that dream

I am in a revival of Don't Drink the Water, and we opened last night. It went fabulously. I had my opening scene tonight, and now I'm backstage waiting for the next one. We're all smoking cigarettes and drinking coffee and it's really fun. We are in a new country and this is an exciting city in this new country and we are all excited about being here. My next scene is about 10 minutes away so there is time to talk.

It suddenly occurs to me that I remember the order of events in the next scene, but I can't remember any of the lines I have. This can't be that hard. The nest scene is short so I just have to get through that, and the rest will come back to me. I ask around for someone to go over lines with me. I can't find anyone to help me and it's getting closer.

The entrance is a flight up, but I go up two flights of stairs instead of one. Up here, there is a guy who visited me and my ex last night, he is a grad student in performance studies and wants to talk about his residency next summer. I tell him I'd love to, but right now I have to be Walter Hollander and I can't remember my lines. He finds people sitting at a table with scripts, and they share them with me. They are all the wrong script.

Now there is a woman with a headset, and she's trying to get me downstairs, because it's going to start. She notices I'm not in the right costume. "We'll have to get this straightened out," she says. Then, she notices that I am panicking right now, and she says, "I have been watching you for years and I always wondered how you did it, and I can see that you're always working, that makes sense."

Meanwhile, the grad student tells me that everyone worries too much. This is just a play. "Just listen to what the other person is saying when you're out there," he says. "And when it's your turn, say things."

I'm downstairs and in the wings and I am in front of a costume person. I need a suit and a wig and glasses, and she's undressing and redressing me and now I can't see anything. "Who did your costume?" she asks. "I think it was Jake and Jamie," I say, and she shakes her head.

"You'll be fine," she says. Then she gestures to Danny McNeill (a childhood friend, I haven't seen since second grade), he's got a script and he's going to go over it with me, and everything will be ok. I see myself in the mirror. I like the wig and the glasses. "This is what Walter Hollander looks like now," I say and then I wake up. 


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