Tickets, Please

“Tickets, please.” In just over three-weeks time, these utterances will be spoken kindly and to patrons who have come to see a show. They will no doubt file in through the doors of a modest arena, seeking both entertainment and refuge from a cold February wind. The day will be the fourteenth of that second month – Valentines Day – a day for love. And that is what has brought these people together, albeit somewhat unconventionally…

Perhaps even more unconventional, or at the very least surreal, is that I am one of the attractions that has beckoned these wandering rabbles. I say that because I am neither an attraction nor entertainment on any other given day. I am incredulously shocked by this all. I am grateful, let’s not mistake that, but this is all still so unbelievable.

By now you are no doubt asking yourself, “What the hell is this idiot talking about?!” Well, allow me to explain…

Some short months ago, I was both privileged and honoured to be anointed into the lexicological knighthood of, published authors! Yes, me, a writer. I know, shocks me too… But here we are; my story in print and boasting from the sand-washed pages of a real book! That euphorically wonderful new book smell now comes with a page that has my name stapled to it. Immovably permanent, from one copy to the next. I am one story within a collection of written word as beset by gloriously enlightened minds. I am a proud member to an anthology. And upon the release of this most stupendous prose, it grew the wings of a ladybug, and took flight. It soared into the minds and hearts of so many so quickly that an idea was born; a revolutionary idea…

brainstorm

These stories and the brilliant minds who penned them were going to be gathered in one place, for one night, to tell their stories of love. Love that extends beyond the romantic realm! I was selected as one such mind to tell one such story… I’ll say undeservedly so, yet remain humbly grateful…

When Heather, my publisher, asked me if I would be interested in doing something like this, I was all to eager to say yes! I mean, what an experience, right?!

A few days after the revelation that Brainstorm was going to evolve into a theatrical spoken word, Heather once again approached me with a suggestion of which story I should read… She had suggested: “Giving Thanks,” a blog post that I had written on the eve of Thanksgiving. A story about love, loss, and poignant remembrance…

I of course spoke with enthusiastic impulsivity and let loose an excited oration of, YES! And that excitement remains, sure. But there is a new feeling that has birthed itself to life within the catacombs of my wounded mind. A forlorn ache that wanders the halls of my thoughts; thoughts of you, Mum…

You see, the story is about you. It is about you when you were here, alive and well. It tells intimate details of your own enthusiasm and excitement towards an event – Thanksgiving! This may seem trivial to you, mum, but to me, now, it is everything. When I picture it, those days, hours, minutes leading up to the gluttonous feast that was your creation, I see you… I see your face how I want to see it, adorned with a smile and a weightless expression of joy! I see my beautiful mum. The woman I miss so terribly much.

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And since this story was tailored into a written suit of your memory out of the fabric of mine, it only seems fitting to wish that you were there to see it. But you can’t be, can you…

I would like to think though that if you had the chance to be there, to see me, your sober, nervous son, you would smile from your darkened seat hidden within the rows of onlookers, causing my minds eye to catch hold of the warmth that boasted from it. I would like to picture you happy, healthy and proud. I could see you saying something like, “Hey! That’s my boy, my Matty-watt!” I would like to think of you sitting there in a chair, ticket in hand, bursting with an inward pride at the sight of me and where I have now gotten to. You saw me at my darkest. You listened to me on those nights after the bad calls happened. You once sat on the phone as I cried endlessly for what seemed like an eternity when I was unable to save that poor woman. You didn’t speak a word, but in listening to your breath, I could feel your kind, motherly hands brush through my hair, letting me know that everything would be alright. I was never able to tell you about her, the one who died. I guess I’m glad of that now, your mind seems to have been pretty burdened on its own – I’m sorry it was…

I can’t bring you back. I just can’t, I know that… But I can remember you. And mum, I do. I can remember you the way I want too; smiling, full of life and using that mischievous wit. I can choose to picture you in one of those seats, watching me, saying, “There’s my boy. There’s my Matty-watt.” And that’s exactly what I am going to do on that day in February when the subtle masses take their place in the dramaturgy. But it would be a lot easier if there were a seat meant just for you – and you know what? Mum… there is! I have procured a seat with a ticket that will touch no other hands. No other patron, friend nor relative will catch sight of that rectangular admittance slip, it is yours. Mum, I got you a seat to a love story, and you are my unconventionally honorary date!

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You will sit in that sea of wandering eyes and curious gapes. You will be quietly out of sight to most, but to me, when it is my turn to take the podium and stand before an audience thirsty for more, I will see you – I will see your seat, and everything else will simply fade away along with my fear. I will look to you and I will say, “There she is, there’s my mum! My dear, ol’ mum…”

The world is going to hear about you… you’re going to live a long, long time…

Now THAT, is love. Nothing unconventional about it!

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