Five plays in, and I have stopped feeling cross. I am not quite so annoyed that when I put in my bid, I thought the prize was for eight plays when really it was for six. And because it was so late by the time the prize was finalised, I got the crappiest seats. Nearly every time.
Five plays in, I have stopped saying well at least the cause was good and I am able to point with a proper laugh to the bolded words on the stub *complimentary* *not for sale*. I will keep one as a souvenir.
Five plays in, and we have got here together, the mister and I. I like bringing my friends. I like the easy chance to catch up, to talk about our children, to laugh. But it is nice sometimes, being the two of us.
We pre-order our interval drinks, and we have one now. One sip, two. The stress of getting here – tea, baths, pyjamas, got the tickets, no haven’t you – is gone.
These are the people we know: my first boss, but too far into a conversation for one of those OH! Hel-los; a woman I’d like to see more; a man from three pasts ago. On the way to our seats, I brush against the knees of a woman I do not know, but recognise. She has no idea who I am.
I whisper I wish her luck were mine and he whispers back I know, my love, I know. He rubs my arm with his hand.
Her voice is not loud, but she is just two seats away. I hear more than I want to know.
My jumper is too thin, the seat I am sitting in creaks, the wine is making me yawn. My neck is tense, my thighs twitch, my interval wine is warm.
I watch with ungenerous eyes.
The reviewer is there that night. And the next day, when I read her words and I understand what I have missed, I think I wish her eyes had been mine.