I’m not even sure how to start this blog, and this might be a bit bumpy, but.. uh… here we go.
As you have probably guessed by my “Letters to NYC” earlier, I am in New York. If you’ve read this blog for any length of time, you are probably thinking that something must be very, very wrong. And normally, I would agree with you.
It’s no secret that I didn’t love my time in New York. I spent 4 years working here, and during that time, my life fell spectacularly to shit. You can argue that it was my life here rather than the city that I hated. Well, it might be a tough argument. It’s not that I never enjoyed a moment when I was here—I did. I met my friend Mich here, and we did have an adventure or two (that resulted in zero convictions and only one court appearance). But even friends of mine who love the city will admit that it isn’t always the easiest place to be.
I have a stress-related illness. Ok, technically, two. They aren’t anything tragic—they do not impact my ability to work in most cases, and I just avoid situations where I can’t make an exit if I have to. In New York, both became worse. Naturally, I blame the job I was doing here and my rapidly declining love life—but the city gets it share of blame.
I used to travel—I used to travel a lot. I traveled all around Europe on less than a shoe-string budget (but I can tell you the absolutely best train station restaurants to wash your hair in). Twenty-one year old Kate never wanted to get married, never wanted a house and never wanted to settle in one place for long.
Lately, I’ve been wondering where that Kate went. Obviously, the illness impacted some of that. At twenty-one, I rarely thought about what would happen if I got sick while traveling. Now it’s always in the back of my mind—and not just traveling, but any time I’m in unfamiliar territory on any given day.
In June, I found out that Duchovny was doing “The Break of Noon” in New York. My immediate reaction was to curse him for not doing the play in LA instead. But once that passed, that whisper of the “Kate that Was” started to get louder. Afterall, the random flight of fancy up to San Francisco a couple of years ago ended well. This flight would just be slightly longer (OK,a hell of a lot longer).
The idea took hold. In August I got tickets. I still wasn’t completely convinced that I was going to do it, but I didn’t want to give up the idea that I could do this. Naturally, I couldn’t just let this be fun. I had to create a situation where there was at least some work element involved.
Unfortunately, that new element added to the stress. So, last night instead of gleeful anticipation, I was sick. Very sick. Sick to the point of the “why me” whining and planning on ways to not go and yet still get the work aspects handled.
But here I am.
Now I’m sure you’re thinking, “Damn, that Duchovny is a powerful draw”. And while I was intrigued to see how his work would translate in his new way, I think this was really more about me. I needed to do this. I’ve spent too much time lately feeling trapped in a life I wasn’t paying much attention to.
I’m certainly paying attention now.
I got off a plane a few hours ago. Two hours later I saw “The Break of Noon” (that’s right—at night, after flying). The play is a stark examination of life, death and salvation in a way that only Neil LaBute can really make work. It’s haunting. It’s disturbing. It’s funny. It’s human.
I left the theater thinking, “Thank God, I didn’t cancel the trip”.
My friend Pen was initially planning to come see the play with me. Work and life conspired to make that impossible, but I made a new friend tonight because of it. The show was sold out, but there was a line of people hoping for returns. I went back to the box office, and the guy told me that they couldn’t resell it that close to the show, but if I wanted to be a good samaritan… So, I was. I gave Pen’s ticket to the first guy in line who wanted a single ticket.
It turns out this guy was a theater buff. He had just seen “A Little Night Music”, and wanted to take a chance on this play because he had seen a lot of Neil LaBute’s work produced and was curious. When the play ended, we were both a little shell-shocked. We turned to each other and said “Wow”. Then I told him the truth—that I had only seen Duchovny on TV/films, and hadn’t known what to expect. His response, “I was completely dazzled by him. He was wonderful.”
David was a revelation (which is oddly fitting given the play). I don’t expect that my opinion (or my seat mate’s) will have much weight. Many will roll their eyes because they’ve formed an opinion of the man’s abilities without actually seeing the play. On a normal day, that would make me annoyed. But tonight, I think I’m just going to land on “your loss” because he’s terrific and the play, like it’s leading man, leaves the audience with much to ponder.
What I would have missed…