Yesterday morning I encountered a woman on her way to swim as I was leaving. I've known her for about ten or twelve years. When I say known I know her name and a bit of her recent history. I also know her birthday. Names and faces I often don't remember but I usually remember birthdays. It was about two weeks ago. I said, "I didn't send you a card this year but I thought of you. She didn't say anything. I said, "You know the line, 'A stranger is a friend I haven't met yet"? I always -no -used to think we could be friends but it never happened, and I'm sorry."
She said, "It's not you, it's me. I have this inner self."
"We all do," I said. I didn't say but I thought that some people are more inner than others.
I'l think about what you said," she said.
Later, in the afternoon, I gave a reading and a kind of bio of my life to a group at Ryerson University, the first talk in a new project about plays and playwriting, a bonus to be connected with the Over-50 Playwriting Program. I told bits and pieces of my life to establish myself in space and time and read from a couple of plays, one a complete monologue I've never performed before, about the last four minutes of an old woman's life. Well, I guess that's part of my inner life. I thought of my...acquaintance. The difference is, I sell mine, and then go deeper inner.
When my husband died, that's when I began to develop another persona. I was Gallant Widow, Intrepid Journalist, playing the role that had been thrust upon me. Now I'm Aging Widow (still writing), Local Seer, what else? Somewhere in there, there's me.
Who am I? For that matter, who are you?