I have always been a weeper. I was six when I saw my first musical: a high school production of Carousel in which my brother played Jigger. Before the show began I left my seat, in the middle of the auditorium, beside my family, and I dashed alone to the empty front row. It was a sign. I was a usually terrified child. I did not do things alone. I did not cause waves. But something up on that stage called to me. I knew there was something there for me behind that red curtain. When the music began and the swoosh of velvet parted to reveal a tableau of high schoolers posed behind cardboard carousel horses, circling the stage, I began to cry.
I’ll spare you the tale of my sobbing so loudly at Billy’s death, my mom promising me during the ride home that she would never again take me to a show. What I won’t spare you is this: I still cry when a musical overture begins. I cry when I get off the train and arrive in New York City. I cry walking the streets of Manhattan. I cry having coffee in the lobby of the Algonquin.
In a week I will begin my first extended trip to New York City in years. I am already weeping. This morning this was brought to my attention:
— and as soon as they started, I started. I tell you this for a couple of reasons.
One, if you live in New York city, frequenting Manhattan, especially the theatre district, you may well hear or see me weeping at any moment between April 13 when I arrive and April 20, the last day of my scheduled stay.
Two, I do have plans for some of the evenings, and I plan to spend every morning in the Algonquin lobby, drinking coffee, living in my head and writing in my notebook, and I would love to meet any of you, but, be warned, I will probably cry. And I am a vigorous hugger. In fact, around here, I am known for my hugging, my weeping, and a few other things but we’ll let those go.
Seven days. That’s what’s left.