Wednesday, February 8, 2017

eureka play 2: Helen

Her name is Helen. She's in the neighborhood of 60.


She's returned to act in a play that is more or less about her life. Reflective, at least, anyway.


And Helen, turns out, is thick in the season of reflection.


Graduate of Arcata High School, degree in English from Cal State Humboldt, then her M.F.A. at The American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco.


Regional theatre, then "making it" in an off-Broadway show that proved a segue into movies, her own relocation to Los Angeles, a marriage (or two), divorce(s), a lengthy career and life "slump," coming up for air in a short-lived television show, a move to Paso Robles, a late and last marriage that introduced her to "true love" and, also, the heartbreak and inconsolable sorrow of widowhood, the thick cloud under which Helen moves.


She drinks. She has resumed smoking after having "quit forever ago."


The spread in Paso Robles has sold and she's wondering where to live "for the rest of my bone-bruised days."


Somewhere else, I think.
Far away from here.
Different in every way. 

But a view of the woods over the kitchen sink
into which I'll drop a tear
each and every day.


Somewhere else, for sure.
Preferably postcard pretty.
Where can this woman grow old?


No place we ever were.
Which leaves every big city
like me out in the cold.


That's hers. She'll recite it. Helen has taken to poetry "quite out of the middle of nowhere but it keeps me, so far, from chasing pills with merlot, slipping into the warm tub and slashing my wrists. Ha. Ha. Kidding, of course. It's this rain. Why was I expecting Eureka to be sunny in the summer. Wasn't it when I was a child? Seems to me that it was. But, memory. Who can truly trust it? Given its inconsistency, I mean."

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