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unblinking

My sister is at the sewing machine with her mouth in a tight little thinking O. My brother makes the same face and has from the cradle. It makes me smile and want to say “what’s a matter, baby?”. She is designing a Sophia Loren frock for her tomorrow’s rockabilly gig with Eve Hell and the Razors, her fluorescent pink hair catching the sun. IMGP0198-Eve-Hell-560x700

A musician friend of theirs has just died from a heart attack, far far far too young. She exchanges melancholic tendernesses with her husband while in a heap of cheerful cherry, check and eyelet. I can’t imagine they feel much like being the literal life of the party tomorrow. But they will. They will pull that joy up from their guts. She will pin up her curls with a flower and cinch up her skirt with a cha cha cha. He will slick back his hair and grab his new guitar (currently lounging against the sofa like a woman just begging to dance). They will tear it up, knowing all too keenly well: music makes life worth living for.EHTR-2012-Moloich-Photography-Ltd.-14

My show opens tonight. I feel ready. I have cracked open my heart and roasted it like a chestnut for the audience to nibble. I am soft. I sashay on stage trembling, “eat me now while I’m hot, before I expire. This is noir after all. Chances are, I won’t last long”. Took four weeks to the day to shed my shell. My director has the patience of a saint.IMG_1636

I meet with a friend for lunch. She’s an actor who took a full time job. “Have I given up, Lucia?” I ask her if she’s still able to do one show a year to feed her heart. “Yes”. Then thank the Lord for a paycheque and benefits. Because freelancing, that’s all I got. It’s back to cleaning houses for me in the fall.

The Calgary sky is clear and cottage hot. The city is unblinking. “Did I have a snow storm last week? So what? Clear your dead trees and suck it up.”
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