The Linnet's Wings Summer 2014 - Page 122

“Crazies, out there!” was all I could get out of her, and then as we usually did, I took her out to a neighborhood cafe for a latte, and we talked about the play, and a little about what she was doing, never about me. When we walked down Seventh Ave after a rehearsal I watched her out of the corner of my eye look at store windows, unaware of whatever was on display, just looking at her own mirrored image, and smile, occasionally flip her long hair, if it pleased her. Once I had asked her what she wanted out of life, walking this same route, and as we approached 42nd street, she pointed up to a two story digital marquee for a new TV series, and said, “I want that!” with a swing of her arm. “You wanna be a star, huh?” I said, with a chuckle, “like everybody else here.” “Yeah!” The play opened to bad reviews, from one of the minor tabloid critics, who typically didn’t like playwrights acting in their own plays, as he told Maria later, but it didn’t bother me, I knew it needed work on the last act, and quite frankly, the New York theatre didn’t care much for plays concerning middle aged men anyway. Everything had a youthful spin. There might be some interest in an abusive father on stage, but not the journey of a once married, alcoholic painter. Woody Allen had milked all the interest out of audiences there. In the opening act, at the painters studio set in the small theatre, Maria’s character, the painter’s girlfriend Lisa, is lying on the floor in yogic mediation and the audience literally steps over her, As the damning critic moved to his seat, he stopped for a moment over Maria, and shook his head, saying, “I know what’s, next, Maria!” and let out a long sigh, and then found his seat. His article called the play “a self indulgent acting exercise for playwright, ”who he added, should stay in television in LA, forget about the stage. I laughed when I read it, and so did old Terry who I saw one evening, but Maria was angry that I hadn’t gone ahead with rewrites, and said she’d only do this play again if it meant staying out of federal prison for a life sentence. Her romance with the jazz musician was on the outs, and he seemed to be spending more time in Los Angeles, where he’d lived for ten years, and I gathered that her craziness was too just too tiresome for him, so he told her it was over, finished. Maria lived well for the most part, her apartment which I visited once, was in one of those small prewar buildings, and it was furnished well, good art, a few oriental rugs, expensive lamps. She had a collection of high tech Italian designer lamps all over her place, and she read a lot of scripts, one next to every lamp, it seemed to me. Her clothes were fashionable in a fashion conscious city, and looked expensive, but she never seemed to have enough television or film work, to live on, money must have been tight, and she always ended up doing at lot of unpaid theatre, loved a handful of experimental ensembles. “Why don’t you get a girlfriend?” she once asked me over coffee, being her inquisitive self. “I’m still getting over LA, and that mess,” I told her, remembering how open and innocent Karin had been when I first met her, coming off a TV set. “Are you an candidate?” I joked, trying to put some distance on the truth, which of course was there for anyone to see. “Not with you, Grandpa,” she said, taking her hand and gently caressing my face. “Anyway, we fight, and you’re too picky, wouldn’t work, I gotta go!” she said, and with that she was