since July of last year. I brought it back with me from New Jersey, where I’d
stayed with my brother and attended a good friend’s wedding. My brother was
getting set to move from his (omg LUXURY) apartment (by SF standards) to
Baltimore to live with his long-time girlfriend. (Seriously — a huge one-bedroom for $950. Come ON!, she drooled.)
keeper of books.
place since I was … 23 and he was 20, still living in our childhood home. So, for about
ten years I haven’t been able to witness him living on his own, developing his
own habits and patterns, becoming a real self-sufficient adult who buys his own
eggs and toilet paper, and who apparently keeps books.
them, escaped to the one in our neighborhood growing up, and mostly, I like to
live light. But, as I’ve settled into my own adult-ness, and one place-ness,
and probably not moving anytime soon-ness, I’ve begun to slowly add to these shelves.
donate!) almost all his books, I scoured his shelves for anything that wouldn’t
weigh down my carry-on bag too much. I took a few “classic” novels,
returned my copy of Catch-22 to myself,
a few books on physics, and two on acting.
base, but as in incompassionate and didactic). The other is called Auditioning by Joanna Merlin.
plays in high school and in college, and I even flew back once for his star
performance in undergrad (the play of which I cannot recall), to attempt to
make up for the years when I’d been absent from his life. He was a fun actor,
an able one, and I still hope/wish that he takes it up again one day.
was one place for him that his stutter completely disappears, and he is the
confident man I know him to be.
hadn’t a crease in its spine. Brand new. And Ben gladly passed it on to me.
Monday, I opened the notebook I’d brought, which I use for theater stuff, apparently.
In the notebook were some handwritten notes and quotes from Merlin’s book. I
must have written them down when I was reading the book last summer, and then
promptly put it back on the shelf.
into the dark world of trying and hoping and trying some more in the
course-less world of theater. I took the book back off the shelf the other
night, and haven’t been able to put it down since.
compassionate anecdotes about sitting in the waiting room for one, and tips and
exercises for how to explore a scene or monologue. It’s a great book. I’m
devouring it. And I know I’m at a place where it’s relevant now, where it
wasn’t when I began it a year ago.
understanding of the challenges I’m putting in front of myself, and the ones
that are inherent to the process.
with my brother, if he hadn’t been discharging all his books, if I hadn’t taken
this class at Berkeley Rep, if I hadn’t picked up this very notebook, I
wouldn’t have gotten this gift.
walked before – but someone else has.