Tesseracts Take Time

My, how time flies! I can hardly believe that I was gone from New York for so long, nor that I’ve been back here again for nearly two months – because New Yorkers are used to time truncating, they help it along: “You were gone for a year!” they remind me, helpfully. I’ve been correcting them: “No, just eight months,” and to me there is certainly a distinction between 3-quarters of a thing and the whole of it, but now it is almost a year – ten months – and the distinction has become blurry.

This weekend saw me back in my old office, Snohetta, attending one of the parties I used to be in charge of throwing when I managed the office there. It was delicious to be so very free of responsibility at one of these events and the place was packed, a creamy nougat of people from my last four years, my former life. It felt a little like going to your own funeral, only instead of a cause for mourning, it’s a celebration. I kept having deja vu and I couldn’t decide if I’d had dreamed this before, or if it was really just that I threw that party three years in a row. Regardless, I rubbed elbows and kissed cheeks and felt so very light and happy on that first day of summer – the first truly warm day, where I was wearing a sleeveless dress (one of Erika’s I’d never worn before) and no jacket was required. My roommate was there, and my former boss, the girl who is the “new Kira,” there was someone I dated back in 2010, my friends from the Norwegian Consulate, the same DJ I hired for our first of these parties, the same disco ball and the same caterers. Beautiful, beautiful people all crowded together and drinking the traditional beer of these parties, from Brooklyn Breweries. I danced and gave a tour, for old time’s sake, and it all came back to me without effort. Happy to be back, happy to have left. My rubber band ball has grown in my absence, still perched like an oversized egg in the same little wicker basket nest it has called home since its inception.

makin a funky face while discussing my masterpiece

makin a funky face while discussing my masterpiece with Ethan Lay-Sleeper, the taker of this picture and possessor of the coolest last name I know

I felt so happy to be among this friendly throng, at every turn another familiar face smiling, surprised to see me again in such a normal context. We went for a very late dinner at an old Stone Street favorite, Adrienne’s Pizza, a large and happy group of us altogether. We made it back to the office for the tail end of it, often the most fun, when everyone has cleared out except for 8 or 10 stragglers who were the most glorious of all, flowers blown out, petals streaming, spinning and dancing with the decorative blankets, drinking Serbian plum brandy. Someone held out a flower to me as we danced and I pulled the Gerber daisy from my hair and gave it to him and it somehow felt like a May ritual of new beginnings, dancing for the promises held in the season of growth and bounty to come.

Dave and the "New Kira" - the fabulous Kate at Snohetta

Dave and the “New Kira” – the fabulous Kate at Snohetta

gangsta

gangsta at the afterparty

Saturday morning I went to Central Park for yoga with my friend Silvia and a couple of others and I felt the joy in each step I took to the Sheep’s Meadow where we stretched and posed beneath a giant spreading oak tree, surrounded by families and nannies pushing strollers, the requisite crazy person crouched nearby, keeping the crazy mostly to himself, politely.

Silvia in the park on Saturday

Silvia in the park on Saturday

I read Silvia’s tarot cards on a tapestry in the meadow before heading back to my neighborhood for lunch and a quick change of clothes to ready myself for my first shift at the Beauty Bar as a manicurist. Afternoon turned to evening and after a few swiftly passing hours of painting nails and making small talk I ended up at the People’s Improv Theater for a show with some friends.

I trekked down to my old hood to meet up with my friend Claire and she fed me some delicious lentil stew and showed me her new abode. We grabbed drinks with another amazing lady in my life, Susanne, at the Brooklyn Inn and then I headed back into the city to cap off the evening with Dave and some of his friends before we cabbed it back to our house.

What a difference an almost-year makes! Last year I was surrounded by these same people, but now contexts have shifted and things have changed. I have changed, and it makes the difference more profound, to have gone around and come back down, perspectives adjusted but nothing is erased, new images of old faces and places projected onto the screen of this new reality and what to make of it all is up to me.

Sunday has become the day set aside to reconnect with my friend Nora, now living in Copenhagen, and this Sunday we managed to connect with Sarah and Mary Caton, too – my core group of besties, all brought together through the wonders of the interwebs.

a little plug for Google Hangouts :) - bringing us all together!

a little plug for Google Hangouts 🙂 – bringing us all together!

I met up with my former boss, the amazing and wonderful Craig Dykers. We had tacos and beers at La Esquina diner in Williamsburg and caught up on each others’ lives. Dave joined us for dessert and then we all went our separate ways in the gray drizzle to our various engagements. I popped by a place in my hood called Santos Anne, where I knew there was an open mic going on that evening. It turned out to be a ton of fun and I met a band, Bevel Summers, a bluegrassy group on tour with their new album from North Carolina. I conversed a bit with a waiter in French and performed a few songs of my own and, when it turned out a few of the band members needed a place to stay, their arrangements having fallen through, I invited them to sleep in my living room for the evening. We made our way back to my place end ended up jamming on the roof until some rather wee hours.

Next morning we breakfasted on bagels with the fixins (how’s that phrase for North meets South?) and hung out for a bit before heading into Manhattan where they were playing a show on a pier somewhere on the east side.

I joined my friend Melinda for sangria with a group of her friends (and my favorite little dog, Tatertot!) on her Fidi (that’s Financial District = Wall Street) rooftop Monday afternoon for happy hour.

The lovely Melinda with friends and Tatertot lounging

The lovely Melinda with friends and Tatertot lounging

Monday evening saw me with Dave and one of the Carolinians at the Reverend Vince Anderson and His Love Choir’s weekly performance at Union Pool. It was a beautiful cap to a beautiful weekend, with new friends and old, full of music and dancing, yoga and nail painting. And finally some beautiful weather.

And the fun stretched into Tuesday when I went to see the Bevel Summers play at a backyard in my new hood – really a stones throw away from my place. The band was tight and the night was warm and lovely. I met a lot of new people and everyone enjoyed the music.

the Bevel Summers in Williamsburg

the Bevel Summers in Williamsburg

Matt (key for Bevel Summers) and his twin bro David

Matt (keys for Bevel Summers) and his twin bro David

house party

house party

After the show and the ensuing house concert we went out for drinks and grilled cheese sandwiches at a nearby bar, a whole merry crew of us. I tucked several band members into our living room and met up with a few others to jam a bit before calling it a night.

In the morning everyone convened at my house for breakfast and to regroup before leaving the city for Ardmore, PA. We played some more music and drank coffee and tried to get past the whiskey imbibed the night before.

the loving hammock - with Jeg and Ian

the loving hammock – with Jeb and Ian

Jack flying solo in the hammock

Jack flying solo in the hammock

through the looking glass

through the looking glass

modelling some crazy chinese sunglasses

looking through some some crazy chinese sunglasses

Dylan and Alicia

Dylan and Alicia – North Carolinian Gothic

Ian, Dylan and Alicia

Ian, Dylan and Alicia jamming in the living room

And the fun continued into the evening, when, after finishing my class at the screenwriting studio, I joined Dave and a few others out for drinks with a consultant from Canada, a lovely man named Gary with who I always made small talk on the phone, back when I was Snohetta’s Jane-of-all-trades. I met up with them, already in progress, and a bar called Winnies in Chinatown and Dave gave a spine-tingling performance of Clarence Carter’s masterpiece “Strokin.'”

slightly frightening image, but Dave was all in

slightly frightening image, but Dave was all in

We grabbed the only cab crazy enough to cram five clearly somewhat intoxicated passengers illegally across the East River for a little bowling at the Gutter and then a downward spiral of a bar crawl as we slowed to a stop after late night taco-truck action and one final beer. Everyone took a cab home but Dave and I who hoofed it back to the apartment and finally, maybe, the weekend is over now that it is Thursday 🙂

The landscape of my life seems to shift around me daily in a way I relish, changing how things look and feel with each new dawn which finds me in this new reality of mine. Time is fluid, flowing, forwards, back again, what will be might have been, what once was will be. I’m giving more of myself, while also keeping certain parts off limits, holding my space, perhaps more so than I have done in the past. It feels good and honest and true. Ok – time to get last night behind me and look on toward what’s to come.

Love and miss,

Kira

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Strange Trips

I awoke with my dreams still swimming at the surface of my consciousness. I had been flying – the kind of flying where you simply trust the air to help you overcome gravity, to support you, to bear you up. And so it did, and I breast-stroked through the dream-ether like a pro, soaring over heads and navigating turns. Flying high above buildings could be frightening, since I didn’t quite trust my fledgling powers not to fail, so I would swoop down low again, just in case, touch down, take off.

I knew I needed to rise relatively early to take a trip down Lorimer Street where I’d made arrangements to meet with a man who had erroneously received a package of mail sent to me by my mother. My dream still hung somewhere behind my now opened eyes as I pulled on a sweater against the morning chill and left my apartment. I recognized the intersection of Broadway and Lorimer from previous excursions into Brooklyn, years ago, before this was my neck of the woods, and it slowly dawned on me that I was now in the Hasidic part of Williamsburg and that, most likely, the conscientious man who had taken the time to look me up and contact my former employers to try to track me down, was a Hasid. This explained several things, thinking back to our brief conversation the night before and his hesitation when I mentioned I could come by his place.

I walked down the street past women in identical turbans, all wearing similar flat black shoes with gold chain braiding across the front, each with one or two small children on their skirts, or waiving goodbye to their little ones as they boarded one of the many school buses making the rounds, Hebrew lettering on the sides. The women all looked young and old at the same time, wearing the sagging stockings of elderly ladies, crinkled around the ankles, nothing of sex appeal or anything that might set one of them apart from another.

I rang the bell labeled with his name and was buzzed into the building quickly – no doubt in part because having a “shicksa” visitor is not the sort of thing a good Hasid family does. I stepped into the building and he stepped out of his door – or halfway out, anyway, and handed me a black plastic bag with my many envelopes inside – his children had found the manila package sent by my mom and naturally assumed it was something for them, something far more interesting than the bank statements contained therein. In a way, I’m sorry to have disappointed them. David stepped quickly back into his apartment, not really acknowledging my gratitude, but fair enough: I was the one who had imposed on his normally sacred boundaries, invaded the neighborhood that belongs to them in my disheveled morning hair and my velour tracksuit bottoms.

The route back to my place saw me with a lighter step, having received, among the bank statements, a couple of tax refund checks. The rest of the morning was spent getting my phone unlocked (finally!), showering, drinking my traditional black coffee and eating my morning bagel with tofutti and tomatoes. Simple pleasures are the best ones.

When I stepped out to grab lunch that afternoon, I almost ran into my friend Ellie, an aerialist who worked with my theater company, Tricycle Theater, back in 2010 on the production I mentioned in my last blog, Chance and Other Games of Love.

Heart, Soul, Brain and Body

Heart (Alexis), Soul (moi), Brain (Evangeline) and Body (Ellie) – from Chance. . .

Ellie on the Lyra - she is amazing!

Ellie on the Lyra – she is amazing!

It was awesome to catch up with her, if briefly. Another Tricycle alumnus, Ms. Alexis Hosea, magically materialized with a vacuum cleaner for our living room rug, which had probably not been cleaned in more years than I care to contemplate (living with a dude is rife with such neglected items of domesticity, though of course for him this is reversed – silverware organized? amazing! rug vacuumed? incredible! etc). In gratitude, I cooked her dinner, the first dinner guest I’ve entertained in my new abode. I do love having a home again.

Last night, again, was a night of odd dreams – picking tulips in front of houses I somehow knew without knowing; dreams permeated with the essence of those no longer in my life, but not unhappily so.

I slept late and worked late and in the evening I attended a meditative writing class that somehow seemed to touch on all the strange things happening in my psyche of late. Talk of fears and where we hold them, hypnosis and childhood trauma, the things that hold us back as the things that also propel us forward, once we release the pain. I found myself mourning, not for the first time, the loss of my sister, my lifelong guru of all things bold and fearless and natural and powerful. But then I began writing and out poured a scene from my graphic novel which I’ve been trying to write, but which, just at that moment, when I’d been doing so much plumbing of my depths, came out both cathartic and true. I don’t know how people who don’t write or make music or have some creative outlet can deal with all the stuff life gives us to deal with sometimes. Things which can’t be understood any other way can make perfect sense through the lens of art. People who are gone for good can sit down with you for a cup of coffee in a song or a story, say the things that in real life were too frightening to reveal, give the gifts that were withheld in reality. “Imagination is funny – it makes a cloudy day sunny, makes the bees think of honey. . .” Wish there was a better version of this song by Sinatra on the YouTubes to link too. Ah well, you’ll just have to imagine one.

And I better get to my dreaming before it’s time to open my eyes again.

Love and miss,

Kira