For the last two months I have been part of a local production of The Sound of Music and through that I have made some friends. One, in particular, happens to be a guy. For the purposes of this blog entry and any future entries, he will be called The Comic. The Comic is a very nice guy. When we started chatting I was up front with him and told him I don’t swing in his direction and he was perfectly fine with it. I decided to say something early in our friendship because I have encountered many guys over the years who think they can change me.
During the performances, The Comic has joined those of us in the nun chorus while we are off stage. He’s shared many stories about his parents and growing up with a Puerto Rican father and a mother from Alabama as well as stories of his previous experiences in theatre. All of it has left both myself and others in stitches of laughter.
Last week we had three days of performances for students/kids so I took vacation time off from work. On Tuesday and Thursday I hung out with The Comic after the show and we did a few things together and it was nice to have someone new to do stuff with. The only person I really do stuff with around here is India because all of my dearest friends don’t live nearby.
Wednesday I had lunch with another friend from my volunteering at the hospital. She’s an older woman, 87. I think I’ll call her Feisty. She’s a little Italian woman, first generation American in her family. I met her back in January when I invited the guy who is directing the production to see the movie at an old neighbourhood theatre. Afterward we went to a coffee shop and it was fun. It was a nice day and after eating, we walked around one of the lakes at the local park. As we walked, she talked a lot about the Director (our mutual friend) and their pending trip to Italy this summer. Apparently Feisty has known a lot of people in the theatrical community over the years and she spoke of one guy that she gets together with semi-frequently for dinner. He’s here for a short time working at a local university in their music department because he is apparently a well-known opera singer.
Back to The Comic. We had lunch again on Thursday, then went shopping. During the course of the afternoon, I mentioned knowing Feisty and how she knows the Director. Somewhere along the way, he made the connection that he knows the Opera Singer that Feisty knows. So I’m thinking, oh this is cool, two friends of mine are connected by someone else they both know apart from me. Naturally I looked forward to Sunday (yesterday) to introduce them to one another when Feisty came to see our performance.
On Friday I went to the hospital, as is my usual routine, and somehow managed to arrive a full 15 minutes early despite leaving the house later than I usually do. Not sure how that worked out, but whatev’. I decided to pop into the gift shop where Feisty works to say hello since I had some time on my hands. She was in the storage room so I walked in and chatted a bit about the previous three days’ performances and then I made the comment that I knew someone who knows the Opera Singer who is also in The Sound of Music. She asked if I meant the guy Opera Singer is rooming with and for a second I was caught off guard because I didn’t immediately recall The Comic telling me that he has a roommate (still don’t remember, but maybe he did). I confirmed his identity anyway and her swift response was to tell me that he’s (The Comic) bad news and that I should watch my purse around him. He would take my money in a heartbeat. So sayeth the Opera Singer.
I was shocked to say the least. I think I murmured something about not finding anything wrong with The Comic, to which she shot back, “Do you think the Opera Singer would lie to me?” I didn’t know, but I quickly made an excuse to get out of the gift shop. I spent the better part of the next two hours completely at a loss as to what had happened. I went back and forth between thinking I should believe Feisty and thinking she just didn’t know what she was talking about. It was really gut-wrenching, mostly because I’d really hoped to have another friend here in town to do stuff with. By the end of the two-hour shift, I had concluded that the best way to deal with things was to talk to the Director who knows everyone involved.
I felt better about things after our chat. I came away realising a few things about the whole situation.
- The Comic knows about my sexual orientation; Feisty does not.
- When The Comic and I went to lunch on Thursday, he forgot his wallet in his car, but didn’t realise it til we were already in line at the restaurant. I had to practically beat him over the head to get him to let me pay for his with the idea he’d pay me back.
- After the chat with the Director, I learned that Feisty had a great deal of cash sitting around her house which was promptly stolen by a carer she had hired to help with her older (99 year old) sister. This has probably led her to believe everyone will steal from her and therefore others as well.
- If the Opera Singer is so scared of The Comic stealing from him, why does he stay in the same house? No one is forcing the Opera Singer to stay where he is.
As time passed, through Friday evening and all of Saturday I realised that things weren’t so great. I started to panic because I could suddenly envision the introduction happening on Sunday quickly follwed by her telling him off. I was utterly mortified at the thought of Feisty saying anything to The Comic that was even remotely similar to what she told me on Friday and more specifically her tone of voice. By Saturday night, I knew my only course of action would be to simply walk away. I would either retreat back into the theatre or to my car and simply drive away.
Sunday morning came and I was dreading the performance. During intermission, I received a call from Feisty on my cell. I missed it and had to listen to the voicemail message. Listening to it I suddenly realised that I don’t want to see Feisty for a while. I’m not sure I want to be friends with her anymore. I don’t want to be told who I should and should not be friends with. My mother tried to force a friendship on me when I was in my 20s. I didn’t take too kindly to that either.
Thankfully, Feisty didn’t stick around after the show ended.