Cabaret Broke Me And Then

So yesterday I locked my keys in my car. This morning I went into work, sorted the mail, put things in piles, and realized…that’s all I got. So I headed out, locked the building, got to my car…no phone. I left my phone on my desk. After retrieving it, I decided what I really needed was coffee. I got to the coffee shop and discovered, I left my wallet at home.


I know what this is. This is what happens when my brain is too full. Too much is going on. My brain gets overstuffed and then the “little things” fall out and I become “absent minded.” This is the universe telling me two things: 1) Ease up on the accelerator, baby. 2) It is past time to organize and clear away some space in your life/space/brain; dooo it.

Deep breath.

Everyone, Right?

At times like this I think of how everyone goes through these times How everyone has SO MUCH. How everyone has their own unique battle and unique coping and how blessed I am to have the luxury of being absent minded.

In the same breath, I’m also reminded of the line in this song by Of Monsters and Men:

“As I looked around, I began to notice, that we were nothing like the rest.” 

I’m always amazed and surprised when I am reminded how, “nothing like the rest” my family and I seem to be. I guess what surprises me about that is, some people are “like the rest.” I don’t really know those people. Yet, I hear they are out there. But that isn’t what I wanted to tell you about today. Today I want to talk about:

Truth & Fear. How Cabaret broke me. And, as always, Marcus.

Exposition: When I saw Cabaret was on the line-up, I didn’t feel a strong urge to see it. What I knew was that it was a sex filled musical, with lively music, and depressing themes. I assumed it similar to Chicago in that way. Marcus has the movie; I’d never seen it. Personally, I like shows that make me feel good. Well, this show the Omaha Performing Arts with the Roundabout Theater Company did a cool new thing. They had a lottery for last marcus-cabaretminute tickets at a discounted price. So, I thought, What the Hey? Marcus entered the lottery. Well, OF COURSE HE WON. (Marcus is particularly lucky.) Soooo, we bought the discounted tickets for very good seats and headed downtown.  

Leave Your Troubles Outside

Act I  featured plenty of raunchy songs, dances, sex, and drugs – and incredible talent. The performers were amazing. Right at the end of Act I, the Nazi’s entered into our little bubble. So, at the intermission, Marcus and I chatted about the show so far.

Me: “Lots of sex in this.”

Marcus: “Yeah.”

Me: “Looks like we’ve just learned the conflict, too.”

Marcus: “Yeah…Hitler.”

It occurs to me now, as I type this, that no one spoke the name Hitler. We had just been introduced to the visual representations of the swastika. As the second Act began, our Emcee came out into the audience. Marcus is generally not shy to breaking the wall. But for me, well, we’ve entered into Nazi Germany now and…I’d like to keep Marcus on my side of the fourth wall. Don’t see us… don’t see us…my heart stood still.

Act II:  The drugs and alcohol no longer soothed. Some of our characters denied the pending doom, some denied each other, some denied themselves. Just like history, after years of denial or conformity, it still felt a surprise when the end came with concentration camp pajamas, machine gun fire, silence.

It is, of course, a tribute to the talent of the cast that the impact hit me squarely like a kick to the chest. I stood at the end, lined up to leave the theater, in a trance.

Marcus bought the CD soundtrack and we walked the short walk to the car. On the drive home we talked about the show. In our usual analysis format. We discussed the elements.  Marcus answered these points.

The set: “The Kit Kat Club.”

The Adventure: “The Cabaret.”

The Conflict: “The Nazi’s”

The Truth: …

The truth? It was hard to face, hard to swallow. Is this the truth? “You can’t change the wave of evil. There is no escape from bad people.” I said.

I burst into tears. “Oh Marcus, I don’t know…” I cried.

He took my hand. He said. “I’m here.”

Yes. I…I’m so thankful you are here.

I asked Marcus, “What do you think was the truth?”

He said, “Life is a Cabaret.”  Yes, I guess that is a truth, too. We all put on our makeup, our costumes, and go on with the show.

Once we got home, Marcus and Quinn settled in with a frozen pizza and I went right up to bed. Don’t tell me it’s “just a show.” The threat that there are humans who desire to eliminate those who are, “nothing like the rest” is and always has been real.

Is it true that there is more good than evil? Or does evil always have more power?  As these men convince the masses, climb the ranks, as history repeats itself time and time again, can they ever be “stopped?”

I don’t know.

I’ll tell you what is true. My Marcus, my son, my little man who has grown up to say, “I’m here” – is NOT like so many humans who don’t know compassion, who don’t know empathy, who don’t…just don’t. He makes life beautiful. He is not the burden. He is not the problem. He is what is right about humanity.

When others look in and think how hard we must work, or how hard it must be, those others are wrong. My life is easier, my weight is lighter, my heart is full even when tears stream down my cheeks, because My Marcus takes my hand and says, “I’m here.”


Also there’s this, not related at all to Cabaret, but with the lyric, “I began to notice that we were nothing like the rest.”

This is a re-post of the 2016  Finish the sentence link-up,
“My life is so much easier due to…”

As to the first parts – slow down, clear out – too much – I’m still working on that.

As to the rest – all as accurate this year as last.

Hosted by Finding Ninee – check it out.


  1. BT Long October 15, 2016 at 3:32 pm - Reply

    Oh, nice, pass on your tearsiness.

    wonderful piece. again.


    • Mardra October 15, 2016 at 8:57 pm - Reply

      Thank you Friend.

    • SSL June 20, 2018 at 12:10 am - Reply

      what he said.. <3
      And the only power evil has is what people give it. What we see is not always the end of the story, the evil just sometimes, and sadly, is often a bigger story. Good will always prevail in the end.

      • Mardra June 20, 2018 at 8:18 am - Reply

        Thanks for the reminder of hope.

  2. kelly October 15, 2016 at 8:47 pm - Reply

    Sad, wonderful, beautiful.

    • Mardra October 15, 2016 at 8:57 pm - Reply

      Thanks Kelly, you know. <3

  3. Kristi R Campbell October 15, 2016 at 10:19 pm - Reply

    Aw good Gawd, girl, Marcus IS all of it and so are you, and this this this. This is all of it, for all of us. That he (and they) see things that are unseen by us, but seen by us because these amazing people in our lives show them to us, that, that that… (sung with show-tune meaning)…
    Also there are more of us, HERE, you know. For you and with you.

    • Mardra October 16, 2016 at 8:33 am - Reply

      Oh Thank you Kristi.
      Sing to me some more!

  4. Stephanie October 16, 2016 at 11:49 am - Reply

    Ugh…that’s all I’ve got right now…

  5. Chris October 16, 2016 at 2:13 pm - Reply

    I’m sure I’d of had the same reaction. I just finished “The Book Thief” and saw many of the things you are describing from Caberet. Hateful men who want to eliminate those who are different. They try to convince others of their highly skewed look at reality. Marcus and my daughter are not the problem at all. Beautiful piece.

    • Mardra October 16, 2016 at 3:50 pm - Reply

      Thank you! And yes, you mentioned the Book Thief – I’m nervous if I can get through it.

  6. Kenya G. Johnson October 16, 2016 at 5:02 pm - Reply

    Oh my goodness. Anything 1930’s Berlin – so heartwrenching. You wouldn’t expect to go in and come out feeling that way. Rather going in and coming out thing, “It IS just a show” but it is not – was not. Amazing piece. You pulled my heart right in.

    I just read the comment above. I read and saw The Book Thief last year. It was very good but I hadn’t heard any spoilers so it too ripped my heart out. Don’t know why I watched it too but I like to watch the movie after I’ve read the book. Definitely not one to watch twice.

    • Mardra October 16, 2016 at 8:28 pm - Reply

      Thank you. Sometimes we force ourselves to see these things to remember, but..ugh.
      Thank you for reading.

  7. Sherry Palmer October 16, 2016 at 10:21 pm - Reply

    Brilliant writing…as always, I can so relate. I love, loved every bit of this.

  8. Michele Zephier October 17, 2016 at 9:20 am - Reply

    Yes. Thank you. All of this.
    I was fortunate enough to have a friend with an extra ticket to Cabaret the weekend. I was familiar with the song from this show, but nothing else. I have never seen it nor the movie.
    I was hooked right away and left my troubles at the door. I was completely invested the entire show. The actors were amazing in acting and musicians, for they were also the ‘band’.
    As it became apparent what the conflict was, the Nazi regime, the age old battle between good and evil presented itself.
    I love the show. I loved it. Everything about it. The raunchiness, the realness, the harrowing situation of the cabaret and the despair brought to Germany by Hitler.
    The movie, No Country For Old Men came to mind when we were discussing the show afterwards. It also is a harrowing story of Good vs. Evil in which the viewer is not quite sure which prevails.
    Thank you for this blog entry. Thank Marcus for his comforting support. Sending love, and a lot of it.

    • Mardra October 17, 2016 at 5:13 pm - Reply

      Yes, “not sure which prevails.”
      And Thank you!

  9. Lisa @ The Meaning of Me October 18, 2016 at 12:08 pm - Reply

    Marcus is a wise and good soul, that is clear. And I love that he offers you such comfort – what a beautiful ending you have on this post.
    Cabaret is a tough one for sure. I’m trying to remember if I saw Book Thief or read it – or both. Either way, that one was hefty for me, too. And The Nightingale – Kristin Hannah, I think. So much sadness and evil out there and these stories just reinforce how it absolutely affects a circle wider than we might imagine.

    • Mardra October 18, 2016 at 7:47 pm - Reply

      So true.
      On all points, Thank you – Ms

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