Wednesday, February 12, 2014

It's a small world

Blogging from the train – let’s see if this will be the one day this week where we don’t have any delays, as we’ve had the last two days from signals, disabled trains and ice patrols.

After about a month of craziness, yesterday was the first day at work in 2014 where I didn’t feel like my hair was on fire for deadlines and a ton of work. We’ve been pushing hard on a big event we’re having in California this week and now everyone’s out there getting ready. I still had an asap deadline yesterday, but it was for something that was fun to do for our charitable giving group, sketching out an infographic on the white board to show how we’re going to improve lives at a school in Haiti. I took a picture of my crude sketch and sent it to our graphic designer in Houston. It felt good to engage that visual part of my brain instead of working exclusively with words as I usually do.

I had an appointment to view a potential apartment last night. It wasn't suitable, but we'll look at another one on Thursday.

On the way back home I hopped on the subway for a single stop and I ran into Bellatrix, someone I used to play with back in the kink scene years ago. She was my first play partner; I’ve really only had three. We had a 30-second catch-up as the train pulled into my stop and I got off, but we exchanged texts later since she hasn’t changed her number. It’s amazing how small this city can feel at times. And I guess it’s also an indication of how long I’ve been here and the number of people who have crossed my path.

Natalia came over shortly after I got home and we had a good catch-up. We baked chocolate chip brownies and watched three episodes of Downton Abbey. The Bates-Anna climax caused a lot of tears – that show is so manipulative! I guess that’s why we love it.

Monday night was a special anti-Valentine’s Day version of Shotz called Shotz! Through the Heart (which starts that Bon Jovi song going in my head). Each play featured a breakup, the line “Are we really going to do this?” and a slap. Katie B met me at home and we went down together, running into Kacey and Becker at the corner a block away from the theater. It was a surprisingly empty theater, probably because it was moved from its usual first Monday to the second Monday.

All the performances were wonderful – the opening play was a couple breaking up in a restaurant with a mysteriously informed waitress who isn’t what she appears to be. I liked one where five performers took turns saying lines from breakups in a fugue (one of them slapped himself) and a really funny one involving a metaphorical angel and devil shouting in the ears of a couple going through a difficult time. There was lots of physical comedy (including going topless) in the last skit about a trio of musicians breaking up the band. Breakups aren’t easy when you’re going through them, but they do make good fodder for art – they are, after all, the flip side of falling in love.

After Shotz, Kacey and Becker had to go home so we didn’t go out as we usually do. I walked Katie back to the subway and was two stops going home when I realized that Monday night was the 7th anniversary party for Poly Cocktails. I jumped off the train and turned around to get to the Delancey, the bar where we’re doing PC these days.

The place was packed and jumping – I usually go to PC early and leave early, so it’s been a while since I’ve been in such a crowd. I saw so many of my women’s group friends and their spouses and partners, and that was a comfort. I literally couldn’t take five steps in any direction without seeing someone I knew. I had a good catch-up with Jeremy, who is changing careers in IT and moving to Boston for a few weeks for training. I introduced Kat to O Man since she has a lead on a new venue for Poly Cocktails and they’re now Facebook friends. I talked to Diana about a media interview I’m working on for OLNY. I saw Stella, Roo and Andy (who is, of course, a host at PC). A couple people who saw me preside over last month’s OLNY meeting came up and said hello.

Frankly, it kind of felt like I was attending my own wedding. It got to be a little overwhelming so I stopped moving and just hung out with my women’s group for a while, talking at length with Sabrina about the growth of our group and how we might manage it in the future. She wants to host the next unscheduled meeting in April, so hopefully I won’t get lost again this time going out to Forest Hills.

Miracle of miracles, we are actually arriving to Princeton Junction on time, so it’s time to wrap this up. Last thing I’ll say is that I’m making a new mix of music for Katie, something I’ll show her next time we’re in the apartment. It’s a story of the connections between the 80s pop duo Tears for Fears; their songwriting collaborator, solo folk artist Nicky Holland; their frequent vocal collaborator, Oleta Adams; with a little of the Ella and Louis album sprinkled in. Eventually I’ll put together a CD of all the songs I’ve played for her – a soundtrack for the story of how we spend time together.