It's Wednesday night, and I'm not in a show

* Our reinterpretation of Iwo Jima.

It hit me at 9 pm tonight: I'm standing in my kitchen. Not onstage, or backstage, or in the dressing room, or in a green room, or in any room other than one I pay rent to stand in.

In short, I'm no longer in a show. And that fact makes me itch.

Yes, I have my evenings back, after a gnarly month of starting a new job, performing five nights out of seven, fitting in family and friends' visits, crushing all chores into one evening per week, and communicating with my roommates solely through email.

But I don't have my newfound friends. You know, the ones who wriggle on the floor to get into dance tights and break into showtunes and hug you in that overly sexed show-person way that makes you feel slightly icky but mostly scintillated.

* The cast and crew of Hexagon 2009.

Worse, I have all these catchy, original lyrics running through my head, but no one to harmonize with. I can now kick my leg to eye-level without injury, but no can-can skirt to highlight the accomplishment. And I can prove I fit into bunny outfits, but now can't wear my work clothes because they're falling off.*

* Seriously, I am forced to safety-pin every pair of pants I own right now. The result: diaper butt.

* The final can-can pose. This is after the 37,000 counts of kicking that led me to not fit in my pants.

Sure, the boys were glad to see me again. But after a couple nights, I can see they're already taking me for granted. I don't understand why they don't laugh or applaud the minute I enter a room. Obviously, we need to have a little chat.

I've tried thinking on the bad times -- like the night the A/C broke and it was 95 degrees in the theater, so we started the show an hour late, which was helpful because the sound was also broken and we had to fix it, and let's not mention the fact that a toilet overflowed in the women's room.

But that was only one night. Out of 23 performances. So I'm back to thinking about the good times -- like all the local celebrities we met in the dressing room, and the free cookies, and the opportunity to feel loved and liked and appreciated every night by friends and strangers alike.

* Garters. Also known as thigh size indicators.

Not to mention that we made people laugh in hard times. That we skewered the very pols and situations causing all the angst. Oh, and that in doing so, we managed to raise 25,000 smackaroos -- in the midst of a recession, at a much smaller theater -- for Rebuilding Together.

Perhaps you see now why I'm less than enthused about having time to try out new recipes.

So, what next? Well, I start the slow process of reclaiming my life. I'll sleep more, eat more, gain more weight, volunteer again, restart voice lessons, return phone calls, and do all those other normal things normal people who don't require constant validation do.*

* Buying a personal bunny outfit does not fall into this category. I don't think, anyway.

And then, in a year, I'll be ready to audition for Hexagon again. And it will begin anew. But for now ...

The end(s).