Saturday, October 5

new york dreamin'

I hit the big city this weekend. New York City, that is.

I have friends who just had a baby and moved to Queens, which apparently, is kind of a big deal in these parts, even though it means next to nothing to the rest of the world. I told them I could relate because I saw that episode of Sex and the City where Miranda and Steve move to Brooklyn after they have Brady. Everyone laughed politely.

I braced myself to leave the Connecticut countryside which I only recently started to consider home (and I use that term very loosely) and head to the urban jungle.

I've not had a particularly good track record with the city. Not specifically New York, just any urban sprawl; it's loud and hectic and generally overwhelming for me. There was that especially meaningful season in my life when London almost killed me. Incidentally, London Almost Killed Me is a very believable band name.

But I decided to take the train, which gave me plenty of prep time to contemplate the horse country I was leaving and look forward to the mass of humanity I was approaching. I literally went from marshy boat land--literally saw a guy in a hard hat sitting in a boat under a bridge, reading a book--to tenement buildings.

But I need to back this train up a bit...

Several years ago, one of the above mentioned friends, who also happens to be an accomplished dancer, introduced me to an NYC dance company that features dancers with disabilities.

I'm sure I've mentioned the Heidi Latsky Dance company on this blog, but it really bears repeating. After I saw a promo for The Gimp Project, I was hooked. But living in New Mexico, I felt far from the kind of experimental dance scene which I longed to be a part of.

Knowing I would be in the home city of HLD this weekend, on a whim, I sent off a missive to the email address I found on the web site and, within the hour, Heidi herself emailed me back.

And, as they say in another famous Big Apple show...yada yada yada...I had lunch with Ms. Latsky this afternoon.

Suffice to say, it was surreal. We talked dance, disability, politics, angst, pity, sex...and somehow I managed to ingest a spinach and bacon salad. Heidi coined the phrase 'unexpected bodies' for physical disabilities and she wants to do a live person exhibit on disability at the MOMA. She wants me to be in it. What.

I suddenly felt like Phyllis from the Farm, ready to run for the hills. But what I heard myself saying was, "I love it. I would totally do it."

I also heard myself saying that I was craving collaboration and I could see she was getting excited.

"Whatever you want to do," she said, "whether it's a collaboration or something that's just you, I will help you."

I wanted to cry, to be honest.

Back on the city streets heading for the Subway at Times Square, pressed on by throngs of people, I'd never felt so safe and light. If the sidewalk fell away in front of me, I was ready to jump.

[Then, I swear to you, an orange cloaked Tibetan monk walked up and handed me a golden ticket...but when I declined writing my personal info in his little book, he took the ticket back.]

But it's OK, I think I already have mine.