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  • Writer's pictureJanice Burt

10th Avenue

The house on 10th Avenue was one I always remembered as being the less desirable of all the houses I’ve lived in. It was small and funky and in a very rough part of town. It was the first house I moved into after coming back from Mexico and I HATED living in it. I hated that I had to sleep within its walls, these walls that had taken me away from my beloved City.

Fast forward to present day and I get called to audition for a play. The woman tells me to meet her at her house instead of a rented studio. I plug the address into my GPS and as I turn the corner onto 10th Avenue and start looking at the street numbers, I am astounded to realize that her house is my old house. In all the thousands and thousands of houses in Sacramento, it is the exact same one. I see my corner bedroom and recognize the porch. I sit in my car with goosebumps running up and down my arms.

I knock on the door and a lovely woman greets me. I instantly feel a wonderful connection. “It’s so nice to meet you,” I belt out as I give her a hug. “I used to live here!” I exclaim without missing a beat. She smiles and politely shows me around. They’ve upgraded and modernized, but the layout is the same. We go back into the living room and I present my short poem as a monologue. She asks me to deliver the same emotional poem in a humorous way, and I get the part.

As I walk out, I feel the full impact of this encounter. 27 years ago I lived in this house on 10th Avenue as a 13 year old girl, full of sadness and insecurity, upset that I was forced to live in a house, a neighborhood, and a country that was cold and foreign to me. And now, as a 40 year old woman, I land within its walls once again. But this time, full of passion and excitement, enthralled with the notion of acting in a play as a creative expression of who I am. I am convinced that this was a beautiful design of fate. God enjoys seeing us wonder and marvel at the orchestration of such events, I’m sure of it.

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