I did the thing again. That thing where I decide to rip my ACL in half and get surgery. Now, the first time I had surgery was December 15th, 2015. This second time I decided to change it up a bit and get surgery December 15th, 2016. Very different, as you can see. In the same hospital with the same surgeon on the same leg, as well.
There’s a moment before you completely go under with anesthesia where everything blends and you think, “Oh God, am I going to be stuck in this weird haze the whole surgery?” and then you inhale and wake up with your leg the size of a tree trunk.
However, this second time that moment turned into an epiphany of sorts. More like a drug induced fever dream of insanity, but for that second I realized something. Because of this repetition, like a weirdly spaced out Groundhog’s Day, I somehow found a way to blame myself for the entirety of 2016. That’s right. This whole year is my fault.
Groundhog’s Day 2, starring Bill Murray and Myself, pictured above.
See, I have a bucket list of actors and actresses I’d like to work with. And, beginning with Alan Rickman, this year turned that bucket list into the Grim Reaper’s personal diary. Not everyone who was on the list died and not everyone that died was on the list, but it definitely took a damn hit. I won’t be surprised if I start getting haunted by pissed off celebrities demanding retribution. Can you imagine Jareth, David Bowie from Labyrinth, waking you up in the middle of the night to demand to know why some random girl who is no one from nowhere wrote his name on a list that ended up in the Grim Reaper’s hands? Not a conversation I’m looking forward to, to be sure.
Then, the political shit show that was this year. Whatever side you’re on, it was a nightmare. And my family and friends happen to be split directly in half. I mean that. In. Half. Even on both sides. I keep out of as many of these debates as possible because I made a very, very, very specific choice not to go to law school and jump into the political foray (it has nothing to do with the work load and everything to do with my affinity with Darth Vader), but I have my opinions and I just keep reading more and more on both sides of the aisle about how we already were screwed and might continue to be screwed and there’s just a lot of screwing going on while no one’s getting laid. What kind of world is that? That world blows, my friends, so I respectfully bow out while you all tear each other to shreds. When you’re done yelling, maybe I’ll step in with some semblance of a plan. A good compromise leaves everyone pissed as hell, I promise. But for some reason, in those moments before surgery, I blamed myself for that clean halving of my life. Bernie, Clinton, Trump, Facebook News Stories, the DNC, Congress in general. Mea culpa. Blame it on me so that we can move on from the finger pointing and get some work done because there’s a lot to be done in what feels like little to no time. It’s all gotta be someone’s fault, right?
Then I thought of all the productions I was in and wondered, “Oh shit, do I still have all those lines down?” Because relearning all of that would be bizarre. I would also want to expedite the process. Just in case the moment I woke up from surgery transported me back to exactly the same spot in the previous year. Just in case I had imagined 2016 and was about to wake up to it for the first time. Just in case I hadn’t met all of those wonderful, new friends yet and I needed to go find them. Just in case I had stepped into some bizarre time loop from a distorted black hole or else accidentally slipped through my anesthesia into a parallel universe in the year previous where 2016 doesn’t turn out so volatile and strange.
But now, I don’t think I’m so pissed about it. Recovery has been WORLDS easier this time (yay for the right pain meds and not having my own body grafted!) and we’re all wading through the confusing repercussions of the year. I have also caught up on an obscene amount of television (three seasons of Game of Thrones in three days, friends. Nut up or shut up), seen many of my very happy and deserving friends get engaged (I HAVE SO MANY WEDDINGS TO GO TO NEXT YEAR), and spent a ton of time back at home with my family. I mean, I’m going a little stir crazy (I might learn Russian before I go back because German was rough as hell and not my thing in An Absolute Turkey) and other than this blog post the writer’s block has been an annoying, constant reality shock (my usual remedy is to drive around for a bit and, well, no driving). But one more semester of grad school (the light at the end of the tunnel is so freaking bright. So. Freaking. Bright.) and a whole half of the year where I have absolutely no idea what’s in store.
I choose strange, random things that will most likely be fantastic adventures or hilarious defeats. Either way, a much better story than, “Arlene did not change out of her pajamas all day. Again. We’re just thankful she showered.”
And just know that if I end up getting surgery on December 15th, 2017, I will have proven myself as God’s Running Joke and demand quantum scientists take a closer look into this annoying, mind numbing time loop that is occurring in the space of my left knee on December 15th for no good reason. I’m sure my surgeon would be thankful as well. Or not, we’ve given him a lot of money at this point.
Anyway, here’s the “Connecticut Repertory Theatre Year in Review for 2016”, otherwise known as “Proof That 2016 Happened And Was Real And I Was Present For It. Well, Parts Of It.” When you’re done blaming me for last year, start to enjoy this year. It’s okay. Take your time. My New Year’s Resolution is to give less of a damn about others’ unqualified opinions than I already do. It’s going splendidly, to be sure.
Have some whiskey and hit the gym, here’s to 2017: https://youtu.be/oqYHD_pne5k