Miracle

by Jonah

Joanna: So you wanna hear my story? — she asks this standing outside the
classroom last night during break, just shortly before dr. allums walks
back from his office to interrupt us. he calls her on a habit we all seem
to have: “do you realize we’re always going around doing that to each
other? one of us is constantly saying to another (pointing his finger
menacing), `i’ve got a book you need to read’. right. like any of us
ever have time to do that.” it dawns on me later, most people talk about
sports, or movies, or restaurants. that’s right, i’m officially a geek.

my raised eyebrow and wrinkled forehead do little to dissuade her. “well,
you’re gonna hear it anyway.” she then goes on to explain how she’s in a
third-floor dressing room down at the saenger (all the _real_ actors get
first-floor priority. i won’t repeat what she said when i told her this.)
and that the makeup tables are down on ground level. she reminds me how
little she knows about using makeup; i become increasingly aware this will
end up being some excuse for the fact that her hair’s green this evening
— not green, bad shampoo day green, but green, bright lime jello, granny
smith apple, fourth button on a gravis pc gamepad green — to which she
offers something about being emerald city denizen number three, something
concerning a frank l. baum novel … likely story.

so she’s downstairs, trying to figure out the proper way to transform
green goup in a bottle into being green goup on one’s face when a contact
falls out. it’s not on the table, it’s not on her clothes, best she can
figure is that it bounced off her hand and rolled to parts unknown when
it fell out (ahh, the joys of being dependant on artificial eyewear)..
the bright, naked lights surrounding the makeup mirrors do just about as
much as yelling “ok everybody, don’t walk over here.” suffice it to say,
she gave up to traipse back upstairs and finish costuming before the
performance, which was gonna be interesting seeing as how she was sort of
in charge of moving sets around and stuff. see, there is a reason to
have minor characters in a play: directors give bits parts to stage
hands as a token to make them feel important ( ^: ok, cheap shot…
back upstairs, her dressing-room mate calls her over to the table up
there. “Is this your contact?” pointing to the semisphere nestled in the
middle of the table. Do you even bother trying to rationalize that?

He has a sense of humour you know.

It was then that larry walked up, laughed at the idea of getting to
read anything you choose to on your own, and preempted the only relevant
story i could have offered. The other day, sunday, running late to get
out to rehearse with some guys that want me to play piano with them in a
honky-tonk quartet, for private parties and stuff, I had to take the van
because I was using my rhodes out to there to play on. We’d just had the
ignition changed a few days before so the keychain had both the old and
new keys still on it. Old key fit, just wouldn’t turn — ironically, the
same symptom as the last time I’d driven that van, precisely the reason
the ignition was being replaced. I fight with it for a short eternity,
thinking to myself, “I don’t have time for this,” when I realized I was
using the wrong key. Switch, turn, and the engine takes a minute to
start, at which point I offer a good-natured growl in His general
direction. At precisely the same instant my eyes lift slightly upwards,
carrying my internal laughter with them, the now-purring, happy little
engine dies. My laughter at that point becomes articulated, as does
the sense of One very near and yet not physically there smiling with
me, and it didn’t even matter when I got there that I was late.

My future roommate Paul wrote this, so I didn’t have to. Yes, it’s true. While I was downstairs doing makeup for the UM Theatre Dept’s production of The Wizard of Oz, my contact fell out. I had given up looking for it, hiked up the three flights of stairs to my dressing room reserved for those of us lowly actors with such illustrious roles with titles like “Emerald City Denizen, #1” when my fellow actress pointed to the counter. And there, inexplicably, lay my missing contact.

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