Stage Time & Wine XC June 17
By Addison Eng
the Red Room is full of glowing people.
Some I have seen before,
some I have not,
but the important thing is that all of them are here, now.
Somebody is reading an original poem into the microphone,
their words never before heard by others’ ears
and their left hand trembling honesty.
Somebody is listening and recalling
bittersweet days gone by with a former love,
funny how the brain does that without being asked.
Somebody is listening
and spontaneously whispers to their partner about cheese,
how they should get some sharp cheddar for tacos tomorrow.
Somebody is hearing
the poet without taking in a single word as they go over their performance in their head for the seventh time in the last 50 minutes, trying to make friends with their jitters.
Somebody is eyeing with nervous excitement
the acoustic guitar resting upstage,
suddenly considering if they still know “Blackbird” well enough to lay it down in the second half.
Somebody is helping a toddler take off their shoes,
a playfully guilty grin spreading across their face
as the Velcro rips faintly
despite every effort to be silent.
Somebody is refilling their cup of mulled wine because,
it needs to be refilled;
we don’t call it Stage Time and Empty Cups.
Kristy is smiling, content at her post in the front.
Sharon is puttering about dutifully at the bar.
JJ is taking pictures with subtle flourish.
Roma has found her usual spot that’s somehow out of the spotlight but right in the action.
Constance’s dip and soup are already long gone, as is inevitable.
Chamber is camped out on the bed with a Michelob Special Dark in hand, beaming with such exuberance that even his new haircut seems to be smiling.
Yuean is sitting right in the front, devoting her full attention to the speaker, giving so much and asking for so little in return, as per usual.
Charles stands in the back, a rock-solid sentinel of love and support.
Mellow is of course everywhere and doing everything at the same time: backstage and on stage, to the side and to the front, listening and speaking, providing and consuming, leading and following, a master conductor of people and vibes.
Now here’s me
taking it all in from my perch in the sound booth off stage right
(and Lawrence, by my side,
is playing with the vocal effects ever-so-slightly,
so even though his eyes are closed I can still see them twinkling impishly).
that each of these somebodies is
so much bigger and nuanced and richer
than I can see in a single sweep of the room at a single Stage Time and Wine.
their stories have taken all of them to places that I’ve never been. They’ve told secrets I’ll never hear to people I’ll never meet.
They’ve all gone through loses and celebrated triumphs that I’ll never understand,
or perhaps haven’t ever imagined.
But it’s ok,
because now we’re here.
And despite the many mysteries and unknown variables,
I feel confident that
we’re all much closer together than we are far apart,
more united than divided,
more similar than different.
Sure, life is meaningless and we all die alone,
but right now,
somebody has just finished reciting their original poem
and I need to go tell them how awesome it was,
because it really was.
Right now, we’re at Stage Time and Wine.
Next Stage Time & Wine is on the 15th of July, same time same place.