Continuation of The Greatest Love Affair of All part 3
On May 1st, 1996, my son was born. Three months before his birth, I decided to write a journal. I began it with, Dear? I had no idea if I was to have a son or a daughter, but I did know, I wanted my child to know everything. Not like me, I’ve blocked out so much of my life, I don’t even know how to put the puzzle together. No, my child would know everything. Weight at birth, height, at one week, at three weeks, his first words, potty training, crawling, first steps…everything. I had also started writing a theatre manuscript.
The following year, I came into contact with an American woman, Rosie. I met her online and we hit it off straight away. She was very sick, so close to death and I so badly wanted to give her a reason to fight. Looking back now, I wonder if my wanting to help her was my way of making up for my past. My past still haunts me today.
In the spring of 1998, I was given the opportunity of setting up a theatre production at a local school, teaching the kids how to work toward a common goal, a theme theater, entirely in English. We worked really hard, not just learning lines, but painting sets, scenes and creating believable costumes. The production I wrote was called, A Lesson in the Jungle, about two hunters who went off to Africa to hunt wild animals, plus two youngsters who, with the help of a magic witchdoctor, teach the hunters to respect the animals that live there. It was all very low budget. The money the county had promised me; didn’t arrive. I had thirty or so youngsters and no money. I had a two year old son at home with his mother and we barely had enough money to pay the bills as it was. I couldn’t let these kids down though, had to make this happen. They had been so looking forward to it and I wasn’t about to let them down.
The school parenting committee offered many helping hands. They gave me material to make costumes; another parent followed my design, sewing them together. I remember one day at school, when the kids were eating chicken. I went from table to table with a plastic bag, filling it with chicken bones. That evening, I boiled the bones, dried them, drilled holes in them and made necklaces for my jungle villagers. I don’t quit easily. I fought the county, throwing everything I could at them, but I lost. I had two goals now. One was to give these kids everything they had been promised several months previous and two, to prove to the county that with or without their help, I was going to see this through. It crossed my mind, the production would be so much better with songs. Writing them would be quite easy. The music however, was a different story.
More on Wednesday … Gavin