Mid week during dinner break I was in the kitchen stabbing some of Jason’s bbq’d portobello mushrooms, the popcorn girl/ dish angel was standing next to me eating a bowl of vegetables and asked me if I was vegan. I nodded and said ‘You’re vegetarian, right?… You should go vegan.’ She broke into the brightest smile and said ‘I would but my Mom would never let me!’ I didn’t know how to respond so I just smiled and shrugged at her. For a closing night gift I wrapped up Elizabeth Castoria’s book that I had found on a discount table in a new bookstore and a few stickers that had come with a Pioneers Press order. Being a school night, she wasn’t sticking around for the closing night party. I gave her the package before I headed back to work. I never saw her open it but I’m sure I’ll see her next month when we start prep for the summer show.
Karli was brushing Ray’s coat and asked me ‘How many people are on the farm right now?’ I started counting on my fingers ‘Uh I don’t know 28? 35 maybe… do you mean staying on farm or company as a whole?’ She said she just needed a rough number. We settled on 32 as a safe bet. The next day before the half hour I found her around the back side of the tack shed under the shade of the lilac tree with a cigarette hanging out the right side of her mouth, pliers in each hand and a box of horse shoe nails pinched between her knees. ‘Karli, what are you doing?’ She laughed, exhaling smoke ‘Nothing, nothing at all.’ I told her I didn’t see anything. She made everyone pendants out of horse shoe nails as closing gifts.
Lisa and I nested with the dogs in the office till the cabaret started. Introvert reboot headquarters, though more people are figuring this out and coming to hang out with us. I woke up the next morning with the bewildered realization we had closed the show. All the intense layers and prep of a summer/winter show, with less crew and a third of the run length… no wonder I was sick. Eight performances in a week and out. I’ll take a day off then spend the following day packing up props, turning the dressing rooms back into the rehearsal space, pull up the stage tape in the gazebo and clean up the stage management gear strewn across the farm. An early night sleep. Morning espresso across from the railway tracks in town with Lisa and Buddy. Luka and I then hit the south road for a month of slinging used books till the summer contract begins again. The cycle.