Starting – The Understory and Next Theme

Enjoy Rob McRay’s understory from 2017’s first theme “Starting.” 

Tonight, Nashville, we started.

We started contemplating word choices after a very poor word choice was directed from a 43-startingwild-hearted, hormonal adolescent at an equally emotional mother, who responded by hurling a giant “Route 44” cherry slushy all over us—and our relationship surprisingly thawed with the frozen drink.

We started our career at a school for children with disabilities with games of hot potato pickle and endless crafts…and scoliosis and seizures and horrific stories, and one child’s personal hell—which we escaped…but he didn’t.

In a 3rd grade “physical education” class we learned of…body changes, hygiene, and fictitious babies. And we started praying for periods—which eventually led to a loud scream, and a strangely smiling mother, and…uh…pillow butt panty problems.

We started our happily-ever-after with a blind date on Valentine’s Day, arranged by the committee. And we became engaged to be engaged, with no ring—till our romantic psychiatrist eventually asked nicely.

It all started when we cautiously climbed the broken sewer pipe, and tight-rope walked the brown beam, till we reached the vast river and took a bow to the applauding white caps—and now we want to speak for ourselves.

A new journey started when Mom fell, and led us to complaints of inattentive care, and assurances of disappearing beds…and a kind hug, and a stream of tears, and a promise of prayers…. And it really will be alright.

The trouble started at tennis practice with an insensitive response to Mom’s life crisis. It took years of distance till random love superseded rational thought, and we reconciled over a vodka martini and a country concert.

We started the relationship in a spartan home with many questions and a Kung Fu Panda kite. We sat cross-legged around the same delicious homemade dish—and thought perhaps the resolution of many of our problems might start this way…when we all eat as one.

We started our penchant for bad boys with “Rebel Without a Cause,” and spent years rescuing the troubled men…till restraining orders, and a long distance move, and years more of therapy led to the discovery that we were James Dean after all.

And so, Nashville, it started.


Thanks so much to all our storytellers–Darcie, Brittany, Kristen, Irene, Jane, Sarah, Barbara, Michael, and Samantha. Please join us for our next night of stories on February 27. Our theme is “Choices.” Pitch your story here!

44-choices

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Beginnings – The Understory

(The “understory” is a thematic weaving together of the 9 stories, written live as they are heard and then performed as a  summary of the night.)

If it begins with, “Oh boy, stage fright!”, it ends with finding your voice.
What begins with chapstick parties on the school bus, with a dinosaur thrown in, becomes twenty years of friendship.

The firsts of a new relationship are an all-too perfect beginning that ends in a phone call. And with the douchebag gone, becomes you, just you, saying, “Yes!”

When it begins with a naïve, if confident, traveller in 1971, be glad it didn’t end up in Turkish prison like it could. But if it begins with, “I’m just dead to the world,” you just know an obituary’s coming. And a very awkward funeral.

What began in Vermont on September 12th, 1983 became a new start: a path of creativity and identity lived stitch by stitch. Meanwhile, the feminist collective that began in Knoxville in ’94 did not end well. But it birthed its own legacy of voices & creativity, of thriving beyond surviving.

However it begins, and however it ends, peacefully, loved & cherished we hope, it’s always a new beginning for those you leave behind.

Remember: if you begin as Linda, you might end up as Mae. You can end up whoever you want to be. Even if that means re-beginning as Linda.

tenx9nashville, this was your (under)story.

Big thanks to our storytellers. You made this another great night. – Cary.