The Elephant Man.

Matterers.
I don't know how many of you are around NYC.
But.
If you get the chance.
Get over to the Booth Theater and take in the Elephant Man.

I saw it in previews today.
And folks.
Friends.
It wrecked me.

In every way a play can wreck someone.
It irrevocably changed my life.
And the tear factory has not stopped some 5 hours since the curtain fell.

I knew the story.
Did my homework.
Had seen the movie.
Knew what I was going to watch.

Until...
I didn't.

::Here I will pause to also chastise the women in the mezzanine whose cellphones went off no less than 6 times during the first act - SERIOUSLY?!::

#bringmannersbacktotheater

But back to my "world will never be the same."
My eyes started leaking almost immediately.
Like.
Cue Bradly Cooper in man form.
And in a matter of statements from Dr. Treves.
Cooper contorts to lead the show.
With a depth.
And a breadth.
And an indomitable energy.

And maybe, what really tore at me.
Was the photograph.
In which.
You can clearly see.
In the right eye.
The man that existed in flesh beneath what we all labeled the deformity.

I spent most of act one, snot dripping from my nose, trying to put my finger on exactly what was tearing at me so viscerally.

Cooper.
Clarkson.
Killed.
I mean.
Like.
I DIED.
It was so good.

I spent all of act 2 in tears.
Full blown.
Hiccupy.
Sorry everyone around me tears.

And here is the best I have:
Inherent to his story, is the fundamental feeling that ---> We all want to be seen.
We all want to fit.
And to belong.
And in the beginning, when he's not talking, but rather, just moaning,
I heard him.

And the overwhelming emotion that the base feeling of wanting to belong.
Was primal.
Goading.
Ever Present.
Terminal.

And somewhere.
Inside of us all.
It lives.

For sure.
Inside of me.
Inside of my 300 pound self.
Inside of my 200 pound self.
Inside of my 164 pound self.
Inside of my psoriasis self.
Inside of my everyone hates me self.
Inside of my world would be better without me self.
Primal.
Belonging.

And inside of this self.
The most authentic self I have.
I belong.
In the best way.
And maybe they were, in the end, tears of joy.
For the belonging that John Merrick finds.
And the simple love that he find.
That Bradley portrays in such a simple, nuanced way.

I find myself already longing to be back.
If only to see the first act without the stupid cell phone rings.
And the Long Island ladies behind me who "love Bradley Cooper, but hated silver linings playbook."

Do me a favor.
And here me when I say, YOU MATTER.
JUST AS ARE.
Because you do.
And you are so loved.

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