My New Year’s Eve said to me: “You are a stoic woman.”
attended the opera alone at carnegie hall. die fledermaus, concert version. had two tickets, but never found the gorgeous stranger i fantasized i’d run into in the preceding days. it was fine. i cried. not because it was touching- no, this opera is fanciful, silly, a farce. i cried because the applause filled me up. because the stage looked so inviting. these sorts of tears are commonplace to me though.
after the opera, i imagined i would find a bar. walked down the west side about thirty blocks, never did. They either cost fifty bucks plus just to enter or looked like a college dorm. one lounge looked just right. simply called “the door,” velvet rope, attractive muscled doormen, discreet enough.
until the kid in front of me said “why are you alone?”
i looked at him. i just looked at him. you can imagine. “oh i guess that was a dumb thing to say…”
i shook my head. i was not really in a just-let-the-idiots-simmer-in-their-idiocracy mood. so i of course found myself grilling him about whether or not he is capable of going anywhere without his supportive cohorts who will stop him before he ever has the chance to experience anything or anyone new, or god forbid, think new, expansive thoughts. the poor boy was so clueless and apparently friends with so many of the people inside- that after one peek inside, i tossed my imaginary cape around my shoulders and flew off.
as the midnight tide struck, i do believe i was on the subway, being spoken to by a mentally disabled man who wanted to give me his phone number so i could call him and check up on him at his new job in a month. he said his daughter was gonna be on Jeopardy some day! in this moment, i feel guilty for not taking it. imagine how good he might have felt, had i called him in a month. so good, that it may have knocked some IQ points up and into him. oh well. next time. retrospection, once again, teaches lessons.
upon emerging from underground at 72nd street, the fireworks over central park had just started. and although i don’t particularly like fireworks, it’s all i had to work with. i really prefer the ocean or the moon, shooting stars, a waterfall, nuclear revolution… i decided to grapple onto any last shred of dignity and meditate on these god-forsaken rainbow preservatives. my primary resolution fell under the category of doing more of what i love, and the list was long, but tight: love, act, write, make love, meditate, write, dance, act, sing, make love, play the piano, meditate, be free, travel, make love…. and on through the rotations.
and i realized, so pristinely accurate, that i was alone. nothing i ever really cared about much before. alone? of course. it could not have been any clearer. i am entirely alone, as we all are. i was somber, but grounded and feeling myself. there, planted on 72nd street and so intensely focused on the night sky colorfully lit over the park.
and lo and behold, i was hit. not by a brilliant taxi nor a life-changing revelation. no, hit by the careening body of a sturdy, past the the point of alcohol poisoning english bloke. he twirled around himself, like a bulbous top without a proper point to spin upon. he smiled and chortled, not a wee bit humiliated. steadying himself on a fat woody lightpost, he observes “You are a very stihistioriric woman.”
“i’m an historic woman??” i admit, i was flattered by dragon mouth. i thought of grecian statues, joan of arc, egyptian queens… i could do that…
“A stoic woman. I said. You are a very stoic woman.”
“oh.” great. just what i need. “oh, really?” are you sure??
“not always.” i’m a fucking actress! was the only defense that lept to mind. and truth. Struck me as an inappropriate and showy remark, so I stuck with the mundane, and kept my own imagination, of the plethora of colors I keep in my wings, to myself.
turned out to be quite a funny fellow. intelligent, probably rich. make the best, or at least most successful, drunkards. i refused his card. i will not ring him when i’m in london, for “i’m never there. eat something.”
of course it was not the night personified that spoke to me, but perhaps the drunkest man I have ever seen, barreling unsuccessfully around his nonexistent equilibrium point. he thought he was fine, smashing into walls and poles and stoic women. he had another engagement yet to attend.
back to my meditation sequence, i ended before the fireworks. they overdid it as usual. the more fries the better, folks! this is america. supersize my resolution, my hips will thank you!
then back home, essentially doing nothing. minus the champagne. too leaden and depressed to pick up the phone. and finally slept.
New Year’s Eve, 2004