During my senior year in high school, I had a small part in the school play, H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine. My role was of the scandalous secretary who was presumably having an affair with her boss. I wore a tiny off the shoulder black dress and slung my waist-length hair around with a flick of my wrist while hinting to the more dutiful office employee about my clandestine relations. That was almost 30 years ago and the only flicking of the wrists I do now is after washing my hands in the kitchen sink when I’m too hurried to use a dishtowel.
Unlike my children’s lives, mine isn’t particularly well-documented so when I came across an old VCR tape of the school play, I thought it would be fun to transfer it to DVD. The decades-old recording had aged much like the cast of characters it chronicled. Faces were a blur and I had to rely on sound more than sight to distinguish fellow classmates. It’s odd to think back that far, at how young we were, how sure we were, and how unsure we were. Dizzy hopes for the future dangled like a cliffhanger in the drama of our own lives. One of the boys who had a leading role in the play passed away last year. His grainy silhouette was punctuated by the boom of his voice. His animated gestures and rhythmic inflections belied the premature hush that came upon his life. It made me sad. Read more