The stage is where something primitive takes over; something that is far more intoxicating than any opiate or drink. I act. It’s the dose that feeds my addiction for a rush. I can’t quit it; no form of conditioning will take the edge off my high.
I live backstage. My home is the theatre. Safe. Secure. Familiar. When I wait in the darkness back stage, I feel a warmth. It feels like a much needed hug from my mother after a long day.
The darkness acts as a shroud and masks terror. It hides the lines I slowly articulate on my lips, the nervous pacing of others, and cologne and perfume clog the air choking those who walk through it. Then I navigate the midst to the stage.
A tingle, something hot, slides up my spine, and straightens vertebrae as it travels, giving me a look of confidence that hides the uneasiness spreading through my body. From the spine it travels to the extremities forcing movement and commanding muscle control. My hands, almost numb, move unconsciously. The rush seizes my legs and begins leading a waltz across floor. Waltzing turns into tangoing. Speed and rhythm pulse through my body and down into my soul. All sense of self is lost in the crescendo of the music that only I can hear.
After re-gaining control of my body, adrenaline sharpens my mind. Senses are heightened. The air is crisp. It almost cuts my lungs that yearn for breath. Hanging above, the polychromatic lights begin to brighten. The dance across the floor becomes a blind groping, underneath the intense light. Blank faces in the crowd examine my dance. They watch as if studying an ant underneath a magnifying glass. Slowly the focus their gaze and the hot intensity rises. Finally time begins to slow. Nothing and everything can be seen at once. Words freeze in the air. They hang and cling to the moment. Clocks have invariably stopped ticking. There is only the stage and my lonely body.
After a pause that seems like eternity my heart...