Q: Where are you?
A: In my seat.
Q: What do you see?
A: A big curtain.
Q: Describe it to me.
A: It’s really big. Tall.
Q: What color is it?
A: Red, I think.
Q: You think?
A: I’m distracted now.
Q: By what?
A: A man. He’s in the audience, but he’s one of the performers.
Q: A clown?
A: Um hmm.
Q: Are you scared?
A: A little.
Q: What is he doing?
A: Hassling Bill.
Q: And Bill’s your friend?
A: Um hmm.
Q: How is he hassling Bill?
A: He’s making him hold an umbrella. And Bill’s stuck. He can’t move.
Q: Why can’t he?
A: Because everybody’s looking at him and laughing.
Q: Is it funny?
A: Yeah. Kind of.
Q: Later on, does the curtain open?
A: Yes.
Q: What do you see?
A: Water. The whole stage is water.
Q: What else?
A: People are diving into the water, but other people are walking across it.
Q: You mean some people are able to dive into the water exactly where other actors just appeared to be walking?
A: Um hmm.
Q: How is that possible?
A: I don’t know. Hydraulics. Lifts.
Q: Describe the people.
A: The women are really small.
Q: What do they look like?
A: Small.
Q: Okay, what are they wearing?
A: Wigs. And wedding gowns.
Q: Wedding gowns?
A: Not gowns really. Veils. And lingerie.
Q: Underwear? Corsets? White garters? That sort of thing?
A: Um hmm.
Q: And how do you feel about that?
A: They’re kind of hot.
Q: Um hmm.
A: I shouldn’t be thinking that.
Q: Why not?
A: Because they’re so small. And they’re wearing lingerie and jumping in the water and they’re all wet and here I am telling you they look hot.
Q: So?
A: It’s sick. My name ought to be on a registry or something…
Q: I’m sure they’re not children, if that’s what you’re worried about. They’re professional gymnasts and acrobats.
A: (inaudible)
Q: Plus, you’re sort of far away, aren’t you? Maybe they’re not as small as you think.
A: They’re small in relation to the other people on stage.
Q: Oh.
A: I’m not stupid.
Q: I didn’t say you were.
A: I know the difference between small and far away.
Q: All right.
A: I feel like everyone in the audience knows what I’m thinking, that I’m this big pervert.
Q: You’re not a pervert.
A: I don’t swim.
Q: What’s that?
A: I’m not a very good swimmer.
Q: That’s interesting.
A: Is it? Is it interesting that I don’t swim, even though I grew up on a lake?
Q: Tell me more.
A: When I was 12 and I still couldn’t swim, my parents sent me to lessons at the local gym.
Q: What happened?
A: One of the instructors was a girl in my class.
Q: Ouch.
A: What?
Q: Nothing. How did you feel about that?
A: I was embarrassed. All the other kids in the class were younger.
Q: So what happened?
A: I’m still a poor swimmer. She must not have been a very good teacher.
Q: We’re not here to place blame.
A: (inaudible)
Q: Do you think she told the other kids at school? Do you think she made fun of you?
A: I would have, if I had been her. Besides, I don’t think you can assume professional privilege in that situation. We were 12, after all.
Q: I see. So back to the show. Did you like it?
A: Yeah. It was no Alegria, but yeah.
Q: Well, that’s good.
A: Do you think the reason I wanted to see this show is connected to my fear of water as a child? Or that my attraction to these tiny, wet brides is somehow related to long ago feelings of inadequacy, and my need to be accepted by people who once called me dumb or lame or spastic or queer or weak or ugly, even though the girl who was my swim teacher was not so small and even sort of broad-shouldered?
Q: No, I think you went to see it because you heard it was a good show.
A: It better be, for a hundred bucks.
Q: So, on a scale of one to five, five being the highest?
A: Why does five have to be the highest?
Q: Do you want one to be the highest?
A: No. I mean why not a scale of one to ten? One to five doesn’t leave much room for nuance.
Q: All right. One to ten, then.
A: Let’s see. Eight.
Q: Oh, for Pete’s sake. Why didn’t you just say four?
A: What do you mean?
Q: Four out of five is the same as eight out of ten.
A: No it’s not.
Q: Sure it is. I thought you were going to say seven-point-five or something.
A: No, it was definitely an eight.
Q: Forget it. I’m going count to three and snap my fingers…
A: No, no wait. Can we watch Star Wars now?
Q: Oh, God…
A: You said if I told you about “O,” you’d regress me and I could watch Star Wars for the first time again.
Q: All right. Jesus. Where are you?
A: South Hills Village Mall. 1977.
Q: Who’s with you?
A: My sister. Ooh, it’s starting!
Q: This isn’t really what therapy is for…
A: Shhh.
Q: (inaudible)