I’m thinking of permanently becoming “Lola”. But then he said my given name and I liked how it sounded. I answer to ‘Lola’ without hesitation in a crowded room. But there is an awful lot of paperwork that goes with legally changing names. And he doesn’t know I exist, otherwise.
In Diavolo, almost everyone gets a nickname and mine was my cabaret stage name. My alter ego, second skin. Diavolo is over for me as of a week ago. My knees and feet still ‘click’ but the swelling has subsided. However, I think I have a stress fracture in my foot. Not the one I broke in June while training, the other foot. But I have no intention of putting on a boot and giving up all activity for weeks or months again. Last time nearly killed me, not quite kidding. I signed the placard, “Diavolo, thank you for this opportunity. I crawled. Maybe next time, if there is one, I will fly and sing for you.”
I’ll never be the poster child for veteran therapy projects but that doesnt mean that I don’t sincerely appreciate those who are trying to help. I joke “hashtag dead inside”. On stage, I’m living, feeling, breathing (too hard, gasping like a fish out of water, praying to avoid another asthma attack). Off stage, it’s like nothing happened.
And I’m rarely in the photos either so it really is like it never happened and I was never there. I was thinking this the night after Diavolo when I jumped back into a performance with my other group, the zombie flash mob for charity (no names or you’ll know exactly where and who I am). I schmoozed a spot for my Cabaret troupe to perform a number too just for the promotion.
I danced, socialized (promoted) and before the end of the night, the Cabaret girls handed me a stack of flyers and said they were tired, leaving, could I pass out the rest of these (for a show that I wasnt even in). You’re tired. YOU’RE tired…?? I wanted to scream! I had just spent nearly 80 hours in six days rehearsing then performing with Diavolo and THEY dance three minutes and want to call it a night but since I’m there networking anyway, can I just pass out the flyers so they can go home and fuck their boy toy or go to the bar and gossip, yeah, that’d be great, cheers!
I nodded, I think I smiled and said “okay” or “sure”. They walked away, I stayed to be polite through the rest of the performance, flyers clutched in my angry hand. At the end of the night, I limped slowly back to my car and threw the flyers in the recyling bin along the way.
Later in bed, too aching and tired to sleep, I looked at photos people were posting from both shows. I was out of frame. Pictures or it didn’t happen, right? But it did happen and where is my proof? On stage with Diavolo? Nope. The zombie Liza singinging with my Cabaret troupe? Nope. Except for my zombie flash mob folks. We don’t take selfies, we take groupies.
I was alone, in pain, crying myself to sleep like a little bitch. Hormonal perhaps but mostly just physically uncomfortable and feeling sorry for myself. I reached out on social media “Why do I do this to myself? I don’t even know if I enjoy it.” An old radio aquaintance and night owl was quick to respond “Mid life crisis? To prove to yourself that you still can do it?”
I stopped crying and chewed on that. Hadn’t considered it but the shoe does fit, now that he mentions it.
Sleep makes everything right, at least for a time, in my world. I woke, still hurting but otherwise back to “normal” emotionally. Feeling a bit silly even and deleted my woe-to-me post. But I thanked my aquaintance for his insight and figured now might be a good time to stop beating myself up -physically and emotionally. Take a rest. Eat carbs.
Then I got an email saying I’d been selected in the lottery to slog (slog jog) again for 6.2 miles over the Skyway 10k in a few months. What rest? What feet? What knees? What mid life crisis?