That evening. AMY, CELIA, and DAVID are sitting down to dinner at the kitchen table. Celia is unpacking bags of chinese food and AMY is drinking a glass of wine.
Shit. Where… shit.
They forgot the dumpling sauce.
There's soy sauce packets here. If you want.
Dad, that's totally different. I want the dumpling sauce to go with the dumplings I ordered. Fuck.
We can have it without. Soy sauce is fine for me.
Me too. Give it here, Amy.
(She passes him the dumplings. He spears one with his fork and pops it in his mouth just as CELIA dives at him)
DAD! PUT IT DOWN!
Jesus. You almost made me choke.
Don't eat them until we get the sauce. Please. I'm asking you.
Okay, Celia. Calm down.
I'm calm. I just want what I ordered.
(She goes to the phone and picks it up to dial.)
I ordered it. You heard me. I said dumplings./
/We got the dumplings-
/Hello? Hell-HI. Yes. I just picked up my order. The name is Benson. B-E-N-yes, that's right. Well we ordered dumplings but they came without the sauce. Yes, we’ve got all the packets of soy sauce. But we're missing the DUMPLING SAUCE. What is it?. It's some kind of brown sauce that you dip dumplings in---I don't know, I'm not the chef! It's whatever you always put in with the dumplings. Well if it's your first day ask someone else there. I'm sure they can show you. Please. What I'd like, is for someone to come drop off some dumpling sauce. Can I please-(to AMY) He's got me on hold. Jesus.
Celia, forget it.
No. I can't eat them like this.
- Proof that true to our tagline, the Mouse is incapable of writing anything that doesn't at least reference a snack.
So, I wrote this play. And um, it's gonna get produced.
Shoot. Just typing that makes my palms sweat.
But seriously, it's happening. Know how I know this? There's a benefit this Sunday to raise money for my theater company's upcoming season, a season which includes said play. Which means people are going to come, and give money, and raise a glass, and bid on auction items and clap us on the back and take postcards home, and eat hors d'oeuvres, all in good faith that come this June, my play will hit the boards. Which means as much as I may want to, in my weaker moments, I can't just burn the evidence, pack my bags, and move to Kyrgyzstan.
Wait, I can't, right?
Okay, okay, just asking.
What's the big deal, you may say (well, you wouldn't say it because I know you know just how I feel)? The truth is, I think of myself as a lot of things: an actor. a social worker. a food blogger. a home cook. a good eater. a fairly entertaining karaoke singer. a sometime fiction writer. But a playwright?
That's the thing about being part of a company of incredible artists with whom you have forged a real home, a haven, even, for your soul and spirit. You start to think you're all kinds of things, all kinds of people, that you can do all kinds of things you never before thought about doing, never would have dared to do, and not only do you start to THINK these things, but before you know it, you might actually DO some of them. And then you're really screwed.
The point is, I miss you. You see, this Sunday I'm going to have to get dressed up and go to this party and I'm going to have to be all, "Hi, I'm the Mouse. I'm the playwright. I wrote a play. And people are going to be saying my words out loud in public like I think I've got something to say that's worth listening to." And that is oh so scary. And I just wish I had my big sister with me to give me a peptalk and make sure I have a cocktail in my hand at all times.
Of course, I also wish you could come because this is going to be one hell of a party and one that a Mouse and a Boo would find particularly exciting. Not only will there be things like fried bay scallops with preserved lemon and parsley sauce (yum), pulled pork dumplings with asian pesto (yumm), and mushroom and truffle croquettes (yummm). But we have a truly incredible list of liquor sponsors*, who have been very generous with us and who will have to forgive me when I get a little sloppy because how can I not at least TRY each of our offerings?? And not only do we have these amazing sponsors, but we have an unbelievable host, Dushan Zaric, world-renown mixologist and restauranteur (Macao Trading Company, and Employees Only which was named the world's best cocktail bar in 2011), who is not only lending us his gorgeous venue but has personally created each and every specialty cocktail on the menu for this special night.
I'm including one of the cocktail recipes below with a humble request. On Sunday, some time between 7 and 10 pm, while I am in Manhattan and you are in KC, please mix yourself up one of these (or the closest approximation you can manage), think of me, send me a little mental comforting squeeze, give thanks to the universe for art and food, the generosity of those who allow us to indulge in both, and the freedom and luck to do it in abundance. Raise your glass, and knock it back for me.
*Tuthilltown Spirits, Whistle Pig Straight Rye Whiskey, Don Q Rum, Semental Tequila, Michael Collins Irish Whiskey, Barenjager Honey Liqueur, Brooklyn Gin, A.I. Selections, Polaner Selections, Wind Gap. WE LOVE YOU!!