Dear World…

I’m trying to find songs for a show called “Women of Broadway”. I have a golden opportunity through the good graces of my pianist, Dan Stetzel, who has offered to print any songs I need, from any of the many scores he owns. This is a dream come true. So generous.

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This morning I fire up Spotify and look for ideas. I find the show “Dear World”, (with Angela Lansbury, based on “Madwoman of Chaillot”). Which I haven’t heard in decades.

I play the tune I’m looking for from Dear World to see if I can learn it in time.  Then I spot  one I’d forgotten all about. (“And I Was Beautiful”). Ya know how music can take you to another time and place?

Within the first 8 bars, I’m transported back in time to Des Moines, Iowa, to a small rented room in a house. It’s my junior year at university. (I stayed there until I found an apartment.)

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I’m really blue from a fresh breakup. It seemed like a big deal at the time. But frankly, I have NO recollection of who the guy was. Funny how that works.

When it comes to romance, I think most young ladies tend to be drama queens before they hit 30. Granted, that’s hindsight talking. But still. I mean, instead of trying to lift myselfout ofmy funk, I wallow in it by playing Billie Holiday and various torch songs. Perhaps as an actor I wanted to get in touch with the pain as deeply as possible. RIDICULOUS!

The song (And I Was Beautiful) inspires me to open my scrapbook and look at the picture of my first love, Mike. I remember everything about him. If ONLY he were here now I could shut out the world in his arms and once again savor those amazing passionate kisses. We never had sex. But we came close. Now that I’m no longer a virgin, perhaps we cloud remedy that situation.

I read the poem he wrote me once after a spat we’d had. I must’ve read it a hundred times since the day he gave it to me, four years ago.

In spite of the fact that I’ll never see him again and I have no idea where he lives or what he’s doing, suddenly the world seems a little bit sweeter.

He’s probably got a girlfriend anyway. I wonder if she knows how lucky she is… All that matters is he made me feel beautiful and loved, unconditionally.  I will always love him for that. I close the scrapbook and tell myself to “snap out of it!”

What the Hell! F Wallowing over failed relationships is a waste of time. Besides, I’m career driven! Who has time for men?

I play a bunch of life affirming tunes and nerd out at the top of my lungs. Life goes on.

I hope you’ll forgive my fit of sentimentality. The reason I felt compelled to share the reminiscences of this former drama queen is, 37 years passed before Mike and I found each other again on linked in.

Although he’s not my boyfriend,   he has been my rock and inspiration on this crazy journey since we found each other 5 years ago. I didn’t see that coming. I am exceedingly grateful.

It seems the older I get, the more amazing life seems to be. I very rarely wallow in self pity anymore. It’s a waste of energy. If I do, it’s usually a by-product of trying to understand what the hell happened.

I’ve come to understand that when life sucks, just hold on. It’s gonna change again in about 10 minutes. It’s very cool.

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