On That One Night I Got Dropped on my Head
July 26, 2012 § 3 Comments
“Your way begins at the other side. Become the sky. Take an axe to the prison wall. Escape. Walk out like someone suddenly born into colour. DO IT NOW.”
I got dropped on a Brooklyn dance floor, last Friday night. Right on the cement. Right on my head.
House music, smoke machine, dancing half baked bodies and me – laid out on the dark and dirty floor like a cup of beer that splashed hard after a drunk girl smacked it with her elbow.
I laid there for a millisecond, feeling the cool floor and the feeling of this guy’s knee still holding my left thigh off the ground.
When someone stepped over my head, I reached my arm up into the smoke and the dark room and guy grabbed it and lifted me back up right.
I was a puppet on a string, then – weightless. And, him – the puppeteer, this smiling dude with arm muscles so big I couldn’t fit my hands around them.
“Hey,” I snapped. “You dropped me.”
“I’m sorry, I know,” he shook his head. “You’re light – I’m just drunk.”
We stared at each other until I laughed. Then he laughed too. “You ready?”
That was how we had started – me, dancing with my pint of Ommegang, and him squaring off and eying me up to see if I was ready to go.
I was. I’m almost always.
I stashed my drink and off we went, dancing hard and fast and aggressive until he dropped me on my head. It wasn’t club dancing – not the kind of grinding, up against you kind of dirty moves my mom calls “sex with clothes on.” She scrunches her nose when she says it, and when some guy comes up behind me at a bar, that nose is all I can think about.
Man, my mom.
But, anyways, guy danced with me like my dad does – flinging me out and pulling me in and biting his lip while he moves to the music and laughing when I fuck up cause I’ve got messy feet.
There I was in Brooklyn with muscle shoulders guy, thinking about my Dad and the way he dances with me.
What’s that word? Wholesome. That was a wholesome moment for me.
Somebody asked what I needed, this weekend. I guess he meant it nicely – but I’m on my third month in NYC, and the city moves around me even when I’m sitting still. Every 3.5 minutes there’s another someone wanting something – girl where you from, where you going, can I buy you a drink, how old are you, what do you do, can I get you a refill, is he bothering you, I like your dress, where’d you get that lipstick, damn your shoes are fine, you work in finance? you wanna get out of here? got a light, got an extra cigarette, do you smoke, do you eat meat, can I take you to dinner. Two weeks ago, it rained like hell when I got off the subway, and some drunk tried to wipe my arms off with Starbucks napkins.
We all need room, in New York. That’s why we’ve got airplane mode turned on, and our music turned up and we’re standing halfway into the intersection at rush hour.
I told meant-it-nicely guy that I need myself.
That felt weird coming out of my mouth – like I was talking for someone else. This girl I just met.
“I need to make some room for myself,” I said. “I need some things from me.”
There it was – that wholesome feeling again. I was on fire.
I left muscle shoulders guy after he dropped me cause I wanted to dance with my girlfriend, and I asked meant it nicely guy to be my friend because I think the word I was looking for, when it comes to him, was “kind.” And, I like kind.
I went home and I turned my phone on airplane mode and I sat on my floor and I drew, for the first time in years – trees and calligraphy and windows and tapas and words about what I want inside.
Tuning into myself is the most powerful drug I’ve ever tried.
You know, after all the times I ignored what I was saying, God must want to wrap my body up in a big, silk bed, and tell my body to love what it loves and hate what it hates, without bounds. God must want to cradle my brain in a big, open space and tell it to think however it wants to.
All that room, and my self would start making music – my body the bass, my mind the soprano. They’d make harmony. They’d let go. And I’d be in tune once again.
Once I figured out what I thought God would probably do with me, I got to it.
Room, right? Room to listen to what my body and my brain have been trying to say all this time I’ve been shutting them down and shutting them out and living around instead of through them.
My body likes to get up early, likes quiet, likes sun, likes avocado, can’t handle wheat too well, and needs its own full french press each morning. My body doesn’t like it when you tell her that she should cut down on caffeine. My body likes clean rooms, and it hates overhead lights. My body likes it when you smell good. My body doesn’t want to be pushed. My body likes being pulled – in, down, over – my body likes getting caught up.
And me? I’ve been pushing it too long – into boxes, under labels – under shoulds and shouldn’ts, as if it were good or bad, normal, not normal. I’ve been telling it to love things it hates. I’ve been telling it to hate things it loves.
I told my body I was sorry.
I told it that it knew better than all those other voices I listened to.
I stretched out on my floor, and I told body it could get big, again.
It didn’t believe me, at first.
My bluegrass loving, avocado eating, coffee drinking size four body that likes to laugh so hard I have to stop walking and double over needed some solidarity before it could do that.
And my brain? My brain, when it got some room – told me it felt invaded…all this apologizing and excuse making and half truth giving. My brain needs some honesty, some congruity. My brain needs for me to stop apologizing about how it works – and to start feeding it instead.
So, I quit a part time writing job I don’t like, and I took on another I knew I would. I turned my phone off for a day. I stopped making excuses for avoiding old friends. I’m telling them how I’ve changed instead.
I stopped saying I was damaged, last weekend. I started saying I was healing.
I rediscovered bluegrass and I decided I’m not cutting down on caffeine, but I won’t eat wheat anymore.
On Saturday, I gave myself a good, long dose of quiet – all by myself, in this crazy city. Not in a subway, not with the music turned up – but, here, in my own room, all wrapped up in my bed with open space around me.
On Sunday, I took another dive headfirst – but, this time, I dove into the ocean. I had left my bikini at home, but my body needed some water. So, I took off running across the sand – orange shorts, tank top, sunglasses, bracelets – I dove into the water with them all on.
I swam and I swam until I could breathe again.
After that, I worked up some horrifically placed tan lines halfway up my thighs.
What can I say…
my body was asking for some sun.
photo via jsambrose.com