Tom: "Jesus Christ, calm down, will you? Just calm down, nothing's happening."
Dennis: "Then what's that sound? WHAT'S THAT SOUND?"
-A Devil at Noon
I'm writing to you at the end of my day off after our first performance, cookies in the oven, looking out at the sun setting golden and lovely over the urban sprawl of downtown Louisville, reflecting on how good it is to know I'm safe, sound, and alive. It's particularly good at this moment because, about 14 hours ago, there was some question in my mind on this matter.
Apparently, I'm reading now in the local rag, there was some kind of technical glitch last night with the local emergency broadcast radio system. The glitch caused the civil defense sirens, which are supposed to go off in cases of tornado activity, to, like, not go off this morning, when there was, like, a tornado here in Louisville.
The fact that none of us knew it was coming I can only blame on a cocktail of nerves and distraction on our part as last night was both our first preview!! of the show and, well, Oscar night (congrats to cast mate Dennis for his appearance in God of Love!). We were in rehearsal all day, spent the dinner break face down in a plate of collard greens and bbq salmon (yes, BBQ SALMON -more on this later), and then straight back into the theatre to stage our wild and woolly science fiction thrill ride for our first audience. It wasn't even raining, and the weather was the last thing on our minds. Nobody mentioned a storm.
The show went well. Of course, as our director reminded us afterwards, Act I needs work, but I'm pretty proud of it. The story is thrilling and out-there, the dialogue is witty and juicy and delicious, the cast is HOT and I get to make a very spectacular entrance at one point that I won't ruin here yet by describing. (Two words: Trap. Lift.)
So it was off home to watch the pre-recorded Oscars, then fall into bed around 2AM. And, in the end, I guess who needs a civil defense siren when you can be woken at 430AM by your own apartment, which is rattling around on its 15th floor hinges; floors shaking, doors banging, wind shrieking, the whole nine yards. The sky was opaque orange on my side of the building and a sickly greenish black on the other, as observed through hallmate Tom's window. I grabbed my cell phone and blearily read a text from Dennis, an hour earlier: "This weather is crazy!" I opened my front door and found him standing there in street clothes, surrounded by bags of dried fruit and cacao beans. "Should we go to the basement?" he asked. From my position on the carpet in the hallway (where I'd laid down when my legs gave out) I conducted a consultation with Dennis and Tom (who, from the South, was across the hall dancing around on his balcony going "Isn't this exciting?" while we died inside.) We discussed the 'morally right thing to do': knock on everyone's doors and wake them? Leave them alone? In the end we somehow decided to send the others text messages (TEXT MESSAGES?! in the face of death??) and fled to the basement where we holed up in Tom's car, checking the weather updates and speculating on which part of the building would go first and who would need to be eaten.
In the end, nothing happened. To us, anyway. The tornado passed over, knocked down a few houses in nearby Eminence, and let us get to bed. We slept from 7AM to noon, and then went to Whole Foods, which restored a measure of balance to my universe and also provided me with the ingredients to bake the following taste treats:
The Boo's Tornado Cookies
...which are basically good ol' Nestle Toll House chocolate chip cookies with some significant upgrades: namely 1 cup organic bittersweet chocolate morsels, 1 cup dried cherries, and 1 cup of crushed 'maple cinnamon roasted organic walnuts', courtesy of Dennis' Survival Stash.
Unflattering kitchen light... sigh.
Can't wait to see what happens opening night.