Monday, May 19, 2014

The most beautiful thing in the world

I had a beautiful 24 hours with Puck, the closest to a perfect day I've had in several years. Our friends Diana and Ed were celebrating their life commitment Saturday night so I volunteered to make some canapes. Puck was coming into the city with Adele to see Cabaret, starring Alan Cumming and Michelle Williams. Puck and I were also preparing for Sunday’s day-long date they gifted me as a New Year’s present.

Saturday I went down to Chinatown to buy ingredients for Diana's event and Sunday’s dinner. I had decided to make Lincoln Logs for the party, a recipe I’d created for my Oscar Party 2013 (a pun on Spielberg’s Best Picture nominated presidential biopic), which are Chinese sausages and green onions on toothpicks, dipped in hoisin sauce, a plum-based savory Chinese sauce.

Diana and Ed’s party was at the Gemini & Scorpio loft in Brooklyn, a large room with a stage, an outdoor rooftop patio and a playpen about the size of two queen-size beds for cuddling. The program started with some ecstatic dance and then the couple was brought to the center of the room in a tantric position and many of us took turns saying blessings over them and sprinkling them with rose petals. Puck had the honor of the first words; I delivered the penultimate blessing. Mine went something like this:

"Ed and Diana, you both inspire all of us, and your love is an inspiration to the world. And whether you are a scientist, a mystic, or a poet, love is the most important and beautiful thing in the world. Thank you for sharing your love with this community."

There were about 100 people at the celebration, and I really admire what Diana and Ed have done with their community of polys, burners, kinksters, queers, artists, activists and many other groups. Their family and community is so much larger than mine, but I'm happy to be a part of it. I build my community on a much smaller scale, but then I haven't been at it for very long.

After all the blessings there was a series of performance art with storytelling, rapping, singing and poetry reading (including Puck’s performance of their love poem, “They Set Fires”). After that it was DJs and dancing until 4 am, but we left shortly after the performances since we had a big day planned for Sunday.

Sunday we woke up and headed down Broadway to try our luck at the ticket lotteries. We had a plan to try for three different lotteries back to back to back - Kinky Boots, Matilda and If/Then - but we ended up winning at Kinky Boots right off the bat! In fact, they drew every name entered because they had so many lottery tickets ($37 each) available, which is a far cry from the last time we tried the lottery with Perri and Katie B. I guess the show has dwindled in popularity, and it was a beautiful Sunday afternoon, so people probably wanted to be outside. So we didn't need to spend very much time at all drawing lotteries, meaning we could take the rest of the day at a leisurely pace.

While we waited for the show to start, we walked down to 34th Street so I could shop for some white sneakers for summer. After visiting three stores without success, we were headed back up to the Ninth Avenue Food Festival to grab a bite when we found the right pair at a Payless Shoes along the way. It's rather funny thinking back on it, because Kinky Boots is about the underserved niche market of drag queens needing footwear. Finding size 12 and 13 women's shoes in most shoe stores is a quixotic task.

Our seats were partially obstructed view, but they were in the boxes, so they were really good - better than the ones I got for rush tickets when Liz and I went last year. Here's the view we had: 

I think because of the better view, I was much more emotionally engaged this time than the first time I saw the play with Liz. The climactic scenes brought me to tears and I enjoyed everything about the play more, with the exception of the recasting of the role of Lauren, which was played by Annaleigh Ashford to great comedic effect in the original cast.

After the play, we went to the grocery store to get some more ingredients for dinner and we ran into our friend Dave on the street - he's recently moved from Roosevelt Island into his own place in Hell's Kitchen. He says it's hard being an adult, but I guess we all have to get there someday. What are the odds of us running into someone we both know?

After dropping off our groceries, we picked up a few things for a picnic in Central Park. We entered at 92nd Street and found a nice patch of grass near the reservoir, spread out a blanket, had a bite and started taking turns reading Roald Dahl's "Matilda." As the sun started to go down, we walked through the park and got on the subway at 86th Street to head back to TSMC.

Puck made a dinner of lamb and sweet potato curry stew and couscous, and we took turns giving each other massages with lavender oil as the stew simmered on the stove. We had dinner and watched Matthew Bourne's reimagination of Tchaikovsky's ballet Sleeping Beauty (with vampires!) on PBS Great Performances that I've been saving on my DVR. Puck has been taking ballet this semester so it was an opportune time to watch it together.

All in all, this was about the most fun-filled weekend I've had in a long time. Puck had even more excitement than I did, seeing two musical shows in two days with two of their favorite people (I'm presuming). Now I have a quick two-day work week before I take off Wednesday through Tuesday for graduation ceremonies and the Memorial Day holiday!