The King

I very much treasure this tiny picture of Larry King and I that lives somewhere on the internet. I was early 20 something, post-playwriting Grad school in NYC, and a theater company I helped form, Working Mans Clothes, was producing a play of mine that his wonderful sister in law, Ellen, was acting in, and he came to See us. I feel like I remember standing behind the folding table that held our self-printed and folded programs and plastic cups of old three buck chuck for sale, watching the elevator doors, waiting for Him. I saw his name on the list of the like 15 people who would watch our play that night. I remember going to Trader Joe’s before and lugging the wine up on the train. I barely remember folding the programs and pretending like I knew how to tend bar so we could raise money to print the programs at all, stuffing envelopes in exchange for the free theater space, and the single bathroom beyond a giant curtain door that we hung ourselves, flush and you ruin act 2. I maybe remember writing the play. But I definitely remember Larry stepping off the elevator and towards me, I remember him stepping into the tiny theater, where plastic chairs sat on risers and actors sweated his name, hiding in the bathroom which was also the dressing room. I remember feeling like maybe we had all arrived, simply because he was there to see it. I remember watching him watch and not breathing much, I remember him studying the play, like a wise and discerning turtle, I remember his smile after, maybe he said words to me? It didn’t matter. The fact that he came meant Everything. RIP to this very very kind man who once gave me two hours of his life, two blocks north of Penn Station, on a Friday night when he really could’ve been Anywhere.

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