Saturday, November 1, 2008

The Fitting Room

I just fell asleep in a dressing room. Curtain closed, on the floor, face pressed into a mirror. A ‘power’ nap. A power nap in which a montage of thoughts flickered past, in true film form. (I often see my life in film form, although if my life was a film it would probably go direct to video, and I would be replaced with Mandy Moore in need of indie cred). Flashes of today’s meeting, Monday’s meeting, the appropriate time to wait to call a boy, if said boy is even interested in my calling, how long before I have to get up, questions of why said boy should be calling me, questions of why my stomach still hurts, why I drank, what did I eat, what I should eat, how much more time? Did I set an alarm? How many more hours am I here? What should I wear Monday? What the hell am I wearing today? Perhaps I like that boy, perhaps I don’t, perhaps they’ll take the deal, perhaps they won’t. I hope they take the deal. Why am I not asleep… why am I not- Then finally a hazy in and out. In and- Before European tourists tap on the glass door to rifle through old clothes, equipped with pursedogs and speak as if I am not there.
I am nearly 26. Nearly. I lie about this, say I’m 23. I could be 23. I am moderately attractive, perhaps even more than moderate. (I’m also apparently not modest, and vain). I’m a fairly talented trained actor, a pretty okay writer. A determined person. A type A. I have friends, an apartment. I was student of the month in March of 8th grade. I won 2nd place in the African American Experience Speaking Contest. I make really good guacamole. I graduated with honors from a fake ivy league college. Then why am I in a fetal position in a dressing room. Stealing a half hour of sleep?
When I first moved to New York at 19. My idea of bohemia was beautiful. As a transfer at NYU I thought I would live on miso soup, and easily pay rent on my exposed brick West Village apartment by picking up a few shifts at a local coffee shop. I would be salty, thin, and caffeinated. I would not be rich, but I could easily get by, for New York was the place you could get by. My training would be warm, diligent, and loving. Upon graduation I’d sign with an agency that would easily allow me to audition daily, work, and eventually have a small home in LA, in which I’d spend a few months, and sublet the rest of the year. I’d make a life making art. I would live with my boyfriend a tallish writer/director/actor/musician/something who wore ironic rimmed glasses. We would take Saturday mornings and split the New York times at an outdoor café while walking our dog. We would buy produce at the farmers market, and place tea roses on our table before heading out to our friend’s latest opening in Chelsea. After which we would sleep in, and awake to npr and whole wheat pancakes . I would float from project to project, projects I enjoyed, the occasional one I didn’t, and actually have days off. Days I could sit in a park, window shop (maybe even buy), or go to museums. Days to read,write scripts in cafes. Days that were mine.
Currently my time is borrowed. Even these various sentences I type, as a shopgirl in between customers. Plays get written in between Italians trying on furs, and teenagers looking for perfect prom dresses. This is my weekend. Weeks are on call for auditions, that seem more infrequent by the day, and running around trying to rent homes to restless new Yorkers, who always think they should be getting more. The truth of New York is everyone should be getting more, but there isn’t enough more to go around. I practice yoga, I schedule it in between the waiting, and find myself in downward dog thinking about voice messages. I’ve found my own meditation, a being in the moment due to efficiency and lack of energy to be anywhere else. Multitasking yet presence in each task… ok attempt at presence in each task.
This is my bohemia. A half hour that’s mine on the floor of a dressing room.
I’m holding out for the weekend. It'll come.

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