Sunday, September 23, 2012
Spending five days immobilized on my back has been humbling. I was reaching for a small piece of cloth to throw into my bag on Wednesday morning when I froze with a piercing pain down my left leg. For the last four days, Robin has had to change my clothes, change the sheets, make food, feed our pets, help me go to the bathroom, do the laundry, put ice under my back, give me traction, rub stuff on my back, cover me with a blanket, while preparing for the premiere of her video installation, ten years in the making. She left this morning for Vermont, where I was supposed to join her on Thursday. Now Robin is gone and I will miss seeing the installation. As a relatively new transplant in town, I feel grateful that new friends and acquaintances have offered to come over to feed our pets, warm up food, and drive me to physical therapy. It also feels a little awkward to accept.
In the middle of the night, I made a vow to go rub the legs of the bed-ridden when I'm mobile again. It really makes a difference to feel loved and safe when you're healing any kind of injury. Pain sucks and I am a brat about any change in schedule. I am reminded that this is some people's reality every day. In other words, I get to resume my life in a week or so, with some restrictions.
I was a dance major in college and by extension, I have felt (irrationally) that it's my right to move freely because I love to move, and because I already experience pedestrian movement and exercise as a consolation prize, after dancing for years. I encounter any injury as a violation of my rights.
In crass terms, an important vow in any relationship should be: I will wipe your ass when you need me to.
Monday, September 17, 2012
Thursday, September 13, 2012
Fundamentals of Acting
A woman appeared in September and made us release our assholes. She also made us cry in front of one another shortly before she abandoned us to be in a Broadway play. Since then, a man has come to teach the class. His name is Arby.
We start the session with “walking walking walking rhythmic clapping!” We often spend more than an hour talking about what we would like to do in the class while Arby scolds us for speaking to him “rather than to the group,” or for “speaking for others rather than for ourselves.” After 1 1/2 hours of this, Arby states, “Okay, I have heard you.” He has two hours left to kill without a lesson plan.
For a few weeks, we read three lines of an Irish play over and over, while Arby yells “again!” “again!” Then, Arby has us stand with our eyes closed in a circle. He tells us to find a group rhythm out of silence. Each time a member of the circle starts clapping, he screams “No! Don’t force it!”
I am so bored that I slap my thigh. Arby doesn’t stop me. My wonky hand-jive and disgusting body percussion is permitted to grow into a group frenzy. Arby is so proud of us that he begins to dance, awkwardly, in black socks, while smiling. This might have made me happy had it not sickened me. Arby tricked us into having fun that a] had nothing to do with acting b] was fun only relative to the unfun we’d already had, and c] was more appropriate as dance therapy for people recovering from strokes or drug addiction.