Thursday, 11 April 2013

The problem with life . . .

last day
. . . is that it keeps getting in the way.

. . . and that it comes to an end.

With ten days to go until the opening night of Californian Lives, I had thought that I was giving up an hour to cat-sit a few minutes away. Josephine and I had met when she was no more than three weeks old and the Ex brought her to live with us. In the seventeen years since then she had lived happily in many places and with many people; a few years ago she came back to the Ex, who was now living not far from me, which meant I saw her quite frequently. Then the Ex went back to the States for a fortnight's holiday and I dropped in on Josephine a few times to keep her company. This morning was different; I found her skeletal figure huddled in a corner, miaowing pitifully and mess everywhere. I rushed her to the vet. Organ failure was the diagnosis, the result of long-term over-active thyroid. I woke the Ex in LA and he spoke to the vet. He understood that it would not be kind to keep her alive until she came home. And so he agreed and I signed the papers and left before Josephine's final sleep. 

The word spread and there were phone calls and and texts and emails and Facebook messages commiserating and commemorating to be read and responded to. Finally I was able to put aside emotion and duty and return to the show. There is still much to be done. We've dealt with the stage suddenly changing from proscenium to thrust and the real and virtual upheaval that has caused. We're now dealing with props - how do we get three small tables of exactly the same size, plus the different tablecloths, and when am I going to create the cocktail menus? - and the continuing lack of a stagehand.  Not to mention the never-ending task of promotion. Death comes, but life goes on.