My circle of friends includes four major players; only once have the five of us been in the same room together. They are all my closest friends but not necessarily each others. An unlikely union took place during my highly anticipated and very successful fancy dress party this past December, just a week before the car accident. Everyone came dressed to kill and ready to have a good time. Guests spread through my two story house in little huddled groups. I'd spent the evening bouncing between these groups, trying to be a good hostess and making sure everyone was enjoying themselves, refilling drinks when needed.
I was stationed in my room with a few others when I heard The Baker running up the stairs in her stilettos yelling out my name. A male voice accompanied her, but I didn't quite recognize it. She burst into my room enthusiastically, stepped aside, and showed off the man behind her Vanna White style. I looked up and screamed. Standing before me was The Philadelphian in a three piece suit. He drove down specifically for the event as a surprise. I pulled him to me, squealing and screaming, "Oh My God!" at least ten times. He just laughed. I was in tears. It had been at least two years since I'd seen him. The other guests in my room sat awkwardly and watched this emotional reunion unfold not knowing who he was. At the time I didn't realize the magnitude of this situation. The Baker and The Philadelphian were in my room while the two other important players in my social circle were mere feet away. The Feminist was in the living room; The Artist was on the back deck. The most influential people in my life were making history by being in the same place at once and not a single one of us realized. Not a single picture was taken.
I've known The Artist for six years, The Baker and The Philadelphian for eight, and come August it'll be ten years with The Feminist. I met her at the bus stop on the first day of school after I moved to Richmond. We bonded over angry girl rock and decoupage. Ten years later and she still joke about my love for snakeskin during my sophomore year; I will never live that fashion choice down. That's what friends are for; to remind you of who you've been and where you want to be. I share most of my embarrassing or funny high school memories with The Feminist. Emotionally, she understands me. I can cry on the phone to her after a bad breakup and she gets it, more so than the others. She understands why you would use your ex's body wash so you can have their scent with you through the day. The other's would think it's crazy.
For Christmas this year, she was gifted tickets to see the production Wicked. It graced Richmond's Landmark Theater last month. Since I share the love of elaborate costumes and show tunes, I was chosen to be her date. Lucky me. I was just as ecstatic as she was about the event, even though I barely knew what it was! Waiting three months for the show seemed unbearably long and impossible. But as my life at home and my situation with The Girl began to crumble, the stress, arguments, tears, and loosing my apartment pushed Wicked to the back of my mind. One day I glanced at the calendar and saw it was a mere three days away. The wait was finally coming to an end, but hesitation was creeping in. I feared the emotional strain in my life would prevent me from enjoying the experience.
When the day arrived, I slipped on a classic black cocktail dress with my red patent leather pointed toe flats. The shoes paid homage; it's about Oz, how I could resist? The Feminist and I climbed the hundred steps to our first row balcony seats. As soon as I laid eyes on the stage I was overcome with excitement. We twitched in our seats, chatted excitedly, and counted down the minutes. The lights dimmed. The crowd silenced. I saw those wild monkeys crawl onto the stage and I squealed in delight. (Very quietly of course.) Every costume change I'd lean over and whisper, "Oh my god, I love that one! And that one! I'd wear ALL of these dresses!" I fancy costumes. I get that from Her.
Although it lacked the talents of Kristin Chenoweth and Idina Menzel, the overall show was still spellbinding and fantastic. Wicked moved me to tears three times. In those few hours, I was captivated by the story of unlikely friendship and hypnotized by the gorgeous production. The incessant pain, self doubt, and frustration that had been consuming me disappeared for a short time. I was thankful for that. I smiled a genuine smile for the first time since The Girl broke me; something I had to fake daily to make people think I was fine. Wicked was a gift of healing from The Feminist.
Seeing Wicked made me remember how much I loved the theater. It reinforced how I need to change the path I’m on to live the type of life I want. It reminded me how lucky I am to have four very special friends that fill the crevices of my life. It might be ten years until we're all in the same room again but when that day comes, I'll be sure to take Polaroids. ~Braticas