On Friday evening while I was having cocktails on the other side of town
Tim was having second thoughts about it all.
Somewhere between my salad and dessert Tim excused himself from the banquet of life.
My first thought, when I got the word, was that I want to call him but I can’t —
Not because he’s no longer here and he never will be but because I don’t have his phone number.
I never called him during the season and experience we shared – even though he made me laugh.
What thoughts swirled and slipped away with Tim I’ll never know.
But I do know what thoughts he never had.
He never knew I thought he was sweet and funny.
I didn’t tell him that. I didn’t want him to get the wrong idea.
He never knew I thought he was brave.
I kept that to myself, too. (I wonder – would it have helped him to know?)
We were in a play together. That’s how I knew him.
We were both such very good actors –
On Friday night Tim reminded me
Of something sweet smelling Mark told me years ago –
That no matter what it looks like on the outside people are often frightened and lonely and tired
Sometimes they’re so tired they can’t see the point
In trying to wake up from the nightmares they’ve been having.
It’s too hard to find the right meds or the right friends or the right line of work
It’s too scary to tell the truth about ourselves and to face the judgment of others
So they go to sleep forever- and they miss the best part
The part where the nightmares turn to dreams
And maybe even dreams come true.
Rest in peace, Tim. I’m sorry I never called.
And as for the rest of you …
Whatever it is that you’re going through …
it’s time to wake up now …
Nancy Murray is pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing and the Publishing Arts at University of Baltimore. She is a playwright who as enjoyed full productions of her work at Fells Point Corner Theater, Silver Spring Stage and the Montgomery County One Act Festival where it was selected as The Best of Festival. Most recently she has been enjoying participating in the Submit 10 Series as both a playwright and as a performer.