"Saturday, December 18th: Strike!!! Remember, only selfish jerks skip the strike! Let's get the stage nice and clean and ready for the next production." --Katie
I am not a selfish jerk.
I poured in everything,
cancelled appointments with the therapist,
mother driven to distraction.
French horn practice? What practice?
I am not a selfish jerk; I cannot come to strike.
I may have mentioned,
once or twice
I am in the midst of another end of production:
my residence here,
my attention needed to disassemble a bed
I slept in for no audience at all
and make sure my little sister minds
every wall-leaning board,
every tower of boxes and precious parcels.
A bow-less departure will ensue
No fanfare to carry me through the cleanup,
nauseating sight of the moving truck,
clinging to every mile of highway,
bopping to Broadway soundtracks
in the backseat of the car.
Moves often come with such intense busyness that we're forced to withdraw from our lives in the place we're leaving before we've even left. Theater is something that expects everything out of you; there's a very 'no excuses' mentality around showing up and doing your job. These two dynamics clashed when I had to explain several times to the student director of a play I was in that I wouldn't be able to help with the strike (for all you non-theater people, that's when we take the set apart and clean everything up after the last show) because we'd have movers in our house that day. This poem encompasses all the feelings and weight of responsibility that I wanted to make her understand.