Block 301: December 31, 2013

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Happy New Year. 

Let’s get ready to give 2014 a hug.

Date: December 31, 2013

Crane: 301

Days Spent on Project: 318

Location: Apartment, Washington Heights, NYC

Person I would have sent it to: Dave S.

It’s about time that I dedicated a Crane to Dave. More than anything- more than the work right out of college, the designers I worked with, the shows I helped build, the people in the shop, the experience of living on my own for the first time- more than anything, I think Dave is the defining person of my first year in Louisville, at Actors Theatre. He was, quite possibly, the defining person of my second year there… and why I had to leave. 

That’s a lot of power to give someone, isn’t it?

Dave was an Acting Apprentice that first season at Actors Theatre, back in 2001. He was coming to Louisville, just from having received a BFA from the University of Miami in Florida. 

Dave was also my first boyfriend. A real boyfriend. Maybe the first person anyone dates in their life earns a special position… being the first, all the experiences are new and fun and also because you learn a lot about yourself. I don’t know; I always felt lucky that I met Dave and that things worked out that I had a great boyfriend for the time that I did. 

Not to say that it was always easy. We were both 22, still really young and inexperienced. (At 34, I now look at guys in relationships and wonder- completely seriously- what they know about life and love and being in a relationship!) Dave, as an Acting Apprentice, worked for Actors Theatre for ten months and wasn’t ever paid. So, I’m sure (no, I know) he was always a little resentful of that and anxious about money. As the year went on, I knew he was excited to get out of Louisville and go to the next chapter in his life. I know he wanted more than what he could get in Louisville. While I was there, with him of course, I was content there. 

And so it had to end. After 14 months, and a trial period of the infamous Long-Distance Relationship, Dave broke up with me over a phone call one night. I was sitting in my car, at night, in the dark, outside my apartment off of Bardstown Road. And, wow, was that painful. If the previous season had been filled with positive, first-time experiences with dating, I was now learning- because of Dave- what it meant to recover from a “serious” relationship. I hadn’t ever experienced what it meant to be dumped: how you feel untethered and unsure about who you are and what you’re doing, how you feel less than before, how you can actually feel physically empty inside. And then, how you get angry. And then sad. 

Many of the people that I dedicated Cranes to helped me during that second year as I tried to rebuild myself and my confidence: Abby, Susannah, Kate, Claire, Nancy, and CAIT- Cait more than anyone- really stepped up whether they wanted to or not- and were good friends that second season. 

My second season at ATL was basically defined by heartbreak. And that was the catalyst that convinced me I had to leave, and that I would go to grad school and move to New York and get the hell away from that town. So, in weird ways, I have Dave to thank for the career I have now. Hmm.

But things eventually heal. When I was in LA back in November, I did spend most of my free time with Dave. He’s now much happier, very financially set, and he’s switched careers from acting to representing them. He’s found some good friends there. I think he’s comfortable.

And seeing him– 12 years after I first saw him in the second floor office hallway at Actors Theatre and immediately thought “I need to meet that guy” to myself– was a new experience. Dave will always be a great friend. He probably knew me better than anyone else in the world, and he probably still gets parts of me really well. But the 2013 Me isn’t that person anymore. 

I don’t know if I could ever be 2001 Me again. A lot has happened. Things have changed. 

Some people say that we only have one great love in our lives. I hope they’re wrong… well, I know they’re wrong. Dave was the love that I could give 12 years ago. Given the chance, I know the love I can give now would be completely different. Maybe it would be more realistic, more mature. Who knows. 

If that ever happens again…

Dave, Crane 301.

Music I listened to while sewing: I’ve got Fort Fairfield on this morning. 

Thoughts/Feelings behind the block: Well, we’re down to 14 hours remaining in 2013. I’m sure there are things to be thankful for this year, but 2013? Don’t let the door hit you on the way out. 

I’m working the Sleep No More New Year’s party tonight, so I know I’ll be up until REALLY late. I think it’s gonna be fun, even if it’ll be a different kind of fun than the Halloween party. Tonight’s theme is a little more reserved than Halloween. I still expect some shenanigans.

A year ago, I had dinner and drinks with three friends in Chelsea. We then went down to Tribeca, to a restaurant where a friend’s boyfriend was bartending. We drank a little. At midnight, while my friends paired off to kiss their respective boyfriend or girlfriend, I was there.

Maybe I’ll make it a point to get a New Year’s kiss tonight. 

Time to get moving into 2014. 

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