I over booked myself today; it had begun with just one plan: The Object Lesson, a theatrical installation for PIAF, but then added to it was Evan’s 50th, a flamenco showcase in Murdoch and the WA branch of the Australian Resuscitation Council’s update for the new Advanced Life Saving guidelines being released in March. It would have all fit had I slept. Our cat had other plans. At 05:30 she did what she’s done all week: bounded up the stairs, hovered at our bedroom door and quickly meowed – just the once – enough to rouse my brain from a dream, make me realise I needed to pee and then, with a flood of neurotransmitters, thinking of everything I had to do today. My hopes of sleeping right until my alarm sounded were dashed. I’ve consequently had a sleep-deprivation headache all day.
I sat in the lecture theatre for the resus update wishing I’d bought my own coffee (the caterers got lost and didn’t arrive until 11:00). I had planned to stay until lunch but I needed a nap.
I spent most of the PIAF performance trying to stretch out the knot in my right rhomboids or trapezius, as the tension had spread to my right intercostals, my right hip, even my feet. The performance had some elements that grabbed my attention but I spent most of the time distracted by pain. When the solo performer broke a glass then carelessly threw the box with glass fragments to the floor, fragments of glass landing at my feet, I wondered whether the theatre or the festival had a public liability policy and how the stage manager was going to clean up before the next show, the performance space being cluttered by so many props. Dan was pulled into the performance to hold a candelabra. Dion and Trina preferred the more abstract and technical work, Plexus, from Thursday night.
I missed most of Evan’s party, having not realised how long the flamenco performance would go for. I felt bad. I wouldn’t have been good company though, with a headache and knotted back and wondering if this is what parents feel like, permanently. If we have kids I don’t know if I’ll ever leave the house. I’ll just buy a LazyBoy chair and settle in, for life.
The flamenco showcase was worth the drive down the freeway. It opened with Deanna performing a solo. It’s been 24 years since I first saw Deanna perform flamenco, while sitting cross-legged on the floor in the Balcatta Senior High School gymnasium at an all-school assembly. She’s matured a lot since then but still retains her same intense focus. The stars of the showcase were the invited guest wife and husband team, from Spain: Francesca Grima and Andrej Viujicic, from Puerto Flamenco. Their performances were mesmerising. Francesca toyed with the audience like a cat with a mouse. Or chewing gum, stretching out intense footwork rhythms beyond what looked possible, then tossing a cheeky grin and glance up at the audience, chewing everything back into another sticky blob to be stretched out over and over. My calves twitched watching her perform and I promised myself to buy new flamenco boots and remember to go to class this week.
In the foyer, after the show, I saw Brooke and Monica. I haven’t seen them since high school, half of our lives ago. Brooke now has two kids. They’ve both moved away from Perth, then returned home too. I felt suddenly old. I would have liked to have stayed longer, but I needed to get home. I’m about to turn into a pumpkin.