Last night was our final epic performance of Peter Pan, put on by the Northport Highschool Drama class, where I got to live backstage, and whisper-yell at 25 reprobates and catch falling palm trees and flying pirate boots from backstage bunk bed props piled with bored elementary acting extras. And shout captain Hook's lines from behind the curtain when he mysteriously disappears between scenes because the spirit gum on his mustache tore all of the skin off of his upper lip. No really, that happened. And really, the girl who played Wendy and I took turns shouting his lines from offstage. It takes a village to play a pirate. And inevitably, one of our youngest pirates had to go potty three minutes into the first act. And two of the lost boys either "forgot" or just refused to wear their hoods, thereby reducing them to nothing more on stage than a crabby teenager in ripped jeans carrying a bow and arrows. After two hours of applying makeup, pinning consumes, yelling cues and silencing freshmen, I was a hot mess. Literally, and not in the attractive way.
Yesterday, before the show, I had a little bit of an emotional meltdown at Josh, which involves yelling at him for a Lot Of Things that aren't his fault and aren't even a real problem until I circularly-reason my way to the crux of the issue, which is that I feel like crap. And when I feel like crap, which is always, I either have to take it easy and feel crappier because I am not doing the things that I need to do and that need to get done, or not take it easy and feel crappier because I am not taking it easy. I feel like the latter is the lesser of the two evils, which is obviously flawed thinking, but as I get farther and farther behind in everything, and less and less "healed" overall, the frustration becomes paramount to wisdom.
After the show, and running myself in silly circles about silly things that couldn't be fixed or controlled anyway (i.e spirit gum avulsions), I stepped back and watched the glowing students and the glowing parents, and as much as it's s thankless job, and as much as I now have worlds more respect for teachers in their underpaid positions, there is something to be said for watching a kid (even one who just told you off backstage) enjoy the rush of OWNING a character, and a story, on the stage, and selling it successfully to their parents (even ones who just chewed you out backstage) and know that years from now, they won't remember you whisper-yelling backstage, but they will remember that play. Their part. Probably even their lines. And maybe you helped with something worthwhile. Even if there were no glowing parents to take your picture afterward (in fact I don't have a single photo in my possession to even prove it ever happened), and instead of thanking you they glare at you for whisper-yelling at their child, and nobody even knows that if you hadn't been there that palm tree would have landed on Wendy's head, or Captain Hook would have been absolutely wigless for the entire last scene, or that one pirate would have definitely been short one boot. Even if you spent the rest of the week on the couch, you were part of something big for a couple of hours.
Ultimately, in the end, all of my frustrations and bad tempers can be attributed to A) a long winter, B) an uncooperative body and C) not getting to play Peter Pan. I'm still a little bitter. Just a little.