Saturday, January 21, 2006


She was loitering anxiously by the stage door. When she saw us, she lit up, and ran to meet us. She flung her arms around me, and cried "you came!"

Martha held up her hand and backed cautiously away. "My back's not so good," she warned. Jonquil's embraces can be on the violent side. Jonquil hugged her carefully. She was dressed for her servant-girl role in The Crucible.

It was time for the play to begin, but a number of the actors were still milling about the sidewalk, teenagers in knee-breeches and high collars, or black dresses and white bonnets. Nervous, disjointed hilarity and banter. They began to drift into the building. A skinny, grizzled, bespectacled bicyclist arrived and slowly dismounted, looking around him with slightly unfocused, apprehensive eyes.

"You shouldn't do that to me!" snapped Jonquil. "I thought you weren't coming!" He muttered something.

We filed into the auditorium, and wound up sitting down near him. He was troubled with a quiet cough, and couldn't seem to get quite comfortable.

Halfway through the performance, I glanced his way. He was gone.

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