Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Cold Cafe

It was so cold. Like every day. Grey and cold and if you turned the wrong way, a vicious slash would slap you across the face. But she went out without a hat because it was now April.

It was her first year in Berlin. So many things here were a first. The roommates. The language. The change in her career. But she was fine with it all, nomadic and adapting. The only thing that rankled was the lack of a man. The cold weather was bringing it on, this need for a warm body to press up and into.

She was exploring streets. She’d heard of a café and found it quite near to where she liked to go. It was small and the coffee was as good as they’d said. She sat facing the wall near the door, reading. 

Two women and a man entered. One woman was older, perhaps her age. The other, young, and the man was probably hers. He was lovely and they spoke French.

She observed, as she does, rating his beauty over her coffee and book. He didn’t appear to notice.

The café was so tiny that there was no room. They decided to go and the women went first. She took off her glasses, in a gesture familiar to herself… a prelude to flirting. He noticed and then she knew that he had noticed her before. They saw each other and as he let the two women leave, he looked into her eyes and gave her a complicit smile before he too was gone.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Notes From a Sea Turtle

she weighs something
yet floats
buoyed by the water

she quests..
moving around rocks
and carried
by currents

at times she rests
on the ocean floor
as fish scurry by, busy

she loves the manta rays
the octopi
the bigger breeds...
they go on their way
in a certain rhythm
balanced by their arms,
these appendages
that make them as amphibious
as she
even when they don't arrive on shore

on the sand
out of water
she is not
as convinced...
she feels vulnerable
more apt to
pull her head into her shell
and wait
until the tide of voluntude
pulls her back in
to her element

Speak the Truth

speak the truth...
say the simple thing
don't say something else 
just because
you're shy about 
the real expression

with honesty
and innocense

give others permission
to do the same

say the first thing
that comes to heart, 
not mind...

Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Song to Love’s Door

It was a very hot night and I couldn’t sleep. I hadn’t seen my boyfriend in several weeks, as we had decided to take a break after a bad fight. I was in a strange town, feeling lonely in the efforts to regain my self again, not being able to shake the strange sensation of singleness after being a part of a couple for so long.

I had work to do in this town, which was strong and good medicine for me, as it always is. Physical and engaging, teaching dance has always helped me focus and find my way back to center, corporally, psychologically, and spiritually. My days healed me, but the nights left me raw. 

Just before dawn I decided to leave my hotel to walk, to feel my body in space, to try to stop my thoughts and the constant beat of my heartache. There was a sliver moon still,  and I took to the street, not knowing where I was going but needing to wander. A church spire was there for the orienting if I needed it, and the town was small enough to keep me contained. I wanted to get lost, but not entirely.

There was a tune in my head that kept my thoughts away from my boyfriend and the dark sensation that this might truly be our final end. I focused on the wordless song, not knowing where it came from. It was a sort of folk melody, and I had no idea how it entered, seeping through my pores to calm me and create a rhythm for my walking.

Up ahead a cafe had just opened, and I walked inside. Sitting at a little table, I was the only one there. A woman came out, I ordered, and she brought me my tea. She then disappeared into the back where she turned on the radio, and the song that had been in my head began to play. I asked her what it was and she said she’d never heard it before.

I walked back to my hotel with this tune playing itself over and over throughout my body. I slept and when I awoke, the phone was ringing. It was my boyfriend, saying he’d heard a song that day that felt like it was coming from me, that he loved me, and that he wanted to follow the music to my door. When I asked him what the song was… 

Friday, November 16, 2012

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


She had no idea that she was beautiful.  Ripe, with the glow from twenty-three year old hormones that were swirling and dancing throughout her system like dust caught in a golden sun. 

She was taking the train from London to Paris after arriving from New York.  It was 1973 and the fast train was in the planning stage, still not built and not to be built until 1986.  She was off to Paris to meet her lover whom she had met through a college friend. 

Her lover had moved to Paris to set up a life for them there.  He had left the year before and they had sent fervent telegrams back and forth, long distance calls that couldn’t end, and numerous trips back and forth when the yearning became too much.  She was coming to him against her father, liberated and flying forward in a rebellious ecstasy.  They had money.  Her lover’s dead father had left him a small inheritance that they would consume in a year. 

She was guided onto the train by a porter who carried her two heavy suitcases. She found her seat, and was instantly noticed by a number of excited men whom she ignored.  She turned to the window, brimming, burning, knowing that this journey was to take her into a next future that would reinforce the way she wanted to live. 

A man entered and sat opposite her.  A seemingly quiet man.  Elegant, handsome, monied.  Quite older, but so attractive.  She was never interested in older men, so it was only an observation.  But he caught her looking at him and placed his blue eyes on her like a man, not the boys she was used to. 

She read to avoid him, but he was intoxicated and couldn’t stop himself from drinking her in.  There was a palpable tension in the compartment until he asked her if she was hungry and if he could treat her to a meal in the dining car.  She was hungry and curious, and it was good to break the silence, so she agreed.

He wore an exquisitely cut steel gray suit.  She wore a blue dress, slightly off one shoulder, and high beige heels.  His hair was cut impeccably.  Her hair was a wild blonde gypsy-burst around her head and shoulders.  The dining car was in first class.

They ate and talked.  He asked many questions and she was flattered, flushed, young, a blossom to him.  He became awkward, stricken by her unconscious allure… the scent of promise, the deep fragrance of hope and possibility.

They went back to their seats, she, shaking a bit in her high heels, slightly drunk from the crisp white wine and self-conscious, realizing her power and not having the grace of experience to support it.

She dozed in her seat over her book.  The man read his paper, attentive to her, watching and remembering his youth.  He breathed in the scent of her and it hurt.

They arrived at the Gare du Nord.  She was to stay with a friend of a friend as her lover was out of town until the next day.  The man offered to help her with the taxi, and she accepted. 

They arrived at the building and were buzzed in.  It was a walkup, with steep stairs.  Gallant and expectant and wanting to be with her until the last, the man took the suitcases and they began the journey up to the waiting apartment.  It was on the forth landing that he began to feel faint.  His heart was beating too hard.  The feeling in his right arm was fading until he felt the sharp pain leading from it to the center of his body.  In panic she ran up to the apartment for help.  He was gasping for breath. 

It took her so many years to realize the cost of her allure.  That the trail of her scent could kill a man. 

But he didn’t die.  His wife was called and he was rushed to a nearby hospital.  He went alone in the ambulance.  He had just been helping a tourist who didn’t know Paris.  His wife would understand.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

I am a Turtle

Its always the beginning that is different, and even when disguised by excitement of the new and fresh, it challenges.

Adjustments to having no root, even in the face of being the Turtle, where everything I need is here, beneath my shell. And this shell, not hard to penetrate, but instead welcoming, inviting new friends in, new loves, new sensations.

But I am the newcomer and even if the people around seem welcoming, there is history to be made here, and this comes to haunt late at night when alone in a tiny bedroom in a house that isn't mine and in a land where there are no known references to pull from.

And so a sudden nostalgia. Things back home look delicious and much more favorable. That little brownstone pad in Brooklyn with a local cafe around the corner, and good friends just a phone call or a subway ride away. This, even knowing that I'm going to give this new city in another country a real shot.

Plans. Not just to find another place to live here, one where I have more autonomy in the space, but also plans for Thailand, an escape from my first winter in Berlin. Having a dear friend with whom to plan and take this journey softens all, but there is still, of course, this sensation of being the blown dandelion puff... floating in the wind, weightless.

Its a sensation I've drawn in. I wanted it. I wanted to be "blissfully homeless" for a while, and of course there is a price. But its not a bad price. I'm free. I have only a few things, and in Thailand I will have even less. I have a job, dance studios that want me to teach, new friends around to grow relationships with... a different feeling than when I arrived in Buenos Aires years ago, in love and not knowing what aches I was in for before I built myself new.

Now I am a turtle. A sea turtle, using the water to find my way around obstacles, managing myself in this element to circumvents rock and sunken ships, navigating towards a new idea of home.