In the Green Room

This is what they were thinking about as the crowd streamed in through the double doors to the auditorium and created a ruckus that could only be drunk:

They were thinking first and foremost about their bodies. They were thinking of their protruding stomachs or the skin peeking out from under shorts. They were thinking about the comparison the roused audience would no doubt begin to make. They were thinking they should have gone on a diet. They were thinking they were hungry. They were thinking about the cookie in their bag that would find its way to their mouths in seconds.

They were thinking about the end of the night. Which would be morning. They were thinking about the star charts they would fail to fill out because the night would be keeping them indoors, entertaining dozens of people with their feet up on the chairs in front of them and the smell of cigarettes lingering on their clothes and hair.

They were thinking about the impossibility of this endeavor, its endlessness and incomprehensiveness. Why were they here? Who thought they could do this? Who did they think they were? They were thinking about the panic accumulating in their bowels and the crunching of air through their throat and into their lungs. They were certain it was made of glass and scratching every bit of the way down. They were almost sure they were bleeding internally.

They were thinking about the boys whose hearts had been broken and about their own hearts breaking. They were thinking about the text they hadn’t received, the little plus signs they were slowly adding to the ‘against’ column that was outweighing the ‘for’. They were thinking about their love for their friends and the comfort they could take in the vividness of their lives outside the realm of their cellphone screens.

They were thinking about their parents and how proud or disappointed they would be if they were here.

They were thinking about love, because they always think about it one way or another.

They were thinking about life and death because these are matters of great importance.

They were thinking they would be on stage soon.

They stopped thinking. They moved. They felt. They reacted.

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