Jane Green
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Sleeping at the theater

June 8th, 2016

Jane Green Cat NapHours Spent Sleeping in Theaters: 1.5
Hours spent embarrassed about Sleeping in Theaters: 9
Hours spent considering confession: 3
Hours spent getting over it: 5
Hours spent writing: 0

The Travelers invited us to the theater recently, as their guests. We were off to see a very famous Movie Star who is now embarking on a stage career, in previews of a classic Broadway show.

We all went out for dinner first, and by the time we walked to the theater and settled into our seats, a lovely warm calm came over me. I snuggled down into the plush red velvet, the lights went down, the Movie Star walked on stage, everyone cheered, and I promptly fell asleep.

It wasn’t actually that prompt. I could feel the wave of drowsiness washing over me in the most delicious of ways, and it wasn’t so much that I couldn’t fight it as that I didn’t want to. I’m not someone who ever sleeps sitting up, or indeed anywhere other than in bed, so this seemed an opportunity far too good to pass up.

My hair was in the perfect centre-parting, falling in a lovely sweep on either side of my face. I surreptitiously looked to my left, where The Curator was sitting, and then to my right, where The Travelers were. Then I pulled my hair around my face so no one would be able to see that my eyes were closed, settled in, and had the best nap I’d had in years.

I woke up to applause. I sat up, clapping and cheering the Movie Star as if I hadn’t been asleep for the entire play, and when it died down, The Curator turned to me. ‘What did you think?’ she asked.

Seconds passed by as I stared at her like a deer caught in the headlights. Do I tell the truth or do I lie? I went back and forth frantically in my head: Truth. Lie. Truth. Lie.

I went with lie. ‘I thought Movie Star was fantastic,’ I said smoothly, as her face recomposed its features into something to hide her shock.

We walked out to the lobby where our small group convened. Everyone agreed that the play was terrible, and the Movie Star even worse. I stood shame-faced. Now that I had lied, and proven myself to be the lone person in the theater who found the Movie Star wonderful, I couldn’t meet anyone’s eye.

The Curator will forever think I am either very stupid or I have no idea what good theater is. And possibly both.

I am fighting the urge to confess, but I think I may have to move past it and hope she doesn’t hold it against me. Either way, I will always be grateful for one of the best naps I have ever had.

(This article was first published in The Lady Magazine.)


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