By Bobby Child
It seems to me that in this modern day and time people don’t believe in love at first sight like we did when I was young.
As a young man, I lived a bit of a naive life in New York. I thought all I had to do was to just get to the right person and all the doors to the backstage of theatres would magically slam open for me. Mother always disliked the idea. She said repeatedly that “there is no way of making a living doing such useless things.” Nevertheless, I tried numerous times to catch the attention of Bela Zangler thinking that he was the key.
In a way, he was.
After the sixth audition that ended in an unbearably embarrassing fashion, (not that the others ended that much better) I knew that I probably would never get another shot. At least for a few years. My only shot was to see if my friends could smooth things over with Mr. Zangler. They were dancers in his show and he liked them well enough. Time was the big factor. Well, time and a few other people.
The problem was that both Irene, who was just a girlfriend who invited herself to be something more, and Mother, wanted me to follow in Father’s footsteps and be a “money man.” You see, what they didn’t know is that Father despised that life. Aside from the company parties and gentlemen clubs, there was no true passion in his life outside his marriage. He told me once that it was something he would always regret. He only committed to his job because of the power and life that came with it. Of course, Mother became accustomed to that life so when he passed she fought to keep his position on the board. But the difference was she enjoyed the challenge this brought her. This was her passion. Tangible, visually apparent and quantifiable results are what drove her. I don’t know if she understands the feeling of letting go of the pent up energy and emotion with a simple tap step or pirouette. The feeling of lightness that takes over the body and refuses to let gravity hold it down. Come to think of it, I don’t think I had ever seen her and Father dancing. Or just being silly.
When Mother sent me to Dead Rock, Nevada, I honestly just thought that it would be nice to get away from that voice of authority and that voice of control that was running my life in the city. I felt smothered and trapped. But out in the big openness of Nevada, I found a quiet that I couldn’t find anywhere.
Then I heard her.
Her voice sounded just like the openness and the fire that was causing that town to be so blazing hot. But that was nothing.
I picked myself up to look at that passionate voice and saw the little spit fire that I would chase until I caught. She was aglow with life. True life! Someone that had felt what hard work was but still looked effortlessly beautiful. Someone who earned all that she had and understood the value of what she earned. There was no pretense. She was exactly who I saw standing in front of me.
And it was love at first sight.
For me anyway.