One of the disheartening things about getting old (there are several) is when you’re walking along the sidewalk and you see some sad-looking, worn-out, white-haired guy doddering down the steps, or some barrel-shaped, shuffling matron with frizzy orange hair and orthopedic shoes, and you realize these are your contemporaries.
Didn’t they go to Woodstock? Or at least watch the movie? Wasn’t it all supposed to turn out different?
I was at a rehearsal tonight for an upcoming local theater production of Peter Pan — the musical version. Rest assured: I’m not playing Captain Hook. I’m playing cello in the orchestra.
The rehearsal room has a day job as a dance studio, and has mirrors all along one wall. So the kids in the cast are doing Indian whoops while they’re scampering around, and that’s okay except when they swing the drumsticks they’re brandishing too close to my head as they leap past. But when I look in the mirror, I realize I’m 20 years older than anybody else in the orchestra. I’m the geezer.
And I’m not, like, the eminence grise or the father-figure or anything. I’m just the guy playing cello. I don’t think of myself as being any older than the other musicians — not even the ones who are still in college — but the mirror doesn’t lie.
Plus … Peter Pan. The script is just amazingly stupid. You’d think it would be too stupid for kids, even, they grow up so fast these days, but apparently not. How did I get myself into this?
Oh, right. They’re paying me. Not very much, but they’re paying me.
Somebody should make a musical of The Cherry Orchard. I’d enjoy playing in the pit for that.