Friday, February 12, 2010

open up your mind, let your fantasies unwind, in this darkness which you know you cannot fight

I’m still coming down from the high of Phantom on Broadway. There’s just nothing quite like seeing it in person, even from the cheap seats. I treated myself tonight, for my birthday. Treated myself to a little magic.

I started the evening with dinner; I had a brief window of opportunity between work and Phantom, so I chose a place in Times Square that I’d wanted to go to but hadn’t been yet. Bubba Gump’s was right around the corner from the Majestic, where Phantom was playing. I sat at the bar, as single diners tend to do, and had – what else – the shrimp. Crab stuffed, to be exact. It was just ok, but nothing to write home about.

While I was eating, the table behind me had one of those birthday things where the waitstaff sing to the customer. It seems someone was turning 21. I wanted to shout ‘hey, it’s my birthday too! And it’s another milestone, just like 21.’ In fact, I felt like saying ‘it’s my birthday’ everywhere I went tonight, but resisted the urge – seeing that I’m totally non-exhibitionist.

A show isn’t absolutely perfect unless it ends with a tear in my eye…and it did. But then, I went expecting that it would, and so I wasn’t disappointed. Of course, I have the soundtrack on my Zen, so I listened to my two favourite songs all the way home. Yes, that would be Phantom and Music of the Night. Aren’t those everyone’s favourite songs? Hell, I would have watched the movie version when I got home if I’d had it.

I felt so great leaving the theatre, despite the strong realization that I was, in fact, alone on the evening before my birthday. I went to dinner alone, the theatre alone, and home alone. And yet, I realized that until I got home, I wasn’t really alone. I was surrounded by people.

I was happy despite the tear in my eye, content, excited, enjoying myself. I moved to the music while waiting for the subway, and even stood all the way home on the subway, playing those two songs over and over. Yep, eleven at night, and the woman who grumbles when she can’t sit and sleep on the train refused to sit even though there were open seats. I stood, and silently sang along with the songs, keeping my good mood going. I may have looked like a crazy bag lady, but I was feeling fine.

The Majestic Theatre is a few doors down from a branch of NYC’s very own Junior’s. I figured I owed myself a little treat, but you would have been proud of me. I didn’t go hog wild and bring home a whole cheesecake, much as I wanted to. I picked up two little items, as seen in the photo: a chocolate ambrosia, and a red velvet cupcake with cream cheese icing. I ate half of each when I got home, and am saving the other halves for tomorrow. They were heaven, absolute heaven.

I didn’t want the evening to end. It was early, by NYC standards, only 11 when I hopped on the train. I would have hung out in the Square for an hour, but it was so bitterly cold, windy, snow still filling the gutters. But I need to do this more. Get out, among people, instead of shutting myself up alone in my apartment for three days a week. Do things, fun things. Things that make me happy, that make me feel like I’m part of…the world. Things that make me feel like I’m alive.

Happy birthday to me!

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