30 September, 2003

Friday, 26 September

This weekend was like sex I have had occasionally, in that I was so intensely focused on another person's pleasure that I couldn't concentrate properly on getting off myself.

I scurry around the house. Tonight is rehearsal for Murder Mystery and I get to meet Martin. I get to meet Martin! Only Ginny understands what that means to me. Hawk says "Another one of your boyfriends?" without heat or rancor and CJ says "You invited someone you don't even know to stay at your house?" So here it is, the day of his arrival, and I hurry to get everything ready before three. I almost make it, and leave with the children, and pace around the tarmac, no, I mean platform, because his train is late. For the last three days, I've prowled his website, trying to be sure of recognizing him when he steps off the train. Of course, the long, green, stilt shaped bundle carried by a quietly beautiful man reveal Martin's identity right away.

For the first hour, I have trouble hearing him. He speaks very quietly. His dry wit is demonstrated when he tells the children they won't be able to understand him because he's from the other side of the world. Alaina, in a comment I don't think Martin realized was directed at him, said she understood him just fine. I told her, "Perhaps he doesn't understand you, Sweetheart." Which she follows with, "Dew yew unnastan me?" Martin, on cue, replies, "What?" and when she repeats it, louder, slower, "Excuse me?" and then "Pardon?" at which point, Alaina says, "Yew awe jus kidding." Martin does not argue. He is hidden behind his sunglasses.

We drop Garrett for his dance class, then head home to set about getting to know one another. I was prepared for Martin to be intense, surly, moody, shy, difficult, persnickety. He was less than half of those. Intense, yes. Shy, incredibly. And beautiful, so damn beautiful in his vulnerability and sensitivity. We pick up Garrett, cigarettes, and beer, in that order. I remind Martin to remind me to stop for smokes, as I have trouble keeping more than one thought in my head at a time. I try to talk less than is my norm, and listen more. He considers things carefully, and answers slowly, with thought. It is a challenge to not finish sentences, not jump ahead... but I am Smith-trained, and was educated on how not to complete a thought for Jules, as he would invariably agree and drop the topic. Subtle, and it took awhile; eventually I learned.

Martin is a great deal less weird than I expected. He is probably the best stiltwalker on the face of the planet, and a highly, highly accomplished mime. He is also an excellent writer, and that gets me. Oh, every time, gets me. I met him online. I go to a site called Performers.Net, and lots of variety artists go there to blow off steam, ask questions "real world" people can't answer, or (more likely) don't understand the questions. We swap goods, information, stories, gigs. It's worldwide, and a way for us to keep in touch with each other, get to know each other, create a community.

But as it happens, I had met Martin before, at MotionFest 1, East Coast. He remembers us speaking. I feel deficient for not remembering. I often don't remember things, especially when I am on sensory overload, like at MotionFest, but I still feel deficient. He eats macaroni and cheese with the kids, and introduces me to the pleasure of soy sauce on sliced avocado. Then the cast begins to arrive. Martin retreats to the kitchen, to another beer. Hawk returns from...where? I don't remember, and it doesn't matter. Do I introduce him to Martin? I hope. The cast is here, rehearsal begins. Hawk comes back in (was he out?) and announces, "I got rid of the Kiwi." My Defensive Mamma mode kicks into action. "What did you do to Martin?" "Nothing. He's over there with Paul. "

Paul. Our neighbor, who literally has talked the ears off several brass monkeys, leaving them completely valueless and unsaleable. Paul, who is still in a progressive jazz band called The Muffins. Paul, who has abused every substance known to man, and is seeking out new ones. Paul, who thinks you're not off work unless you're drinking. Paul has got ahold of Martin.

"Go rescue him," I tell my husband. "He's holding his own, " Hawk tells me, and grins in such a way that I know he will check up on Martin if an hour goes by without him showing back up on our porch.

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