My bag is packed. My lines have been run. Fidgeting down. In six hours I’ll get a lift to Amsterdam and the fun begins – unloading, waiting, shuffling, waiting, talking, waiting, waiting.
Actually, I’m looking forward to it. Looking forward to being back in a city I always find energizing. Amsterdam…it’s magical. It’s very tourist, it’s very flashy, it’s very loud, and I wouldn’t want to live there…but it’s magical. Turn any corner and you might find that perfect something you’ve been looking for for ages, or a hidden hide-away hole in the wall where you discover the best food ever. I more than half expect to step through a worm hole and emerge in another time: that’s how strange and wonderful it is.
The trip there should be fun, too. My acting partner is driving up with some props, so he’s picking me, the director, and the director’s girlfriend up along the way. With four of us in the car, it’ll be a lively drive. I’ll be able to try out my social skills – How are you? How was your holiday weekend? – in a safe environment. And I’ve never made the trip to Amsterdam by car, so I’ll get to see all new roads and areas of the city I haven’t seen.
Did not get my hair done. I dithered back and forth, but after talking to my bro about finances for the month I decided I could just live with it the way it is. My brother gets his pension at the beginning of each month, and through long experience we’ve learned to be cautious. I’ve got the money now, but things are still tight. I’d rather hold onto it in case of emergency.
I did pick up a couple of needed items at the store: facial lotion, toothpaste. Used my bank card, which made me feel like a true Nederlander. Cash is being phased out here. Buy groceries? Run your card. Put money on your OV chip? Run your card. I’ve seen people run their card for purchases less than one euro. I find that silly. They take twice as long as handing over a euro and getting a few cent change. No, I’ll never be like that. But it is convenient and a little freeing to just swipe a card, punch in some numbers, and leave with what you want.
Found a new source of slavery: red velvet cake. I’m not someone who jumps on every food fad immediately. In fact, push that fad at me and I’ll dig my heels in and refuse to try it. So it’s been with red velvet cake. Up ’til yesterday. My brother came home with one from Albert Heijn, and oh, my! I am addicted. Those things should really come with big warnings across the front: MAY CAUSE FATNESS AND UNCONTROLLABLE LUSTING FOR THE RICH CREAMINESS YOU CAN ONLY FIND IN THIS CAKE. Wow. Glad I am out of the house for most of today. It should prevent me from having a piece. …Maybe.
My feet have been happy. The adjustments on my orthopedics seem to have done it. I can walk and walk and walk and not have problems. It’s warm enough now I can wear the other pair comfortably, too. They’re made of a tougher leather and they just don’t give much, so in cold weather they can still bite my feet. But it’s spring, and warmer, so they don’t. Make my feet happy, and I’m happy. There’s one of those old pains I just got used to. The aching, the soreness, the feeling of walking on broken glass. Amazing how much that shit wears on your spirit. Amazing how light and easy everything is with it gone.
Got down to Dutch, too. Wrote about spring in the different countries I’ve lived in. It’s a little short (for me). It’s far too pat in it’s conclusion. But it’s an exercise, not something I want to really write. Will not be surprised to find it contains less than the usual number of corrections; when I’m dispassionate about a subject, I can write very well. I don’t get hooked into my own words, so it’s easier to make corrections. Just one of those things I’ve learned about myself. It’s also why I now wait so long before releasing anything (other than these morning rambles). Time brings familiarity, and familiarity brings a more clinical and dispassionate view of my own work. I can catch more of my plot holes, fix more of my wonky sentences. Why not do the very best I can?
On my desk sits a tiny ring of silver. It’s a small earring I thought I’d lost. I found it yesterday. It is the only piece of jewelry I generally wear: one plain silver hoop in the second piercing on my right ear. I took it off in November for the role of Wendy, tucked it away a little too well, and forgot where I put it. Yesterday it shook loose. And tomorrow I put it back in my ear. It’s a very physical reminder of the full circle, a token of the closing chapter on this production: we will not do it again. I am certain of it.
…I wonder now if the Universe gave me the role of Wendy so I’d have a place to store all those annoying physical habits I built up over the years. Hunching my shoulders. Rubbing the palms of my hands on my pants. The nervous smiles and laughs. The uncertainty, the overcompensation, the brashness and abruptness that can put people off. She’s got all of that, in spades. But I also bring a vulnerability to her, an unexpected lowering of her defenses that, with one look and a trademark ‘oh!’ (which I must say at least a hundred times every performance), makes the audience like her.
Tonight, my hair will be frizzy and held back by two garish blue clips. My make up will be bright, loud, and unflattering. I will fidget, try to hitch up the back of my pants surreptitiously, snort laugh, lift my upper lip to show my gums when I smile, and speak with a cutting, nasal voice.
Then that’s it.