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Monday, April 2, 2012

Hey! You! Get Out of My Way! Part 15 Back in Albany New York


Crawford is beautiful and smart. She has white fur with beautiful pink eyes. I let her wander around the apartment out of her cage but only when I am there. In four days she already knows her name and comes to me when she is called.

When I take a shower, Crawford enters the bathroom, climbs up on the tub and pushes her way behind the curtain to be with me. The first time this happens she scares me but now I look forward to it. She dances around my feet and plays as the water falls on us.
I can actually watch Crawford think. Her little nose twitches while she comes up with solutions on how to climb furniture in the apartment.  Nothing seems to be slowing her down and she will jump from counter to table and back. I run through the apartment and she follows me.

When Leo comes to visit, Crawford will climb my pants and rest on my shoulder. There she leans in to Leo’s face and he kisses her. Jonathan on the other hand is not allowed to look, touch or talk about Crawford. I hope that Crawford has friends named Willard and Ben who will come and eat Jonathan but until then, he is to stay away.


Jonathan whines that I don’t let him touch Crawford and he asks me “Why?” all the time. “Where are Mickey and Judy?” I snap back. This quiets him right away every time he asks and then he sulks back into the bedroom with his head hanging down.

Lately when Leo gets ushered out the back door, Andy gets ushered in the front. I no longer feel alone, I have two men and one white rat to look after me and one monster to keep at bay.

Rehearsals are in full swing, we rehearse at night and during the days on the weekend. The director is usually in a foul mood, smells of last night’s liquor, cigarettes and a lifetime of regret. When I look over at him I see the Walrus from Disney’s Alice in Wonderland, except with blood shot eyes and a snarl on his face.

I meet my lifelong friend Liz during rehearsals. She is a no nonsense Italian girl with a wicked sense of humor and a quick wink of the eye that tells you she is on your side. She laughs off anything that the walrus says to her.

Tonight we are learning the tap break to I got the Sun in the Morning and the Moon at Night. It sounds like a herd of buffalo running for their lives. The choreographer has upped the choreography from the well used “box step” and “Grapevine” to steps that are seriously tough. “Flap, flap, flap, ball change, triple time step, fall off log, step dig step dig, arms to Mimi.” We do what he yells; the herd stampedes left, right, left, turn in and extend our arms towards Mimi.

Mimi screams out “Jesus Christ, what the hell was that?” Shading her eyes from the working stage lights Mimi screams out into the house. “Dick, do I have to do that?” she says pointing towards us. We are all breathing rapidly because it is the ninth time that we have run this number in a row.

The Walrus has drifted off to sleep with his head on his hand. When Mimi’s voice pierces his slumber he slides off his hand, snapping his head up. “What is it Mim?” he says shortening her name by one letter. “Dick, I mean come on this is baloney. My tits are jumping up and down and who’s going to listen to my taps?” Mimi shoots back. “Make it a bit,” yells the Walrus.

So far he has let Mimi make everything a bit. What this means is that she will make it up or mug to the audience or win them over with her charm. Mimi is in her 50’s and Annie Oakley is sixteen during this show. Blur your eyes, we all do for the paycheck.

Liz has lent me a t-shirt tonight because I forgot mine. It is for a towing company called Glenville Wrecking. It is probably the manliest thing I am wearing besides my jazz pants and tap shoes. “Dick?” Mimi screams again. “Can the kids take a break?” “Yes, yes,” blusters the Walrus dismissing us with a wave of the back of his hand.

I walk to the front of the stage and hop off. “Jesus, snarls the Walrus. “You mince like a little faggot,” he says to me as I pass.

To be continued…….

Geoffrey Doig-Marx holds all written and electronic rights to his writing "A Day in the Life". It can not be reprinted in part or whole without his written consent.

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