Thursday, March 11, 2010

Notes from a Wednesday Night

Night @ Hotel Chelsea
The once-infamous Chelsea Hotel

My Improv class is now half-way over – only one month left! It’s gone fast. Last night we played a game called “Psychotic Rants” and another one called “Pass the Boom.” I love getting to play.

Afterwards, standing on the subway platform at Penn Station, I left my iPod and book in my bag and practiced being present (Improv skill!)

There is lots to see (and hear) at ten o’clock on a Wednesday.

Like a man playing an erhu, whose notes competed and clashed with those from a saxophone, positioned farther down the uptown platform. And Garden-goers milling about, carrying red foam pitchforks. Then there were the teenagers, walking in groups and talking loudly (as teenagers are wont to do). Some people in suits looked like they were just leaving work, and they looked unhappy about it.

My train came. I sat across from an older couple wearing hats. His, a black fedora; hers, a big-brimmed Annie Hall affair. Neither wore a wedding ring; I wondered if they were on a date? Body language was inconclusive. He was telling her about a girl he knew – “she sabotages relationships…and she sabotages auditions.”

The 2-train sped by us on a parallel track, off to the parallel universe (known as “the Bronx”).

Fedora kept talking; poor Annie Hall couldn’t get in a word. I began to doubt she was listening at all. Her gaze polite, but distant. Probably thinking about something else, like what’s in her fridge at home, and if she needs to stop at Duane Reade tonight for hand soap or if she can delay that errand one more day.

“She sabotages auditions, and she sabotages relationships,” Fedora emphasized and ended his story.

Behind him there was a poster for the lottery. It had a picture of the Brooklyn Bridge with a price tag attached. I thought about the price I pay for these Wednesday night moments (aka my Manhattan rent) and I think about how I afford that price (aka my pesky day job).

I pay dearly, but then I also love it dearly.

Fedora exited at 72nd Street. Annie Hall and I rode on.

1 comment:

Elaina M. Avalos said...

It's interesting that I somehow have never connected acting to writing novels. Call me dense. But as I read your post, I thought about how I've always done that. I've always absorbed so much of my environment. Maybe too much sometimes. But as I write, it all comes back to me and I'm so glad that it does.

Cool observations. I can picture the whole scene. Especially when you said that Annie Hall couldn't get a word in. Something about that gave me a clear picture of what her expressions might have been.

Love the photo by the way!