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I Am Not a Selfish Jerk

"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 think

I may have mentioned,

once or twice

last week.

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

Sunday morning.

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.

1 Comment

Jan 30

the therapy one is so relatable 😭

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