While packing some clothes for a short trip tonight, I found a ticket stub to a production of The Fantasticks at Wayside Theatre in Middletown. Susan and I saw it together in April on a much overdue night out. We met in 1988 when we were amateur actors together in a Front Royal Little Theatre production of the show. In what was a clear case of casting against type, I played "El Gallo", a mysterious and romantic figure. If I resembled anyone in the play in real life, it was Matt, an earnest character, young, love-struck and a little ridiculous. The love-struck part happened shortly after Susan walked into rehearsals. Matt, the serious twenty year old, says in his opening speech,
I'm grown up, stable,
Willing to conform.
I'm beyond such foolish notions.
And yet -- in spite of my knowledge --
There is this girl.
She makes me young again!
At what I thought of then as the mature age of 33, I laughed with the script at the follies of young love. Thirteen years later at 46, I have to laugh at the foolish young lover I was. Nonetheless, I still watch Susan when she doesn't know I am looking, and think, how undeserved a grace love is, how lucky I am, and say, like Matt, "There is this girl. She makes me young again! And foolish".