A Lick And A Promise

The following reflection was written in 2003, when I was between 25 and 26 years old.

After class on Friday afternoon, I drove down to the Haverhill train station and picked up Rachael, who had come in from Pennsylvania to see the first full play written and directed by me (among other things). On the way back to the college I related the story of the pink rose and my Secret Admirer. I told her who I suspected it might be, but she didn’t seem to think I was on target.

We went to dinner and a heap of friends greeted us, all of them supremely excited to see Rachael. The person I suspected was there, as was the person it actually was. I think some of my housemates might have been there as well. I don’t remember much about it though, except for a heap of conversation and laughter and then my abrupt departure to get ready for the show. I’m pretty sure Rachael came with me and just hung out while Evil Deb and I prepared the theater for the first night of the annual Student Theater Festival.

The theater filled with Bradford folk and with some of my off-campus friends, JonMartin, KenMills, and Adam among them. It occurred to me as Ken walked in that he might kill me if Amanda changed the speech to refer to “Kenny” instead of “Billy” Mills, as she had threatened to do once she discovered Ken would be in the audience.

The show was phenomenal. The audience loved my crazy little sex farce. It struck a chord with them. Prok came up to me after the show to tell me how authentic my dialogue sounded, how well I wrote lesbians and gay men. Pat Vogelpohl, whose play Drought was sharing the bill, commented on the strength of the show. He was the playwright on campus and to be complimented by him was something else.

Ken did not kill me by the way, but if you listen real close to the tape of the show you can hear Jon and Adam turn to Ken after the laughter caused by the Billy Mills joke subsided and say to him, “Dude, you suck.” Amanda, as promised, had changed the name to Kenny Mills and I’d almost had a heart attack.

Back at the Cluster House after the show, Rachael confessed she’d discovered who the Secret Admirer was. We sat in the dining room and I guessed name after name until I got it right, neither one of us knowing that there was a pair of ears pressed to a door one level up, trying to hear what we were saying. I don’t know if that pair of ears could hear how disappointed I was with discovering the identity of my admirer (It was someone I was happy being just friend with, and nothing more), but that pair of ears decided the next day to do something about their own hidden feelings.