Your Own Game

2011 September 13

What do you do?”

“I’m a writer. Sorta.”

She pivots toward me, pushes her wine glass out of the way. “No ‘sorta.’ You are or you aren’t. So, are you a writer?”

“Yes, I’m a writer.”

“Good girl.”

And she is an actress. A blonde actress from Iceland who stars in indie theatre and works a day job with the government. Her name is hard to pronounce, so she tells us to call her Maggie. All of the men at the table are mesmerized. She sloshes her wine and tells stories about bad auditions.

But I’m annoyed that she beat me at my own game. That’s a question I would ask, an answer I would cajole out of someone.

Later, we will all see a play. We arrive late and have to sit up near the rafters on stools and look down on the actors’ heads. It’s hot and the dialogue is hard to hear.

Later still, Maggie and I will take the same bus home. We sit next to each other and she tells me her feelings about Broadway. She talks with her hands like I do and I watch their reflection in the window. I almost forgive her for being a better me than I am.

I think that we could be friends. Maybe.

But then she gets off the bus.

I don’t see Maggie again.

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