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.
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,