January 27, 2012

lately: juggling the opera and the symphony. arriving early to rehearsal at the opera, setting out page turn copies, tape, scissors, earplugs. making coffee. pacing back and forth through the room, nervous. greeting the early arrivals. then: saying a silent benediction over them all, and leaving. at the symphony, I get help focusing the projector, and then we are running haydn. in comparison to opera, symphony supertext is easy. I sightread. staff approach and thank me for being there; someone, unbidden, brings me a bottle of water. I imagine this is what it's like to feel like an expert at something -- only a mild tinge of nervousness, and then the show. reading the music along with the performance, pressing the button, feeling that tiny frisson of satisfaction when the title slide goes to black at the same instant as the final downbeat. as I leave the first performance, I am thanked profusely and told we will definitely call you again, which feels delightful. I pretend for a moment that I am one of the performers -- of course, I am, in a way -- and walk out into the night air among the flutists and horn players, violinists and singers.

butterfly rehearsal is very warm; the room is packed with people. our pinkerton looks just like will ferrell. our conductor, anne, is passionate and very exacting, and I remember how much I loved her during orphée. the percussionists play the giant gongs. having missed the initial run of the piece, there's nothing scary left for me to worry about, so I mark corrections into the next opera's orchestra parts, shaking the entire table as I erase.

lately: friends. between rehearsals, we order a giant pizza and, as usual, I eat too many pieces and feel a laughing sort of sadness, complaining to everyone about my pizza belly. after rehearsal, I flop down on a friend's couch and we drink through a few bottles of wine, stay up talking until 1 AM.

I bring my saddle and bridle home from the barn. I park the saddle on the living room floor, and it makes the whole room smells like horses and leather. I drape it over one thigh and clean it with a washcloth from the kitchen. it seems like the leather cleaner should smell abrasive, but instead it smells like honey, warm and wonderful. the bridle hangs on a doorknob. there is nobody here to care. everything important about me is all over the floor: parts to galileo, which I have spent the day correcting; a tower of unread books; a pile of dampened running clothes; a saddle pad; a letter in its envelope, awaiting a stamp.

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