America Day 16 – Broken Spoke

The show tomorrow is going to be in a recital hall. 23 rows of audience sharply raked down to five of us bouncing around on our big empty wooden stage. Behind us as we work looms a vast pipe organ. “Dammit,” says Claire. “Last time we were here we got to do it in a theatre”. Not that it matters though. The point is that we can do the show anywhere. This week turns out to be a recital hall in Austin.

We will carve out a little square of light and we will bring joy to a little spot in the heart of Texas. We’ve just spent a couple of hours working out the tech, such as it is. Heather is operating for us. She has a new baby but she’s enjoying being back on the job. This hall isn’t built for shows, so we only have six potential lighting states operated from a panel of buttons. She can see us on a monitor but she can’t hear us talking on stage. We are building in little visual cues for her so she can op the show deaf. I wonder how that pans out in performance. However it pans out, it’ll be a thing. Gotta love the live arts.

Tomorrow I’ve got to do an hour of poetry – and yeah I cheated a bit by throwing in The Rime of The Ancient Mariner to bolster up the time but I was obsessed with Coleridge as a kid so it’s fair. Tonight though I’m in my cowboy boots. We are going line dancing, baby. I thought I’d write half of this before we left knowing how likely it’ll be that my ability to write is negatively affected by my predilections.

Turns out it wasn’t line dancing. It was that waltzy shit they do. We went to The Broken Spoke. Claire and Katherine were in high demand when it became apparent that Kaffe and I were thoroughly incompetent. They got spun like no tomorrow by a couple of big galoots in ten gallon hats and then came back to share their findings with the group. “I think it’s ONE and two three ONE and two three. No it’s here, here, back and here and here here back and here.” I still have no idea, but I had good fun finding out I didn’t know, and when the base level is 0 any improvement feels like victory. The style of it was the thing I understood best. The more complicated the move, the less involved the man has to look, so long as he is competent. The best ones to watch were in the middle distance while the women were spinning like tops. I couldn’t do the indifferent skill without the skill but I began to appreciate the game of it.


And then I remembered why you have to either be in a relationship or get lucky when you put your cowboy boots on. Getting them off on your own requires a degree in engineering.

I managed it though, eventually. Now bed. Poems tomorrow… Joy? Joy.


Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: