The other day I attended an off-Broadway reading about three historical figures confronting their shameful pasts. I sat in the front row to support my friend, one of the actors. Truthfully, I positioned myself so near the action because I am a 44-year-old history nerd. (My last boyfriend played General George Washington at Mount Vernon.)
This evening’s lineup featured a trifecta of masculine icons—Leo Tolstoy, Charles Dickens, and Thomas Jefferson. My pal portrayed Tolstoy. At first, the three men crowed about their brilliant minds. But a mirror in the room forced them to face their sins. In the last scene, they pleaded for forgiveness.
Afterwards at an uptown bar, I felt annoyed with the actors, but only because of their characters.
Jefferson, or rather the guy who portrayed him, leaned into my left shoulder. Was this a declaration? I liked his tenor voice and elegant bearing. The way he listened to me, with full eye contact, made me blush.
Later, I sighed over my phone. In a message to Tolstoy, I asked: “So Jefferson … is he single?”