The Play Cannot Wait
It was a year to the day when the dreams had started. Right on the night of his late fiancée's memorial. He dreamed he was naked on the stage. We are talking starkers, birth suit and nothing else. He was supposed to enter the play. Theatre packed. Standing in the shadows, he realised there were no clothes on him. Naturally a feeling of urgency to get dressed before coming out set in. Heart drummed in his chest, blood rushed, and someone just pushed him.
He heard the faceless man say:
“The play cannot wait…”
There he was, his lean tall body for everyone to see. Long pale limps, under the lights, he had the impression he was glowing. Eyes wide, his clear blue stare swept the stalls. And the most abrupt feeling of adrenaline laced euphoria erupted within him, the same way champagne bubbles simmer frivolously towards the lips of a flute, released. A wave of release. Words came to his lips and he started talking with a quick but coherent pace about everything and nothing, an emotional monologue it was and he felt light headed and hot in the face at the same time. Everyone cheered, clapped.
There was something though, or someone perhaps, unknown to him what it was, but there was this need to look up. He turned his head up towards the theatre boxes. He could not see the face, but the hair had its own light. A halo of messy curls. His heart stopped and a thrill like no other whizzed through his being, almost like electricity. And at that point he felt as alive as he would ever feel. He took an involuntary step back, stumbled on something and he fell with a thud on the floor.
With a huge disappointment, he realised that his body had twitched in his sleep and the world of dreams, fragile as it is, disintegrated in an instant. He kept his eyes shut for a few moments, trying to have them still while he kept thinking to go back to sleep, go back to sleep, repeating it like a mantra. It was futile, he knew it, but he did hope the lights would get back on, that he would sink in back to this weird world. Back to where….CANDY WAS THERE?!!!
He suddenly sprung upwards almost like a firework. Had he really dreamt of her?! It was her…of course it was her…who else could it be...it had to be her!
“The play cannot wait…”, he murmured, talking to himself like hypnotised.
The rest of the morning routine, he went through like he was not all there. Washed, had tea, a scone and a cigarette, got dressed and spent an infinite amount of time staring in front of the living room window. His stare caressing the nothingness of a sunny morning as it unfolded in front of him. I say infinite amount of time because in all honesty Terrence did not know how long he did spent staring into nothing. All the work was done inside. His mind like the springs of a well-kept clock was ticking nonstop.
What the hell was that dream about? He had not seen Candy for almost ten years in real life, and as in dreams…well, the first few years he had almost lived in dreamland, just to keep with her.
However many of those dreams did leave him worse for wear in the mornings. Loneliness spread like the cold haar which used to cover the Scottish shores sometimes on summer days. This was a torture for him and consciously he decided that he had to move on at least physically. And his heart…would it follow?
He was almost certain the heart would stay with her, but if he could lull the loneliness, that would have made his days more bearable and he could focus on Susanna’s happiness, more like a project, or a play he had to learn. He owed her that much, to make her happy.
Eventually with days unfolding like ripples, depositing months and years in his life, things had started to fade and so did the dreams until he had not dreamt of Candy for a quite some time now. Life was indeed bearable. Susanna was happy, she was actually gaining recognition as a script writer with his encouragement and support, work was steady at theatre, his status as a serious actor was always on the up, season by season. So yes he had not dreamt of Candy for more than a year, perhaps even two, yes, it was a couple of years at least. Definitely by the time his fiancée fell ill and unfortunately, she was never to recover…
Fast forward to the present, he did fight a bit with his self whether he should feel or not feel guilty for having completely gone past his late fiancée's memorial the day before. Not even a single afterthought came to him mind the entire morning. The dream was his world for today.
A telephone ring had brought him back to the present. A worried theatre manager was on the other end. He was late.
After scolding himself for this little guilt trip about the memorial, he did add a mental note that a year had passed already. At some point he would have to feel some shred of happiness, was he not allowed to feel that for heaven’s sake? And with that, and after giving himself the ok, he put his cap on, shoved the script under his arm, went out and locked the door.
By the time he was getting out on the street, Terrence Grandchester was whistling a tune even. A halo of curls in his mind.
“The play cannot wait…”