Time. Time and space. Time to write, space conducive to writing, which, if you live with another human being, will never be perfect. My husband is a drummer. For humor's sake, I am tempted to end there. But those of you who know me, probably already know: I do my best writing when he is practicing on his set. It makes sense to me. I'm a dancer. Rhythm speaks to me. Don't get me wrong - I wear earplugs - it's loud! But there's something about all that energy that centers me. And so I have begun...the final version of The Hat is percolating and by the end of January, it will be finished.
The inspiration for Rose...this is my mother, Myrna Randolph, a chorus dancer at the Edgewater Beach Hotel, 1951
"Smiling is a southern woman's first line of defense. Smiling disarms, charms, distracts, deflects, masks. Very versatile. Quick wit is also useful, but that requires intelligence."
Excerpts from journals written while traveling from city to city on a Greyhound Bus. The Bus and Truck Tour of A Chorus Line.
November 1981...My Walters Transit Swan Song:
"My last bus ride before I head to Broadway. It is only appropriate that bus call be 7:15am...after finishing a show at 10:30pm...with an 8 and 1/2 hour drive to Madison Wisconsin. My last Bus and Truck Opening Night...Jackson Brown is serenading me through my Walkman. We are on a first name basis, Jackson and I. Your lyrics are going to make me cry... ..again...The "stars I wished upon" became a dream come true...But the scars? I'll never "laugh about the scars"..."
...On the bus, creature comforts are important. This is my home.
August...in Canada, we go through customs. Their questions stump me:"Where are you from?"
"Where do you LIVE?"
I am tempted to repeat myself.....hmmm....I have to ponder...she seems to want a different answer.
I silently list our most recent residences, "Holiday Inn," "Howard Johnson's," "Marriott,"...I could go on...But I am distracted by the truth of the matter: I've been living on the road for two years.
"What do you have in these bags?"
"Everything I own."
"Well, at least you know where everything is." She passes me through.
..September...I slept most of the day on the bus, hearing only the first couple of tunes on each tape, waking only to shift positions...the day was over quickly...