Wednesday, December 8, 2010

love, LOST and the subway set-up

Love is only love insofar as it is actable, doable, in some way substantial.

It can't be only an idea.

My teacher told me in class yesterday that I was "acting an idea" in my scene. I had no clue what he meant in the moment and asked him to explain it 5 different ways. Still didn't get it. Because I've been taught (in my for-better-or-for-worse evangelical education) to act ideas. Take a concept of God and create a hypothetical scenario around it and decide how you might respond if that were every to happen (thus producing a artificial sense of general Christian "niceness" that that world rightly identifies as false) instead of responding to the reality of what is actually happening in the present moment (i.e. theorize about how God "speaks to me" instead of just having a real live conversation with him like i would with a friend at Starbucks).

Theorizing about Love and God and how to Love like God in “the real world” is about as practical to real life as lifting weights is to playing quarter-back. Sure, it helps, but it’s not the real game. The real game is only learned on the field. If perfect love casts out fear, then fear also casts out love. Love is only powerful insomuch as it tangibly destroys fear.

Enough of that.

I had my first New York City audition today. It was for a small part in a play I didn’t know or really care about but I still found myself losing feeling in my legs and hands as I rode the elevator up to the 8th floor auditioning room. Yes, part of me is still a small child in these situations. Another part of me is a somewhat experienced actor while another part of me keeps thinking I don’t belong here. And then there’s another part of me that doesn’t really care at all and just wants to go eat a cheeseburger.

Which I did immediately after my audition as a congratulations to myself for being so nervous.

I can’t make a habit out of this.

Christmas in New York as a poor, single, part-time-nanny/aspiring actress… is not all it’s crack up to be. Everyone is here (many have flown to be here) to be charmed by the ambiance… the lights, the music, the hustle and bustle and the Christmas tree stands on every corner. Sometimes I feel like the main character of one of those early 90’s chick-flicks where the girl lives alone in a big city and everyone around her is holding hands and snuggling and kissing and ice-skating and throwing their laughing children up in the air (and catching them) and drinking and eating things she can’t afford to drink and eat in beautiful, decked-out-for-the-holidays restaurants.


But I know that there’s not a scene coming where I jump on the subway tracks or run into someone’s dog who spills my coffee all over my dress and then drags me to the empire state building where I am proposed to by the love of my life over the radio.

That’s only in the movies ☺

However… the other day on the subway I was sitting across from a particularly handsome and well-dressed man, probably in his early thirties. I thought to myself: he looks like someone I might like. A couple came in, obviously tourists, and immediately started asking questions about subway cards, times square and ground zero. They couldn’t stop talking and kept offering up information about themselves (they were from Cincinnati, it was her first time in NYC and he had been here once before… but only for a Yankees game. They were here now because someone in their family (I forget who) was having surgery and someone else had to take care of someone else… clearly, I wasn’t listening too well). The handsome man was very polite and answered all their questions. I chimed in on a few answers. Then the questions turned on us. We found out that the handsome man had lived in NY his whole life and manages money. I told them I live here too. Finally, the man from Cincinnati (with a strangely thick southern accent) pointed at the handsome man and said:

“wait, are you single?”

He nodded “yes” and then he looked at me and asked the same question. I said yes.

“WE’LL WHY DON’T YOU TWO GET TOGETHER???” He almost yelled.

I started to laugh nervously and the handsome man shifted his feet. I made some stupid comment about being an actress and how no one wants to date an actress. The well-dressed man just laughed and asked me where I acted. But before I could tell him that I don't actually act anywhere the tourist interrupted:

"GREAT!!! We got em talking!!!"

And then he continued shouting excitedly about how cute our kids would be and how he would pay the money manager $20 to take me out … by now the entire subway car is dying laughing and I am turning progressively pinker.

“I’m sorry.” I said to the handsome man.

“Are these your parents?” he joked.

“Are they yours?” I wish I‘d said back. I just giggled like a girl instead, still bright pink in my cheeks.

And then we were at times square and the express train was across the way so I had to run and the tourists had to go the opposite direction as well as the handsome man in the nice clothes.

No, he didn't have time to get my number but I know, secretly, he wanted to.

Now, if my life was like a movie, I would meet this man in a coffee shop or on the subway tracks in a few weeks, on Christmas Eve, perhaps, right as a beautiful Christmas song was playing, and he would have been using all his money to hire a team (like Penny in LOST) to find me. He would start to cry and instantly propose with his great-grandmother’s ring he had been carrying in his pocket… in case he saw me again.

This, my friends, could happen.

Until then, I walk 40 blocks a day in the 30 degree weather and wait to go home for Christmas so I can get my hat and gloves that I didn’t think I would need in New York.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year.



Jules said...

that was a great read. you should be writing plays as well as starring in them

Steven Lee Jaehnert said...

:) Oh Maggie, you just made my day -what a gift. I laughed my way through your subway ride. I want that Cincinnati couple to move to new york and become your nyc family. We, obviously were on the wrong subway car last time I was in the city.

Joshua said...

"Love is only powerful insomuch as it destroys fear, its only real antagonist."
Only one word comes to mind, only one word to!
I thoroughly enjoyed this...hope you're ALIVE and well :)

Travis Young said...

Thats so funny i love it. I want to meet that couple :) Maggie you should just write you own script i bet you have enough adventures to come up with some sort of story.

Tom Allen said...

Awwwwww, Maggie! You're so BEAUTIFUL (and you write pretty well too). I know that both you and "The Handsome Man" are now obsessing on James Blunt's "You're Beautiful",... and you will continue to do so until you have that surprise, when you each least expect it, when you are looking your least beautiful but are in fact your most beautiful, providential meeting in that coffee shop, and you both gasp with delight, and four hours later end up discussing baby names.
Maggie, I love you! Merry Christmas to she who has blessed me so much, so often.

Martyn Wendell said...

Maggie! Through Steve I found your blog, and I love it. Great story! Such an Ohio-touristy-couple thing to do. I know about these things, ha.

Katie said...

Hey Maggie,

This is Katie Wade Moore...I just re-discovered your blog and have thoroughly enjoyed virtually catching up with you. It would be much better in person, but you write so well that I feel like you're telling me the story in person.

I can't believe he didn't ask for your number!!!!! I mean, that would cut out the cute bit at the coffeshop/bookstore/etc, but, come on. He is totally kicking himself right now.