Hi friends,


Happy Pre-Thanksgiving Saturday night. I’m home on Long Island, just needed a few days of before break began to really prepare myself for the big day. Just kidding.


Turns out, two or three weeks ago, at the Anne Bogart workshop that I wrote about, turns out that beyond really hurting my ankles and palms, I also gave myself a minor bilateral hernia that would require reparative surgery. So I came home on Wednesday afternoon and went straight to the laparascopic surgeon in the city. He’s from South Africa and has such a cool accent. Sometimes, if no one’s home or if I’m in my dorm room with my door closed, I’ll try and say things in a South African accent. Just weird things. I’ll quote Spongebob with the accent. I don’t know. It’s a very hard accent. It’s a fascinating. Especially when you’re saying things like “You’ll regret this Krabs, I will get the secret recipe.” So I met with the surgeon and I’m going in on Wednesday for the big event, which I’m told is not a big deal but I think I’m just getting excited for it just so I don’t go in scared.


What’s great about this situation is that all of my professors have been super cool and understanding about the whole thing. Whether calling them or e-mailing them or talking to them in person, they’ve all been extremely supportive and caring and just want what’s best for me. And for my hernia, which I have named Anne, in honor of the woman whose workshop caused it.


Anyway, since then, some cool stuff has happened. The mainstage production for the theater department this semester, Back County Crimes, opened last weekend. It’s good. Personally, I hate the script, but the cast does a wonderful job and has a lot of fun with it. The Choreo 2 show that I was working very hard to do the lighting design for came and went without a hitch! I’m so proud of the work I did and of the work the class did on the class designs. Oh, also I was asked to design the lights for a play last minute, so I did that before I left, which was an intense and brief process. And fun. It was a fun process.


Tuesday night, the night before I left, Alexia and I had a spur-of-the-moment date night and we went to Druthers for a delicious dinner and then even more spur-of-the-moment, we went to see 12 Years a Slave at 9:30 at night. And OH MAN. Oh man. The movie. Oh man. So gruesome. So intense. So depressing. So powerful. So hard to watch. So perfect. It was the best movie I’ve ever seen. Beyond the film’s brutal depictions of American slavery, and looking beyond the film as a docudrama of America’s most sinful era, the film is about the tenacity of the human spirit when it is being willed to live – by the self and by those around us. It was just incredible. “I don’t want to survive. I want to live.” So many incredible things I could say – the cinematography was off the charts, the acting unreal, the writing so fantastic. I can’t even. I just can’t.


On Wednesday morning, I left at 8am. Gab drove me to the Amtrak station, but before that, we got my last pumpkin spice latte of the season and a Putnam sandwich for the ride. Then off we went to Amtrak. The train arrived early, which was nice. OR SO I THOUGHT. Because once I sat down, all hell broke loose and it only got worse. First off, the woman ¬†two rows behind me, for the entire five hour train ride, moaned, just loud enough for me to hear. Whether she was in pain or getting a really good deep tissue massage or even if she was praying, I don’t care, she sounded like Satan, she was moaning Satanically. I was riding the train with Satan. At the first stop, which was in Schenectady, this unassuming woman gets on. She smiles at me, and then starts aggressively flirting with the conductor when he comes by to check her ticket. It would have been a more successful flirt if her laughter didn’t sound like a combination of a baby laughing amplified by a thousand and a herd of wildebeest stampeding. Okay, so Satan and Baby Laugh are doing their thing, and Baby Laugh settles down but turns on a funny movie or something because she’s baby laughing the entire train ride and I’m like “what to heck, can this get any worse” and it turns out IT COULD. IT SO COULD. AND IT DID. Dad and Son, as we’ll call them, are a man in his early 30s (Dad) and a boy around 4 or 5 (Son). Dad and Son get on after the old people at Albany. The old people aren’t really annoying, it’s more like where are you going, you’re old, sit down. But Dad and Son. Okay, so we have Satan spawning in the back, Baby Laugh getting a kick out of her movie, and Dad and Son. Son has a temper tantrum and then it’s snack time. And they had cheese. Just cheese. A lot of cheese. And it smelled moist. I had to go to another car for some fresh air. I was ready to scream. And then they got off at Poughkeepsie and at Poughkeepsie, the Loud Family got onboard and they fought all the way to Penn. And they didn’t just fight about anything. Oh no. They were fighting about the Kardashians. This is not a drill. This is America.


On Thursday night, after getting the freshest haircut ever, I went to the city to see a dance piece. It was depressing and I felt like I needed a heavy drink afterwards. But it was expressive and made me feel something beyond the norm. Last night I saw the new Hunger Games movie alone. And tonight, I watched an hour of wedding flashmob videos.


But this morning, I woke up early, got some coff coff, and drove to Staten Island, to Wagner College, where my sister is a freshman. I parked the car, and started taking Snapchat selfies at various locations on her campus. She opened all of them in a few minutes, and then called me to find out what I was doing there. “I’m seeing Zombie Prom!” My sister is on the wardrobe crew for one of their musical theatre department shows, and there was a matinee today. “Kevin, it’s sold out,” Bridget replied nastily, as if I were really that stupid. “Aha! I have a ticket!” I said. “How did you get a ticket, it’s sold out,” the Queen replies, glaring at me through the phone. “I’ve been planning this all week! I wanted to surprise you!” I said. She spat into her evil little spittoon and said “Fine. I’ll come out and say greetings.” Then she slammed her flip phone shut.


Just kidding, she was super happy to see me and her show was a lot of fun and I like her friends and they’re good people. We got dinner and I drove home. I read a play and watched wedding flashmobs.


Sunday and Monday I’m just resting, relaxing after the long crazy semester. Tuesday I turn 21. But Wednesday I get surgery. So we’ll see how my 21st goes, I guess.




Measure in Love,



About Kevin Berry

jamba juice. mennonite. enneagram.
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