In betweens

 

My author’s copies of Actor’s Way arrived the other day. You’d think I’d jump around the house like a happy toddler. Instead, I began reading it neurotically, and was seized by the fear that these would be on shelves in book stores soon, and that people would read them, and think things about the book and about me. I began wondering if there were witness protection programs for authors. I immediately sent free copies to my Mom and Dad, to my friend Michael, and to the three gents who delivered the glowing blurbs. That leaves me with four. It looks great. I am very happy. And now I wait and see what happens to me, if anything, as it sails out into the world.

Another long-form workshop with Bobbi, this time with a different flavor. There were five of us there in the most dingy rehearsal space in Philadelphia. Our collective moods added to the nasty room made for a greyer workshop, whereas before it felt like all bright colors and celebration. I was still coming down from my reunion weekend and feeling vulnerable about the book. Others were wrestling with concerns of their own. And Bobbi discovered the challenge of having both newcomers and return students in the same workshop. She was biting her nails a lot when we went out to lunch and I spent some time assuring her that it was going well (it was) and that we all learning about it as we went along. Afterwards we agreed to pursue having workshops at People’s Light this summer.

Today, Sooz and I worked on our budget for the next year. It was a bit devastating. Even with the financial help from my father, we were still about 10 grand short for the year. We began tossing ideas around: take Ella out of day care, have Sooz begin a quilting business, sell the house after all. This budget discussion was precipitated by two things: we are signing for a line of credit this afternoon and the car we are buying will hopefully arrive at the dealer next week. I guess I haven’t told you about the accident. About a month ago, Sooz crashed my car on Cape Cod. She was unharmed but the car was totaled. We got $3,500 for it. And after all that longing, we passed on the Prius. Instead we’re staying in the Honda family and getting a new Civic. You have to wait a couple of months for a Prius, and Sooz liked the Civic test drive better We were also swayed by some things we read about the “cost saving” associated with hybrids. The gas powered Civic gets something like 35 MPG combined. So it’s thriftier up front, quicker to acquire and still environmentally friendly.

But we can barely afford it. Our budget meeting lasted two hours and ended with Susan in tears, cursing herself for being an actor and therefore poor, and threatening to drop it all go get an real estate license. Really, we felt in very tight spot. Help me, help me, help me I thought. Then we trundled off to the bank to sign papers.

To our amazement, we discovered that we weren’t getting a line of credit (as we had assumed), we were getting a loan, meaning that a big chunk of change was getting deposited in our checking account in a few days, a chunk of change that we could use to not only pay off the remaining high-interest debt we’re carrying, but will allow us to buy the car outright at fixed rate lower (we think) than anything Honda will be able to offer. And our monthly expenses will actually decrease because of it, when you factor in the credit card and car loans we won’t be paying. Since we will begin to make payments on the whole loan in June (rather than the portion we spend, as with a line of credit) it makes sense to put that money to work right away. But we’ll still have something to use as a safety net going into the fall. As we left the bank I said to Sooz, “Don’t tell me God doesn’t answer prayers”. Then I nearly stepped in front of a moving car in the parking lot and Sooz pulled me back.

We are still short for the year. We still may have to take Ella out of the day care program we love. But this was such welcome news we both were able to take deep breaths, and feel hopeful again. I had a good meeting recently with Mark from Arcadia, I may teach there in some capacity next year. I’ve had an inquiry from the University of the Arts downtown. I’m lining up auditions. And next week, we meet with some friends who have kids our age to talk about child care cooperatives – somehow combining our resources to help each other out. Our small community is working.

But in the community that’s in crisis, my monthly meeting, I have learned of late that one of my dear Friends is considering leaving the meeting and the Society of Friends, so bitter is he about events which have transpired this past year. I hope to be on a Clearness Committee for him, and hope that I may be of some use to him as works through his feelings. He would be a great loss to us.

The kids get home soon. Time to start making dinner.