Liars’ League: Grieving another me in NYC

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We’re always grieving something: a person, a place, a different time … a different us.

Last Wednesday, New York actress Hannah Seusy performed my piece, THE WAY WE FORGET, at famed literary locale KGB Bar thanks to Liars’ League NYC.

From their website:

“Liars’ League NYC is a live literary journal featuring professionally trained actors reading original short stories by both emerging and well-established writers. Selected stories are published on our website, performed in front of a live audience at New York’s celebrated KGB Bar every other month, and podcast.

“Our aim is simple: to bring the very best new fiction to life in front of what we think is one the most discerning literary audiences in the world.”

Each of the Liars’ League events is themed. THE WAY WE FORGET was chosen by Liars’ League for their “Kiss & Breakup” series. They have live performance literary magazines in London and Hong Kong, too, and they’re always open for submissions.

THE WAY WE FORGET was written on a flight back to Ohio after my grandfather’s death in 2013. Many thanks to the talented Hannah Seusy for her performance and to Liars’ League NYC for putting things together.

THE WAY WE FORGET (Excerpt)

Written by Sara Dobie Bauer

Performed by Hannah Seusy

Presented by Liars’ League NYC

“Do you remember your dad?”

“No,” he says. His discarded cigarette glows orange on the pavement. “I was only five.”

“I know.” I pause. “I was there.” I look at the Jack-o-Lantern across the street—its darkened, gaping wounds. “How long before we start to forget, do you think? The way people smell. How their skin feels.”

He watches a car go by, filled with kids. I hear Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” and hope they’re going to a haunted house where they can scream at people pretending to be dead.

Ethan says, “We remember the things we choose to remember.”

I still smell his Polo Sport cologne, mixed with smoke and the whiskey on my breath, and I remember when he drove us all to the last football game of our senior year.

“You won’t forget him,” he says.

Makes me wonder. I can keep a bottle of Dad’s cologne. I can keep some of his Michigan Wolverine sweatshirts. I can drink Molson Canadian every night like Dad. But a person is a person; a memory is a memory, and memories have a knack for confusion.

To hear Hannah read THE WAY WE FORGET in its entirety at Liars’ League NYC, head to http://www.liarsleaguenyc.com/the-way-we-forget. Something weird? She sounds a lot like me.

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