Tuesday, September 26, 2006

everyone on the count of three!

Tonight, on a run with my trainer Amy I had a unique encounter – or, rather, a couple of unique encounters. We were making our way up Federal Hill and were met by a group of youngish people, one of whom thought it would be precious to lollygag behind us making sounds like a monkey. Monkey sounds. Seriously convincing monkey sounds. He kept after us for about a block, until he was tired, presumably – of acting like a monkey. Who wouldn’t be? It’s quite a workout waving around like that, oo—ooing and ah-ahing.

On the way down the hill, as we passed two men standing beside their crusty blue TAY-ota pickup, one of them decided it would be a grand idea to show us his junk. Not the junk in the back of the truck, folks. The dropping of drawers, not from an old chiffarobe in the back of the truck but from guy #2’s incomprehensibly gleeful shimmying hips was timed precisely as we passed. Truthfully, I didn’t see anything (typical middle aged white guy, no rhythm) – just felt the telltale “whoosh!” of denim as I passed, and, briefly, his smile. He smiled a Cheshire grin, like a mischievous three year old engaged in the same sort of activity, only creepier and with a glint in his eye that could only come from someone who gets his jollies from brushes with the indecent-exposure law. I laughed through a sudden onset of gastrointestinal discomfort and Amy and I exchanged nervous glances. It is not, in fact, a full moon tonight. But there was a full moon in Federal Hill.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

authentic gotham

I was transfixed by the view from the back of the train. I'd never chosen the last car. I felt as the first videographer - am I watching my very life slip away down the tracks, my eyes could not hold onto the thread of changing light that
trailed away from me. Les images qui bougent... I can understand how the locomotive was a terrifying technology. The idea of speeding up life was so new at one time, and now we have gone from rocketing our bodies through space to the impossible speed of the disembodied
persona - and something named after an innocent wild fruit has replaced pen and paper, telephone, and certainly time otherwise spent processing the billion pieces of infomation our brains take in each day. Gotham has arrived, but not so romantic as we'd all hoped.

"oh, you're there, I thought I'd get your machine and leave a message." Your machine. Everyone used to have one, the thing that captures voices in the ether - no longer exists either. Machines are now as transparent as skin. As I float along at 110 miles per hour, I think, "this could be faster" and all my slow particles beg to return to stillness.

Monday, September 11, 2006

holding breath and hands


I am thankful to speak in my own voice today, to move it around my body, to convince or cajole or support or comfort, to say nothing in particular. From my train window this evening, I see a brilliant sun-painted fa├žade, and purple anemone wisps in an otherwise clear early fall day. This September 11th is more significant an anniversary than every other September 11th only due to our collective experience of learning to count in multiples of five. Year five doesn’t hurt any less than year four, or year six. But it is the five, the ten, the twenty, the twenty five that we mark with heavier hearts, and even heavier marketing, in the name of our collective American Pain. Lest we forget, the media shall remind us, “now more than ever.” What did stick out to me was that this particular September 11th was a meteorological gem. Temperature in the sixties, a light wind, a not-so-toxic smell, a fine mist from the fountains at Columbus Circle, and a very similar crisp atmosphere to the September 11th five years ago. I lamented not having time for a walk in Central Park. Perhaps someone thought the same thing, with more purpose, and abandon, back then - and went to gaze into the lush canopy. A day before looking up meant something horrific had occurred.

In acting class, we work on breathing. Really breathing. Of course, while speaking complicated text – and for forty seconds on one sustained breath. One can seem suspended in time, above the need to breathe, perhaps. When I was small I would hold my breathe under the tub water and pretend that I could just stay there all day, if I wanted to. The trivia of it seems at once profound and ridiculous to me, considering what happened to breath and to voices and to all that render those involuntary and voluntary acts into the beautiful complexities of nearly three thousand human lives. Their parents and children and spouses and neighbors all held their breath that day. When I watch the documentary images, a child’s little hand counts off in my head.. one-two-three-four-five years ago. Five? Can you count to one hundred in fives? Five years, perhaps, is just long enough. You know you could stay a little longer, if you wanted to. But eventually you have to come up for air.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

all the songs to know by heart

Sheryl Crow and John Mayer played Nissan Pavillion on Sunday the 3rd.
There was a buzz in the air, and it wasn't over whether or not Jessica
Simpson was going to make a surprise appearance and duet with her
new beau, although we spoke of it in hushed voices, hoping it would not
happen while expressing a certain morbid curiosity regarding the possibility.

Sheryl had an anti-war message to transmit, and it was neither
too wimpy nor too aggressive for my taste. Just right, Sheryl.
She mentioned her battle with cancer. No bitter diatribe about ance-Lay...
She was so.. peaceful. A kind Sheryl. Not angry at the world,
just calmly resolute about her place in it - maybe befuddled
a bit at the choices made by the powers that be- but
calmly, soothingly resolute.

And she rocked. Rocked well. Rocked on.. and she closed with ZED ZEPPELIN..and
after this very fine show, on behalf of her peacefulness,
I was ready to wrestle Ann Coulter to the ground and give her
a big zerbert.. So whatever subtle political magic she's weaving,
it worked, and worked well. At least on me.

It was that kind of show.

But that's not all. Even though I don't routinely listen to her on my
pink iPod, (yes, the color matters) I found myself singing along. The
proof of her staying power as an artist was not only in the nearly full
house (and it's a pretty damn big house..) but in the fact that I and so
many other single voices in the mass - not all diehard fans -
knew the words to her ballads, her folky tunes, her delighful poprocks.
Heartache, forgiveness, compassion,
gettin' drunk at ten o'clock in the morning - and at least 5 of my top
10 values for surviving in this insanity we're calling the
American Way of Life these days... well, it was all there, and the words
came, and we all sang these melodies together. She gave props to the
crowd. "Who's in the yard!? hey y'all, we like y'all alot why don't y'all
quit your jobs and come on tour with us?"

Oh girl. Just as soon as I get done beatin' up on Ann Coulter.

Friday, September 01, 2006

fall finally fall

But seriously.

Was this the stickiest summer ever on the East Coast?

I've been ready for fall since... spring.

Yea fall!

Or rather, yea Ernesto. It's not really fall.

But yea fall!

More soon..