I felt cheated. That’s the best way to describe the feeling I was left with after sitting front and centre at the theatre production, The Power Struggle, performed by Nik Rabinowitz at the Baxter Theatre on Friday evening.
I should have started with this, I did not score comps to the show; I paid R195, and it was the first time in two years I treated myself to a night out, actually, two hours is more accurate. I’m a mom, and that’s really it. I don’t often enjoy ‘night life’ (I was told, my definition of it is a little off the mark). When I say ‘night life’ though, I refer to being outside, mostly on my own property, with a cup of tea, at 21h30 on a Friday, whilst simultaneously hanging the laundry.
Back to the show. I chose this particular show as the one night-pass I give myself every 24 months. I know, I’m a thrill seeker. Somehow I just never follow through and find it. I decided on this show because I needed a fucking night out with someone who’s not a parent to make sure I didn’t talk about how little sleep I’m getting; I wanted to support Nik and my insanely talented and incredibly witty friend, Darrel Bristow-Bovey, who co-wrote the material for the production.
It must be said that before I booked tickets, I read the description, which stated that this show, unlike the rest of Nik’s material, has a point. While I was in stitches for a large part of the show, the feeling I had after I left is really what I wanted to share.
I won’t be saying anything about the show itself because anything I do say wouldn’t really do it justice. And, at the end of this, I will encourage you to go and feel for yourself, so no spoiler alerts here – as you were.
It was all feeling for me. Besides the asthma pump I had to use after the show, because of all the laughing (I don’t have asthma, by the way), I had another feeling. This one wasn’t restricted to lungs, but passed through my entire body like a ghost through a wall, before settling in my stomach. I felt cheated. I went to break away from life, but I failed horribly. I was brought so much closer to it, to the reality of a world greater than me…us. When he started, I listened and related to him and his words as a mother first, and then a citizen of earth. By the time I left, I was a citizen first and then a mother. That shift, and then admitting to that – as a mom – is powerful enough and frightening at the same time.
I do have conversations with friends about this place we call home, and the way we’re leaving it for the generations to come, but I always lacked the answers. I realised on Friday evening that it was probably because I was never present to my role as a passerby through my own life. I didn’t find an answer after the show, I don’t think there is just one. The way I thought about the life I lead, changed, and that’s where it should start, I think.
24 hours after the show, and I no longer feel cheated. I no longer feel cheated because I discovered that the feeling was guilt in disguise. It was guilt for not thinking about this more fervently before. Now that I know, and can be authentic about the fact that it was guilt, I am trying to be more conscious of my contribution to the lives of now and the future…hoping we still have one. And if we don’t, I will go silently, without the guilt, because that shit can eat away at a soul long after you no longer exist in the physical realm.
Go have a laugh, at your own risk. You may walk out with nothing more than when you went in, except for a sore head and tummy after a fit of the giggles, or you may just come out with so much more.
*Catch Nik at the Baxter Theatre until 16 April. Tickets can be booked via Computicket.