What I wish when I open my eyes…

Tomorrow, I will wake up to the pale beams of early morning light, drifting through linen blinds. I will feel a warm indentation in the mattress under my right hand, and I will sleepily pad towards the kitchen, following the sweet smell of a man in the morning. He will be sitting at the breakfast nook, glasses perched on his nose, hair unkempt and dark, paging through the New York Times. I will surprise him with a kiss to the temple, triggering a lopsided grin. I will pour myself a round mug of freshly brewed coffee, adding a splash of milk, a dab of sugar, swirled with the shared spoon. I will set it down across from him, reaching towards the pile of papers for my sections, Arts, the Book Review, the Front Page.

Time will move slowly, as it always does in the morning, and we’ll intersperse our reading with idle chat and toast spackled with butter for him, greek yogurt sprinkled with berries for me. Eventually he will rise and stretch, white tee shirt riding up to expose a slice of flesh. I will hear the spray of the shower, and I will wrap my hair into a loose bun at the nape of my neck, moving to place the crumby dishes into the stainless steel sink.

I will throw on a pair of jeans, a loose white tank, and a sweater, and drop onto the couch, displacing a few pages of my script. It will be Angels in America, and it will be dotted with notes and coffee stains, bright with highlighter trails and post-it notes. I will murmur the words to myself, sometimes tipping my head back to think or feel, sometimes pulling a sharp Ticonderoga pencil out of my hair to jot down a thought. Eventually, he will appear from the bedroom with damp hair, dressed and smelling of shampoo. He’ll drop onto the couch with me to tie his shoes and gather his messenger bag. We will mark through our days, planning for dinner or later or tomorrow. He will swing the bag over his shoulder and kiss me on the mouth, and disappear from the apartment with the muffled whomp of the door.

I will realize I’ve lost track of time, quickly yanking open the refrigerator and pulling out a Tupperware of leftover farro and veggies, which I will eat cold as I pull on my shoes and pack up my bag, script, water bottle (which I should remember to fill), sunglasses, book, day planner, apple, phone, pencil… pencil? I will stop suddenly in the middle of the living room, eyes narrow. Pencil? And in an instant, I will find it in my hair, and I’ll laugh softly to myself.

I’ll slide onto a downtown C just as the doors are closing and nab a seat near the center of the car. I will absentmindedly twirl a lock of hair with my finger. I’ll disembark with a rush of people at 50th St, where I’ll round the corner and swing open the door of the building. The elevator will take me up twelve stories, and I’ll quickly head down the hallway to the large rehearsal studio with worn oak floors. I will enter with a smile, and I’ll greet the stage manager, director, and my fellow actors with a hug and single cheek kiss as I make my way to drop my things in the far corner on a folding chair.

We will rehearse earnestly, fruitfully, genially, for three hours, with our Equity-sanctioned breaks. I will only have had one scene to work on today, at the tail end of the rehearsal, and I will feel that I’ve made some really important breakthroughs. We will ease our way towards the end of the workday, the director and two other actors and I deciding to continue our roll and head together to the bar.

As we wait for the elevator downstairs, I will pull my iPhone out of my bag. A new voicemail pops up—my agents.  I’ll feel a zip of excitement pull from the bottom of my stomach to my head, and I excuse myself to listen to the message as we all board the elevator car. I will slap my hand to my mouth, hot breath barely escaping my clenched fingers, as I hear my agent announce that I have booked the TV show I recently had a sixth callback for—a drama on HBO about women in the USO during WWII. It will be an amazing part, a dream part, and it will be much buzzed about. As the doors of the elevator car open, I will squeal my news to the director and cast, who rush to embrace me so distractedly that we will accidentally let the elevator doors close back on us. It will not begin filming in New York until a month after we open, so I will have no conflicts, just a 24/7 acting job for at least the next six months.

Finally, we will succeed in leaving the rehearsal building, and I will say farewell to my friends for the moment so I can call my agents back to accept the role. On the sidewalk on 47th St, I’ll be squealing again on the phone with my agents, who will urge me to celebrate and assure me they’ll send over the details shortly. And they will tell me how much the execs and the director love me. I will hang up with them and speed dial my boyfriend’s number at work. He will pick up on the second ring, and again I will be squealing and pacing back and forth, both of us lit up inside by the news. He will assure me he’ll be down to the bar in a half hour or so to celebrate.

I will hang up and head into the dim bar, where I spot my crew at a table in the back. They will have already ordered me a Negroni, and they will cheer as I approach. Shortly, my boyfriend will arrive and we will kiss and hug so hard that I will almost feel as though he has become a part of my body. He will order a beer, and we’ll all order some food, and soon we’ll all be chatting about something else over our cocktails, fries, and hummus.

After a time, we will decide to head home, and he will pay our bill. We will both loop our bags onto our shoulders and entwine our hands and arms as we move towards the door, and then towards the train. We won’t let go of each other, as though we’re now fused side by side, even as we board the uptown train, disembark, climb the subway steps, and walk the block to our brownstone. We won’t let go until we’re inside our home.

We will drop our bags by the couch and then we’ll both drop onto it, kicking our shoes off. We will lie together there and talk for a while more, until our eyelids are drooping. I’ll kiss him squarely on the mouth, my hands on his face, and he’ll reach his hands up along my neck, and then down my sides, and then under my sweater. I will already be unbuttoning his shirt.

We will end up tangled in the bedsheets, warm and flushed. We will finally be tired enough to crash. I will crawl over his body, quickly kissing him again as I head to the bathroom, where I find a pair of pajama shorts and one of his tee shirts in the hamper. He will come in soon after, boxers on, as I will be washing my face, hair now piled on top of my head. Mirror images of each other, we will brush our teeth and remove our contact lenses. Quickly, we will find our way back to bed. I will turn off my light, exhausted from the day, and lay my head on his shoulder, my hand on his bare chest. He will kiss the top of my head and he will say, “I love you.” I will look up at him through my eyelashes and smile softly. “I love you too.” He will wrap his arm around me and lift his book from the bedside table, turning the light down as my eyes flutter closed.

Soon I will be asleep, and then it will be morning again.


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