MEMO: “Sad Man Just Wants to Hold Hands”

Sep 16, 2009 by     No Comments    Posted under: Thousands of Stories


The doors opened on the train today while I was riding home from meeting with my step-fathers’ cousin for the second time in my entire life. He is a tremendous man who paints portraits (none of which I have seen) and keeps an arms length from most individuals, especially family. I am not technically family, however, as he is a cousin of my step-father whom he did not know was not my biological father until just four hours ago. Mike, the step-dad, did raise me and is more of a father than anyone I have ever known and I owe him everything in the world even though he wouldn’t ever fathom accepting anything. Yet, I digress. My 6 stopped at 33rd today, or perhaps it was 42nd and Grand Central, and I observed for just long enough to witness the most lovely and pathetic scene:

A tall, slender, blonde woman in a camel dress, stilettos, and pristine hair – you know that hair that is perfect no matter what happens and should be used in Garnier Fructisse commercials if they weren’t already using Sarah Jessica Parker: a casting decision of which I am completely approving – exits the train and hurriedly heads towards the exit turn-styles. A very attractive, dark haired, athletic ‘boyfriend’ skalks behind the giraffe, as the wannabe child eagerly follows the popular girl on the playground hoping for some sense of acknowledgement and acceptance into the club. With every step she takes, her equally limby arms swing in grand arcs behind her. With each step, the ‘boyfriend’ reaches his right arm forward to meet her left hand but continues to miss. I watch as his hopes raise, the connection is missed, and he readjusts to begin the extension again.

Each time he fails.

She goes through the turn style.

He follows.

The doors to the train close and we begin to move forward uptown. I laugh inside. Even the ones with significant others remain insignificant.

  • The larger metaphor: I am reaching for the hand of the leggy blonde of New York City. With each step she takes, I see a brief glimpse of an opportunity and yet continue to miss.
  • The truth: I’ve been here for three weeks now. I believe that I can and should continue to cut myself some slack.

That’s a lie. I never cut myself some slack. This I my life and, as my head shot photographer’s wife (a fellow actress and all around lovely woman) says, “no one cares about my career, or my life for that matter, as much as I do.” If I only care about my career with a mild interest and leave the work to agents, managers, and other people, they will only give a fraction of what I am already contributing to my success. I own a small business: Emily. It is for sale and not for free. This is why actors are called prostitutes throughout history: we sell ourselves.