“The car is broken down.”
“Going to be late; can you walk home?”
“I can walk home.”
“I’ll see you at home.”
“Keep me posted on what is going on.”
On the train on my way home already, getting messages that I would have to walk. The day was not entirely unpleasant (perhaps a bit hot), but I had been in air-conditioned places all day so I didn't mind. The train landed on time, I disembarked, and decided that I would walk to the grocery store first before heading home. Grab a few things for dinner.
I actually don’t like walking in our neighborhood, and I plotted a route to the store that would put me on the side of a road with high-moving traffic and not on a road with a particular bar I am wary of walking past. Overall, there would be good traffic, lots of people, and a minimal chance of being harassed. (Which, sadly, happens more often than it should.)
All in all the walk started off well; my P.J. Harvey was blaring, my new shoes were comfortable, and the day was getting hot enough that I felt a little sticky, but in general I was feeling upbeat and pleasant.
Then a car slowed down next to me. I ignored it, because this is generally the best thing to do when cars slow down next to me in my town.
Then I heard “Hey do you need a ride?”
Which caused me to turn, because the voice was that of a woman not a man.
I have not real issues with hitchhiking and have done my fair share of it, starting when I was 16 and going on and on. I’m more than happy to thumb a ride when I want to get somewhere if it will get me where I am going.
Granted, I wasn’t going that much further.
“Really, I’m just heading up there,” I pointed out the market, which was at this point probably only a thousand feet away.
“That’s cool, I don’t mind.”
In my mind I calculated the risks and decided this girl seems safe.
“Okay, but really, I’m just going up there.” Open door, put a foot inside.
“That’s great; I can really use the money.”
One foot in, one foot out.
“I don’t have any money,” I responded.
“Even just a few dollars.”
“Like I said, I’m going to the shop, right there, and I will use my debit card. I don’t have cash.”
“Even a buck or two?”
Three things flashed across my mind: Back out now, don’t take our your wallet in front of crazy chick, shut door.
Which I did in that order, while saying thanks but no thanks, I really don’t mind walking and I don’t have any money.
“Whatever, you bitch.”
She squealed off, covering me in a bit of road dust as she leapt forward down the road.
So much for the modern-day good Samaritan.
Thursday, July 31, 2014
“The car is broken down.”
This is the only way to describe the day. I admit, though I have enjoyed working in Chicago, the job I have is not most suitably me and I want a job that is more suitably me. Looking, searching, and possibly finding, I stumbled upon a job and put in an application for what the hell purposes, never actually expecting to even really be considered.
And then they called me.
And we interviewed.
And we interviewed again.
And they called me again and asked me how I would feel about coming to New York to meet people in person.
When I said yes, I assumed that I would be going overnight, but instead I was booked for a single day. Fly out in the morning, talk talk talk, fly back in the evening.
The flight was only two hours both ways, so I figured why they hell not?
I reconsidered why the hell not at 4 in the morning Chicago time, but was up, showered, and out the door by 4:30 no problem. Usually I can go straight out the door and get a taxi on the street with no wait, but apparently the taxis didn’t get the memo this morning so I called and then worried that I was going to miss my flight when I realized I wasn’t getting on to the airport until 5:20 for a 6:50 flight.
My cab driver, who was very talkative, explained that he would get me there in time, and he did, so the reality was I had nothing to worry about aside from drinking a ton of coffee and going over in my head what I needed to do.
Out at La Guardia, I called for my cab, and then waited and waited while my cab didn’t find me. Apparently this was going to be one of those days where nothing was going to be easy. But still, New York.
Even on the edge of the city I can feel the thrum of it. As I finally got picked up to begin the drive to my destination, it struck me again just how different this particular concrete jungle is from my Chicago. Dark and older, seemingly more travelled and traversed, it is a city I have a love/hate relationship with. Granted, the last time I was in it I was working so much I really didn’t get to know much of it…and by the time I was starting to enjoy it, I was gone.
This day trip to New York was not unlike the month I spent there in 2010. Too fast, too rushed, too impossible to know the city or what it holds. I spent most of my day on the road or locked in offices, dealing with a variety of things, all of them occupying my mind more than being in NYC. There was a strangeness to it, and while it was not much different from going to and from Seoul, it was different in the amount of time I had to spend waiting on either end, since you can’t just show up a few minutes before you need to leave; you have to be there at least an hour before. Still, the travel itself only made me a touch tired.
The 16 cups of coffee had a lot more to do with my insomnia on a night where I should have been absolutely tired.
The coffee and the low, dull, trilling thrum of two cities competing for my attention, with me in the middle not sure where I wanted to be.
Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Things, then, were set in motion for a trip for Wicker Park, where I would hunt down the Doc Martin’s store and…go shoe shopping (shudder).
Chicago, of course (because it is being punished for great evil), was experiencing a repeat of the great Polar Vortex of '14: Summer Edition. A polar vortex in the summer meant that the weather was going to be in the 70s most of the day, which most of us could deal with. I’ll take 70 above versus 70 below any day of the week. In other words, it was a gorgeous day for shoe shopping.
I took an early train up, got to the neighborhood where I would be shopping, took a few looks around and decided to get some lunch so that I would not be shopping on an empty stomach. I found a bar that served nice chicken wings, and tried to decide what it was I wanted to buy.
Mostly, I wanted to a pair that was identical to the pair that was having the zippers replaced. I also wanted a pair that was perhaps taller than the pair I was replacing, and I wanted some sandals. I figured with three pairs of shoes I would be able to rotate shoes enough that I would not wear holes into my shoes. Also, the sandals I had (while they had served me well) were not adequate, and I’m fairly convinced they were responsible for some of the ankle issues I only seemed to have in the summer. So, there it was. I finished lunch and walked into Wicker Park, which I had last seen at night when I was in town for the Suns show at the Double Door. I had a vague sense of where I was supposed to go, but no real idea, and I found as I was walking down the street I was rather lost within a block. There were some young folks doing a campaign of some sort on the street that asked if they could help me since I was clearly lost.
“I need Doc Martins.”
“I feel your pain.”
They pointed down the street and sure enough, there it was, barely a walk from where I had lunch and in I went.
Enter the chorus of "Hallelujah."
Really, though, Korea’s Doc store had nothing on this place. It was massively huge and had every single kind of Doc I had seen on the website, and a few extra. It had a variety of sizes and colors and I was very excited to try on some shoes. Two very attractive women, also wearing Docs, smiled as I walked in and asked if they could help me.
“I intend to spend a lot of money on shoes.”
“You have come to the right place,” answered a busty lass with pink hair, ankle-high Docs, and a nice black dress. “What are you looking for?”
I sort of looked around the place in awe, then laid out my problem.
“Do you know what size you are?”
Then I laid out my second problem of having bought Docs too often in a country where they didn’t actually have my size.
“Do you have like, 10s?”
“We have 10s, 11s, 12s, whatever you need.”
“Sweet merciful goddess.”
I ended up sitting in front of a box of about 10 shoes representing three styles: 20 hole, 14 hole, and sandals. The sandals after one try, ended up being smaller than I thought. The 14 and 20 both ended up being almost exactly what I thought, but a bit tight across the middle.
“We have a butter for that. Just put it across the grain here and that will relax as you wear them in. Also this will protect the shoes from salt in the wintertime.”
The real challenge was the 20 hole. These were knee-high Docs (happiness) that I worried about getting over my calves. At first there was nothing to fear and I asked if anyone had a problem if I sat in the store and ladder laced the shoes.
“Go right ahead.”
Half an hour later I was struggling to try to zip up the boot over my calf on my right leg.
“Oh gods, they don’t fit.”
“Well, I have to be honest, the calves never really get any bigger.”
“But I want them!”
“I don’t have those because of the calves.”
“But I WANT them!”
“Well, you can keep trying, but if they don’t fit, they don’t fit.”
“If they don’t fit I will have to buy something else; I’m getting three pairs, already decided.”
“All right, well, let me know what you think.”
A half an hour later the girl that was helping other couples was surprised to see I was still there.
“I WILL MAKE THEM FIT!”
And I did. The reality was that I just need to let them out when I pull them up and then tightly lace them once they are on. And they fit just fine; they fit like a second pair of legs.
“And it looks like the time was worth it. How do they feel?”
And now that I had shoes, I wanted to take them for a walk. I paid up, was allowed to leave the bag at the shop while I went walking around, and that's just what I did. I went in and out of several shops. Bought a dress at a secondhand place, went to an art gallery, went in and out of several little places, hit a bar for a drink, and walked up and down the streets in my new shoes. At one point I passed a group of ragged-looking hippies sitting on the street.
“Hey, yo; those are nice shoes.”
“Yeah,” said the girl in the group, “what are those the Doc…18 holes?”
“Those are sweet shoes.”
I walked further down the lane and ran into a street festival of mostly house music that was rather hipping and hopping where several more people commented on my shoes. Before 8 p.m. I headed back toward the shoe shop to pick up the rest of my wares.
“So, how do they feel?” asked the same candy-haired girl who had helped me so patiently before.
“I don’t feel like they are breaking in at all.”
“Oh, no, really, are they painful?”
“No, I mean, they fit perfectly, like there is no need to break them in, like they are already broken in, like they are awesome.”
She smiled and I collected the rest of my shoes. In all, I would have to say it was the single most pleasant shoe-shopping experience of my career, and one that I don’t have to do again anytime soon.
Tuesday, July 29, 2014
After a day gallivanting around the Art Institute in my boots I came home and worked to take them off. Only that didn’t work so well, and basically they fell apart in my hands. This annoyed me. I really loved my damn boots and after the three different repairs they had already been through, I was loathe to part with them at all. As it happened, one early-release-from-work day, I got a rather strong hankering for lobster bisque and found a place downtown that would satisfy all my urges. The atmosphere was nice, the server perhaps a little too energetically focused on my breasts, and the bisque good. I realized that the location put me not that far from Watertower Place, which meant not that far from the Cheesecake Factory, which meant not that far from low-carb cheesecake. As it had been a good six months since my last piece of low-carb cheesecake, I figured why not?
I hopped across the street and worked my way down to the dark bar of the Cheesecake Factory, where a) you can eat food and b) no one under 21 is allowed (fist pump). I had some nice quiet cheesecake in the dark, after which I figured I’d head on my merry way once I found the loo. What I discovered as I meandered through the halls of the of Watertower Place was a little hole-in-the-wall shoe-repair place not unlike many of the hole-in-the-wall shoe-repair places run by ajjushis back in Korea. I figured this was a good chance to see if perhaps, maybe, wishful thinking, this guy could fix my boots.
“Can you do zippers and sole repair?” I asked.
“Honey, I’d have to see the shoes first, and then I can let you know.”
A week later I walked back in, shoes in a bag and laid out my problems.
“Oh honey, yes and no. The zippers I can do, but these soles, yeah, once they wear out they are done for good. I can fix the zippers if you want, though.”
“Fix the zippers.”
The sole is a bitch, but I can wear them just fine, just maybe not in the rain or snow. Still, I hate to give the damn boots up. In the meantime, I had to face a rather singular reality: I was going to need new shoes.
I fucking hate shoe shopping.
Really, no; I loathe it.
But since my boots were dying, I didn’t really see how I had any choice, so I went online, scoped out the nearest Doc Martin store and plotted how I was going to handle the search for shoes.
Monday, July 28, 2014
Huge was an understatement.
The show was an enormous, massive, gargantuan, infinite twisty-turny maze of the unique surrealism of René Magritte. It was vast and open and luxurious and so sensually overwhelming that I felt it in all points of my body as I worked my way through. With this kind of art I wanted to get close to it, to experience it, stand in front of the canvas the way the artist did and imagine it as they see it. The blank slate slowly coming to life with the image in their mind, their thought, their dream, their desire, their imaging.
The powerful image of the ocean, and clouds, clearly influential; the unnamed man in an coat that is just like all other coats, that does not identify, that does not stand out. The round black hat making a silhouette of him, a profile that is distinct where nothing else is distinct, and then the journey this man takes as the world around him is revealed to be nothing but children’s games and grotesquely obvious sexuality that pretends to be hidden, but which we, as adults, recognize as surface.
The show was sex and violence, death and penetration, life and more life, fascination, exploration, science, beyond reality, and reality. It was advertised as “Unthink what you know about…” which was a beautiful way to put it.
To understand it, you almost had to unthink what you saw and see the opposite of what you think. It was a powerfully overwhelming experience, so much so that even with two hours we barely managed to make it halfway before they announced that the museum was going to be closing.
“Dammit; I’m not done.”
“You can come back?”
“Oh, I will come back. Thursday. I have to, I must.”
And I did, and it was just as overwhelming the second time. I’m not done, I shall have to go again and again and again. Every day my train passes under the Art Institute, and it's like I can feel the collection in there, a siren’s song, calling to me.
Sunday, July 27, 2014
When I got my Art Institute magazine in late June I was excited to learn that the next major exhibition at the museum would be a full exhibition of René Magritte's work from his early work through to the later period. The exhibition sounded large, and daunting and beautiful and I wanted in.
I was further excited to see that for this event the museum was having a special opening night exhibition on Monday, called the Martini Monday, where viewers could go in, have a drink downstairs and then walk through the exhibition.
Perfect for me. I could barely wait for Monday to arrive, to go in and see the paintings, drink the martinis, and hang out with art people. The art people, of course, are very cliquish and all come together to do things, so I invited my own friend for the evening, and Faust was happy to come. Of course, this was an event that required an RSVP, which I asked Faust to do.
Of course, by the time Faust got around to it there were no tickets left and he had been waitlisted.
“Just show up; I’ll take care of it.”
Which is what I do. Faust did as instructed and after a short sideline to find some very necessary food we worked our way to the entrance to see some art. After getting through the door I walked to a ticket booth and gave my name and member number.
“You are not on the list.”
“I have a reservation.”
“Give me the number again?”
The pretty young docent checked my number, checked my name, checked for random pseudonyms (why would Saradevil be on the list? Just check for it.) and in the end could not find me on the list.
“Well, I can see the number; you are clearly supposed to be here,” to which she gave me a ticket. I smiled, then waved at Faust.
“When I registered I meant to register for two, but apparently I messed that up and only registered for one. Would it be possible for my friend to get in?”
Faust smiled and tried to look casual. Somehow failed.
“He’ll have to pay full price.”
“That’s fine,” said Faust, settling up the bill, getting his own ticket and heading after me into the depths of the museum. We walked through the halls of the museum toward the lounge.
Saturday, July 26, 2014
I went to Chicago on Saturday to celebrate having finished the final book for a project I was working on. The next book I need to work on will be mine. I must start putting together the manuscript and fleshing it out. It will happen and it will be good and I am excited about the prospect and looking forward to seeing it enacted and I shall enjoy seeing how it looks when I finally get it out of my mind and onto paper somewhere.
But that was neither here nor there, I was happy to know the book was finished and happy to celebrate. The celebration included duck and some beautiful jazz at the Green Mill, which I always enjoy as a haunt. The city was beautiful that Saturday night, with passing thunderstorms bringing lightening to flash the sky and make the pretty streets a wet spectacle punctuated by strobe-light lightning. Beautiful and celebratory, like my own fireworks show. I was pleased.
On Sunday I treated myself to a nice breakfast of salmon and chicken sausage and realized that I was up early enough that it was possible to get the train home, rather than try to arrange for a pickup. This worked for me, and so I started to walk on the pretty sunny morning after the rain. The city was clean and sparkling, washed free of dirt and debris and pollen, enjoyable. I was feeling very in love with Chicago.
Then I started walking toward the train. It was just as I was approaching Michigan avenue that I started to see something unusual. A man in a rainbow mohawk walked by me, which in and of itself would not have made me look twice, but the girl next to him was wearing furry rainbow leg warmers with matching arm covers. I did a double take.
Then, there was a girl in a rainbow tutu. Than a gorgeous drag queen decked out in rainbow colors.
What is…what day is this? I was thinking, when suddenly I was absolutely swarmed, overwhelmed by a group of teens and young adults in decked out in a variety of rainbow gear. Some where wearing bikinis in a retro spring-breakers style. Others had rainbow glitter and body paint, but the thing that struck me about most of them was one thing.
Most of these people were straight people.
Most of these people were doing this as a way to get away with something in daylight that had absolutely nothing to do with Pride.
After the third rainbow dress I realized that it was Pride weekend in Chicago and had a moment where almost turned around and joined the rainbowed mohawk to make the trek toward Belmont and Halstead where the parade would be hosted.
Until I ran into all the straight people.
I heard someone yell out, “Gangja!” at the top of their lungs, in front of five beleaguered looking Chicago cops. “That’s weed! Someone’s smoking the good shit!”
Then the crowd literally tripled and I was swimming against a tide of revelers, all dressed in their various rainbow attire, yelling, and screaming and acting like animals escaped from the zoo, or patients from an asylum. It was insane and grotesque and a parody of everything Pride is supposed to stand for.
This was not Pride. These frat boys and girls knew nothing about the people that died in the Stonewall riots on that fateful June 25th weekend. These people did not have an inkling of the millions of men, women, and genderqueers who had been persecuted, raped, imprisoned, trampled upon, mutilated, and murdered all because a specific class of society deemed their desires to be a perversion of nature, simply because they couldn't see all the multifaceted human love that is embodied in those that simply don’t, can’t, or aren’t wired to love in a way that a society that demanded conformity could accept.
This is not straight hate, as there are a number of honest-to-goodness straights that really do support and embrace Pride for what it means. Men and women who have lost sons, daughters, brothers and sisters in ways that cannot be described. Families who truly do understand what being able to openly celebrate Pride means. This group, sadly, was not representative of the straights I ran into.
Running wild boys and girls screaming the top of their lungs about being drunk and stoned and fucked up on uppers or downers, flaunting in the face of authority how very avant garde they are being and using Pride as a way to say "See? This is okay; we can all do this now thanks to the homos."
It pissed me off and made me feel sick to my stomach and I was thankful for the peaceful quiet of my train ride home, rather than joining with the revelers.
Friday, July 25, 2014
Dinner was had at the tapas place in Evanston that I am rather fussed on, it was pleasant and enjoyable and full of food.
“I’m assuming you don’t want dessert,” the Bard interjected.
“Nope, eating that off somebody.”
Cause that is how my life works. After dinner I got dropped off, met my key into the club and headed off to the underground, the cavernous space where people meet and greet and do things located in parts of the city that no one would guess are warehouses to such interesting places. After getting and promising to be on my best behavior, I wandered about a bit until I found the Chef who was serving up most of the cooking that evening.
“You made it!” she exclaimed, happy and excited to see me.
“Of course, you invited me. When do we start?”
“In a few minutes, let me introduce you to the tray.”
The tray was a cute, short brunette who was very excited to be a platter for the first time. We exchanged a few pleasantries and I introduced myself to her girlfriend.
“Well, I have deemed you to not be a serial killer, come and help entertain her while we deck her out for dessert.”
The Tray liked to be talked to and this helped keep her from getting nervous and so talk I did while the Chef, and her purloined evil assistant walked back and forth over the tray, starting first with chocolate cookies, next with fresh sliced fruit, following with designs drawn in different colored icing, topped-up with homemade rice-crispy treats, and finally deck out with chocolate kisses.
The evil assistant began to put the kisses on with the metallic paper still wrapping it up.
Whack, suddenly and “no, nothing goes on the tray you can’t eat.”
He smiled amused, and the Chef immediately apologize as she hadn’t meant to slap him. I think he kind of liked it.
The tray was approaching all trussed up and the finishing touch was a strawberry in the mouth.
The chef, standing over the foot exclaimed, “This foot is mine!” She then invited the girlfriend to eat whatever she’d like and then, before anyone sat in to eat, she walked about for a final announcement.
In the end, the diners, aside from myself, included a very bouncy perky goth, a tall lanky blonde (‘IT’S MY FIRST TIME HERE!) the Chef, the girlfriend and a few random people who were mostly just hungry.
“And, dive in!”
So we did. I claimed her right breast and most of her right side. We were instructed by our Chef to nibble, bite and really get in there, and so we did.
I became rather enamored of the red icing that was lacing its way up and down the trays nipples. While working with my teeth and tongue, not wanting to use my hands, I licked nibbled sucked around sweet flesh, which added a strange element to the sweet of the experience. Skin tinged with red colored dye that stayed red long after the icing had gone, with light marks in flesh, the taste of sweet flesh and salt in my mouth, the feeling of blood running and pumping under my tongue as my lips moved. The hard flesh of her nipple in my mouth, covered in chocolate and whipped cream and strawberries was a heady blend; syrupy erotic sweet. Her pulse was quick as we all dived into her, like vampires sucking and swilling her flesh feeding ourselves off of her as she shook, and trembled, giggled, the smell of her arousal and interest floating over us, increasing our own own.
“Is everyone done? Are we ready for the cold course?” The chef inquires. We all assent and step back as she pours cold chocolate syrup and cold whipped cream and frosting all over the tray, who cries out giggles, shakes and moans with the slickness of it.
Again our mouths attack, and not unlike some perverted pie eating contest, we are all urged on to eat quicker, faster before she gets to cold, the tray writhes a little more but at this point the dessert is much less likely to be shaken off by her movements. Speedy hands go across stiff goose-pimpled flesh and we all laugh and giggle a bit as we work.
“Alright, help me clean her off.” We are all passed different scrapers and at various points on the body we run them over her and start sweeping off the icing and the cold foods, cleaning anything off her body that remained. The tray laid there looking rather flush and languorous as we cleaned her down until finally she could stand up carefully and in the arms of her lover get moved off to the showers where she could clean up.
As she came out, those of us who dined chatted a bit together. When the tray walked by we asked what she had thought and if she would do it again.
“Can I do it now?”
“It was worth the diabetic coma.” More laughter. And with that, full of sweets, I took my leave to have sugary, nipply, syupy dreams.
Thursday, July 24, 2014
“Oh, come on, white does not really go with the ensemble,” I said motioning to myself up and down.
“I can see how it would look out of place,” he said, a bit too enthusiastically.
He spent some time on the computer looking for places where we might get a phone. “If it is not too far away I can send you over there,” he explained.
“Except that I am pedi-mobile.”
“No car, on foot, at the mercy of public transit.”
“Oh, yeah, well…I mean…,” he paused and gave me the once-over look again, “I can drive you.”
And I wasn't even wearing anything that revealing.
“I’m sure you’d enjoy taking me for a ride, but mostly I need a phone.”
PhoneDoctor raised an eyebrow, then just looks at me like he can’t believe I am a real person. I get that sometimes.
“Let me see what I can do.”
After twenty minutes of searching, though, I learned to my dismay that the only phone available in the city of Chicago in black was so far out in the burbs it was practically a different country. Seriously, who the hell thinks that Schaumburg is a part of the state of Illinois?
“White is all I got.”
“Well, if you can wait, I’m sure we can mail you something in like…two weeks?”
“No, no. I’m going to cut someone in two weeks if I have to keep using this phone.”
And so it was settled. White phone was out, new phone was coming in, and I was going to live with the shame of being the only semi-recovered goth girl on the block with a white freaking phone.
About five minutes later though, I had a phone that worked and connected to things. I was in love, and were it not still illegal to marry inanimate objects I thought I might propose. I’m sure this time my feelings will last, I know that the S4 won’t disappoint me like all those other phones. It can’t, it won’t.
Because this time it is real. So real.
Wednesday, July 23, 2014
My weekend of Hubbard Street got slightly derailed by an invitation.
“Would you like to come to a desert tray?”
My original plan for that weekend had been very much to see Hubbard and then go relax at home and maybe do a little, more likely a lot, of sewing.
With that my plans changed. Rather than go home, I went to the northern suburbs to go shopping, do some work, and maybe have some lunch. Work was me, working desperately on a book deadline I was sure was going to kill me and not get done and the effort of writing was pressing upon me the pressure of writing a book in a single month. I knew I could do it, but I also knew it would not be easy.
Saturday was spent drinking coffee, working, having lobster bisque, having a job interview, doing more work, and then going to buy a phone.
I had to admit, I had a lot of phone rage. I was hating on my phone more and more with each passing day. It annoyed me to have to give in, but I knew well enough the processor was slow, making it impossible to use most of the functions, and it was not improving with age. Even the simplest things were requiring more and more time and it was making me a little cranky. I wanted to study Spanish on my phone, watch things, listen to my music, etc, etc, etc, and my phone was essentially cockblocking all functionality. It was pissing me off.
A few weeks earlier I had visited the phone shop and considered my various options and prices. I knew that with IML weekend I might have to wait perhaps mid-June, bit I was getting crankier and crankier with it and realized that I was not going to make it to mid-June.
I walked into a Radio Shack, because I wanted to own the unit and not have something that I might have to pay to have unlocked. Besides, Radio Shack was, in fact, having sales on phones that weekend.
And there she was, the sweet, sweet Samsung S4, the most reasonably priced respectable Android-based OS they had in stock. Mostly, upon entering I was sure that I wanted the S5. However after much time spent looking at the S5, I had to admit that I did not want a phone that was that large, even though it did have nice features and lots of excellent options. I negotiated back and forth, talking with the phone jokey in the white lab coat, who took one look at me in my black Doc Martins, black stockings, and black dress, and decided I was his tribe.
“So, what are you looking for? I can explain your options.”
“I’m looking for an Android OS with a quad-core or better that has between 1 and 2 gigs of functional ram, decent internal storage, can deal with my tricked-out micro SD card, and has 4g.”
“Uh…so…you, uh…know about phones.”
“Yeah, I know about all sorts of things.” I smiled and gave him time to recover. I did feel some pity, as when I walked in he was talking to a couple of Midwesterners who had no idea what they were looking for, couldn’t distinguish between an Android and an Iphone and spent at least 30 minutes going through every phone there without committing.
After much back and forth me and the PhoneDoctor agreed that the phone that would suit me best at the moment was the S4 and so that was what I wanted to go with.
Except they only had it in white.
One thing June brought was Hubbard Street, which is among my favorite things to do in the city. I had dinner at my usual place to eat before Hubbard, the Tavern, which is becoming rather close to a regular bar for me. I know the bartenders, they know me, they know which wine I drink, what food I am most likely to eat, and they are always friendly and companionable.
I’d managed to forget my tickets, but rather than have a nervous breakdown I managed to get a hold of the theaters so I could pick them up at the show. I settled in, had my wine and walked over to enjoy Hubbard. The show was rather a hodgepodge of various things that evening, but still beautiful. The piece I was most interested in seeing was the new choreography by Alejandro Cerrudo called The Impossible. It was only playing that Friday night, as the show was changing for almost every night during the summer season. At least one piece on the Friday night show was a repeat from the Jiri Kylian show I had seen last month, but not one that I would mind seeing again at all.
The Impossible, however, was the show I was the most interested in seeing.
Perhaps I was entirely unprepared for what was about to happen. Maybe I was feeling too emotional. It is June after all, and my last June was a time for many emotions, with so many transitions. Perhaps that was why the show was so effective and emotional for me.
Or maybe, I was just emotional.
Most likely it was just that fucking beautiful.
The beginning was slow, with two characters, moving in the aged, shaky, hunched-over walking of an elderly couple that helps each other move. The elderly gentleman moved with slightly more fluidity than his wife; it was clear she was his wife, and that this was a couple, and there was so much emotion being shared between them as they danced, the feeling was palpable and I started to cry almost immediately. There was something so endearing about watching them on stage, going through the motions of the dance, the support, the love, the joy of how much they cared for each other so beautifully expressed that I couldn't contain my reaction to it and the emotion that I felt.
And then the show moved from this very real, very present now of this aged couple and into the past. It came carefully and cooly, a memory of the woman, and you could see her memory of them as a younger couple. She was lost in the fog of her own youth, where memories are more powerful than the present day to day. Living in the past, it came in subtly, represented on the dance floor by two new dancers who mimicked the action of the elderly couple, their younger selves. The flight of the dance whisked them backward into a dark, violent past.
The entrance then of the bitter memory, the moment that we cannot escape, the harmful aspect inflicted. It should have been alarming, or maybe strange or disturbing that the clown-like figure that enters the memory here staggers across the stage with the effect of a perfect bully, and tormenter, a tough. His every movement screamed violence, and I had this horrible feeling in the pit of my stomach that I knew where this dark memory was going to turn.
Lately there has been so much about violence, rape culture, long discussions of triggers and sexual violence against women, the influence of it touches everything, making these longs slogs through violence and destruction that include sex and rape almost impossible to avoid. Given my history it is both annoying and something that I’ve learned to just accept as an aspect of the current moment. While it may be getting a lot of attention now, there is still a sad majority of people that this kind of violence doesn’t touch (or they refuse to acknowledge how it has touched them given the statistics) and it will get buried in another news cycle, another event, another tragedy.
However, lately rape fantasy and sexual assault are impossible to avoid. This dark fantasy wasn't overt, nor do I think the intent was to play-act a rape on stage, but the message was clear: this elderly couple was brought together by a single moment when a man was gone, maybe for a moment, maybe longer, and his love was helpless and at the mercy of a mob out to terrorize, led by a leader who is as Droog as Alex (A Clockwork Orange). In the form it was as disturbing as it was mesmerizing, and yet, for all that it reflected reality – as difficult as it was to watch – it punctuated the story perfectly driving our heroine, finally to the only thing she could do.
The sound of a gun shot and the splatter of blood shocked the entire audience, an elderly woman, losing what is left of herself, stood in front of a wall as her husband tried to calm her from the memories that haunt her, disturb her, and remind her of the now, present, love.
The Impossible was beautiful and dismaying and I think that through the show I experienced every possible emotion there was to have. It was perfect.