Next fall reminds me a lot of right now


Of course it is true that our current set of preoccupations and the emotions that swirl around them color our perceptions of the world. The mind wants to find and make meaning in things, and draw parallels, and find similarities. The mind needs to make sense of things. So I accept that, especially in the presence of strong feelings, we are attuned to notice some things more than others. That said, it seemed quite an example of life’s synchronicity last night that I should attend the play “Next Fall” with my cousin Josh and friend Michael. They had suggested last week we go see the play, which was getting some good reviews, and I agreed to go, not knowing the first thing about it. Its main themes are about the contradictions of our belief systems and how they help or hinder our relationships and love of each other. But the key plot point that drives the storyline was a jarring reminder of what happened to my friend Andrew: Much of the character interaction is in a hospital after a terrible traffic accident, where the main character is brain dead and they must ultimately decide to remove him from life support. So many of the elements mirrored what Shaan told me a few days ago, that it was chilling. And it is funny how the mind plays tricks while trying to put things in a kind of order. Although I don’t think the play actually specified what type of traffic accident, I definitely thought it was on a bike. Each part of the plot that revolved around the accident, the last things said before we say goodbye, our state of being when we die, the senselessness of it — each of these things took me back to my current emotional state and my thoughts about Andrew and Shaan and old friends. Against these strong emotions the rest of the play, its acting, pacing and contradictions somewhat receded into the background. It was interesting as far as it went, but somehow seemed awkward or off-key. Whether this was due to my current lens or part of a greater objective truth about the quality or art of the piece is a little difficult to tease out at this point. But I left feeling an odd sense of how connected everything can seem, and how important it is for us to find those connections and make some meaning from them.