Sit and deliver

You are the reason candy bars cost two bucks.
You are the reason candy bars cost two bucks each.

Something is wrong with this chair. Lately stories won’t come to it. Lately all I think about are plays. Plays I’m writing, plays I’m directing, plays I’m reading, plays I’ve been watching. How they work and why they don’t work and what to do to make them work better.

Outside the window, a man is walking past in a suit with a red tie. Is it that warm? Yesterday at this time I looked out at snow on the roof. I tried to think of a story that had happened the day before. I wrote about watching Beth’s show open to a standing ovation. Yes it was probably a lot of friends, but they didn’t have to stand. Or did they? I love watching standing ovations from the back of the theatre. Some people shoot up immediately. Others follow quickly, like “Yes, yes, me too.”

Next are people who seem to realize everyone else is standing and they ought to as well. Once on their feet, they become part of a fleeting community celebrating performer and audience and the show they’ve created by being together.

There’s a final group, my favorite people to watch. Their immobile backs clearly state that they’re not going to get up just because everyone else is. They wait for spouses and friends to come to their senses and realize that sitting and clapping is praise enough for anyone.

Of that sensible group, a few inevitably peel off and get to their feet. They become, inflation-wise, part of the problem. The lonely few remain, hanging to their original measure of praise. And somehow they look suddenly like people who didn’t enjoy the show very much.

This is a chair that many have stuck to, especially on hot summer days. It’s leather, allegedly, but not thick durable leather. It’s mostly cracked and flaking, especially at the top, where shoulder blades dig in, and whence a ripping sound issues when you peel yourself or your tee-shirt away. There are of course people who can’t stand, or people whose limbs require that they take a while to do so. It’s silly to over-generalize. But that’s the story from the back of the theatre. And lately, theatre is all I seem to think about.

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  1. whence a ripping sound issues when you peel yourself or your tee-shirt away. this thought coupled with DJANGO in chair best part of story. Hi baby Django.

  2. Like this one! A vignette. I’m usually a stander-upper, or one of those who gets to my feet when others do. Like the observation about people who remain seated…they do seem like they didnt enjoy the show!

  3. MT, I’ve just read your story in Hippocampus magazine called “Tell Me Something Wonderful,” and may I say, it was “something wonderful!” You are an awesome writer. I love your gentle yet corony outlook, your gentle nature with your mom during her illness, and the way you kept yourself together through it all.
    Would it be possible to keep in touch through emails or FaceBook? I’ve been a writer for almost 50 years, penning humor, inspiration, children’s books, and poetry, my heartbeat. I haven’t yet been published in Hippocampus, but I have been published elsewhere. I live in central CA with a cat and a dog, and writing is my passion; my breath; my reason for being here, aside from my beautiful grandchildren.
    I’d love to hear from you and read more of your work. Thank you so much for this poignant story of love, acceptance, and patience.
    Your newest “fan,”
    Linda Robertson

  4. Linda, you are so kind! I love Hippocampus, and look forward to seeing one of your stories in there one day! You can always reach me through my website,, and I try to keep my events and publications updated both there and here. I wish you the best of luck with your writing, through good times and bad. Thank you for making my day with your kind words.

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