She had only a couple scenes in the play, yet she'd show up at the start and watch the entire rehearsal. I knew she wasn't a theatre major, so I had to guess she was hanging around extra to check out a dude, and I figured that dude might be me since there was only one other single dude in the play, and he was Fay. A blind man could see that when she chatted with him it seemed more like girlfriends gossiping than heteros flirting.
When Veronica and I chatted, which was not often because I was involved in most every scene, we said very little, which led me to think, or believe, or more to the point hope like a bastard, that we were treading lightly around emotions we wished could erupt into a one way trip to love. (Please feel free to use the final seventeen words of that paragraph in a song - but understand, the song will probably suck if you do).
Robert, our great director, decided would be best for Veronica and I to work on the sensitive scene we shared at the end of each night's rehearsal. "The set will be closed," he announced to the cast, which meant no one else would be allowed to watch. I felt like kissing Robert right then and there because ending rehearsals (we rehearsed on the top floor of a working dairy barn), with only Robert around to compete for Veronica's attention, would allow me fantastic opportunities to utilize my highly evolved ability to woo ... which of course I did not and still do not have. But being the politest, sweetest, most humble and content young man to bid Veronica "Night," under a dozen or so of the absolute most perfectly clear star filled summer Vermont evenings, couldn't hurt my chances.
The closed rehearsals were working very well. Not having our acting peers peer at us while we worked allowed for maximum concentration on a scene that included a good deal of physical action. Veronica and I felt a heightened sense of solitude that helped us feel free to tangle about, emotionally and physically.
I remember during an intense pass through a part of the scene were Veronica struggles to free herself from my character's grip, my right hand accidentally, not just brushed by, but actually formed a full landing on, for a good fully seems like fully five seconds, her breast. I was freaked, and after Robert stopped us I politely apologized to Veronica. She half smiled, using her hand to shoo away my apology, the way Oprah might shoo away one's offer to pay for lunch. "Oh, that's, that's fine," she said quietly. I could tell at the very least Veronica understood that I was a sincere and nice guy, which is all a man should and can ever want a woman to understand.
At that point my summer was made. Anything that might build between us beyond her understanding of my sincere feelings would be cream on the peach.
Cream takes time to whip.
The play was about to open.
Summer was fading.
I kind of wanted me some cream.
To be continued.
Rusty DeWees tours Vermont and Northern New York with his act "The Logger." His column appears weekly. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Listen for The Logger, Rusty DeWees, Thursdays at 7:40 on the Big Station, 98.9 WOKO or visit his website at www.thelogger.com