Norman and Sheila
Years ago when Hugh and I lived in New York, we went to a play called The Boys Next Door, by Tom Griffin. It’s a serious comedy about the inhabitants of a Group Home for adults with mental challenges.
I remember one outstanding scene in this play.
Norman is an overweight man with a tiny IQ. We learn he has a crush on Sheila, a frumpy, cranky woman, who also has a low IQ. They meet at a social gathering and shuffle over to each other. They communicate in dim, flawed language and start a slow, lumbering dance.
Then it happens: the lights and music change. The actors make eye contact. They beam at one another. The audience sees Norman and Sheila as they see themselves. They are a radiant Fred and Ginger, a glorious dancing king and queen.
Hugh and I both sobbed out-loud in the theater when that happened. It was at least twenty-five years ago and I still sigh when I think of it.
I remember this moment because I re-live it often. Sometimes despite all appearances, I am glorious even though I am not. Continue reading