The evening begins just like any other evening: with glasses of wine and witty conversation. The only variation is that we’re far away, isolated; we don’t hug or kiss, and the few smiles we share are strained with unease. We pop open a bottle of Napa Valley’s succulent chardonnay, which has been sitting on the top shelf in our refrigerator for months, waiting for a special occasion to be glugged down. There haven’t been many special occasions lately, and we figure Cirque du Soleil is as good as it’s gonna get. I drink mine, a little too quickly, while humming nervously in the bathroom, reapplying the makeup that I’d put on before work that morning. Darren lounges downstairs, in his favorite corner of the couch.
The crowd is happy, and so are we.