Red velvet. Gold trim. House lights. Orchestra pit. We’re in the middle of Las Ramblas, but we may as well be in a whole other world. Outside, the streets of Barcelona swell with warm voices, warm bodies — but that’s all on the other side of these walls. In here, it’s hushed conversation and cool elegance.
Suddenly the lights dim. The music swells. We take our seats. Eyes rivet to the stage. The Man of La Mancha galumphs out from behind the curtain. Dulcinea glides out on pale pink slippers, sweet and light and twirling like cotton candy.
In the dark, I finally allow myself a few tears. Frustration ebbs from invisible wounds, making room for something else besides sorrow and self-pity. The holes inside me fill with wonder — at the moment, at the dance. We are Americans in a famous Spanish theater, watching Americans dance a famous Spanish story. We are so privileged, and so alive.