even mentioning the kissing scene. I studied the part like my life depended on it. It paid off, I got it. And the jock, who everyone expected to get the part, lost out. Brain 1 Brawns 0.
We went through rehearsal after rehearsal and it was absolute bliss. Time stood still. Angels descended from heaven and was singing about love and everlasting joy. We were hanging around after school, talking, laughing, sharing, making wonderful memories as the two star-crossed lovers on Broadway.
Until the bitch cheated on me. With an older guy.
He was 20, which seemed ancient when your 16. He also shaved daily, and packed a few more pounds than me, if few is like 30. I intuitively knew there was no way in hell I could beat him up, as skeletons don’t fight well. I resorted to the only option I had in defending my honour. I told everyone I knew. My ex-girlfriend went from perfect to full-blown whore in a few hours. I’m not proud of the way I handled that situation, but don’t judge me as it was an act of a broken heart.
Problem was opening night was looming around like a creep stalking me. It descendant from the same place as those angels but with a dark vengeance. I remember how much I hated that girl for what she did to me and how I despised every moment of having to act like a liked her on that awful stage. I did mention this to our director two weeks before opening and she flipped like a lady on a hunger strike finding a Twinkie. She went ballistic, telling me that she couldn’t care less of my little failed love affair, which wasn’t so little, considering that we were dating for three months at the time of her deceit. I had no choice but to take my self-pity, shove it where the sun don’t shine and act my way through as her loving boyfriend. Did I mention that our director was a tyrant, who ate babies? She was oblivious to the emotional scarring she was forcing upon 16-year-old me.
Eventually we got through every painstaking rehearsal, only communicating via the scripted dialogue on stage. The kissing scene was a nightmare. Like kissing that garlic loving aunt who constantly forgets her false teeth. Or the ass of a bull terrier.
In hindsight, I think it must have been interesting seeing the two of us with flaming-red hatred in our eyes, having to flip a switch and play the loving couple. It wasn’t all bad though, karma can be your friend. During the course of the play my character gets interested in several other girls who shares the stage with him. I had to fake my affection for an hour and a half, only to have an opportunity of spitting my revenge in the form of a gloriously scripted break-up scene.
Yes, dearest followers, I was given the opportunity of dumping her ass, not once but during every rehearsal! Revenge is very sweet. My best performance had to be on opening night when the beefcake asshole who seduced her, was sitting in the front row.
The whole cast got a standing ovation, but I believe Lady Justice was clapping profusely at my delivery which came straight from the heart. Or that other place where hurt goes and die.
Life was good but an Oscar would have made it better.