blood on my face, blood in their eyes

rain.
falls.
hard.
burns.
dry.
a dream.
or a song.
that hits you so hard.
filling you up.
and suddenly gone.
~Midnight Radio

  i. was. the. chosen. one.

in 10 parts.

bah dhum Tsh.

.

for one show.  one night.  on Broadway.

.

what does that mean?!

choose your own adventure: skip to part XI to find out what that means…

Photo Mar 14, 11 51 11 PM

.

part 1

he’s the one

i was set to see the Broadway version of Hedwig again.

this time with John Cameron Mitchell(JCM) himself playing the role.

this time in a front row almost center seat.

ahem.

breathing through the palpitating.

.

part 2

a gift

i was in NYC for an early childhood education conference.  before i left home, i’d been too busy to hand-sew that neck tie i wanted to craft for JCM.

i found a school’s colorful brochure, some wooden coffee stirrers, a small piece of duct tape scavenged from the sound engineer at the conference, and a ball point pen – to make a gift for JCM. i made a mini paper quilt with a story about knees in drawings, words, and photos mashed up – a story quilt of healing from my 2 “damaged/flowing” menisci to his.

JCM is currently wearing a knee brace and has brilliantly hilariously altered the script to integrate his injured and older/wiser status. i am 3 weeks into acute PT for a knee injury that happened 10 years ago…

DSCN3467.

DSCN3463.

DSCN3468

.

part 3

go monastic it’s fucking fantastic

setting the “stage” here. you’ll see: standing in line, i was reading up on 11th & 12th century diaspora of Buddhism from North India into Tibet. and the over-arching shift from more inward study to external icon and ritualized ways Buddhism was made more and more accessible yet distorted for more and more lay persons. why of course i was.

.

part 4

settling-in

ok, so now i’m armed with the gift and my ticket.

i approach my seat and find it situated near halfway underneath the protruding stage flooring. Thank goodness eye level was about one inch (literally-if even) above stage height. otherwise there’d’ve been no view of so much happening up stage…

noticing proximity to the mic stand – i flashback to early 90s Ani Difranco dive bar shows. those days were the last and only times i identified as a fan in the true sense, in that i even could attend multiple shows, follow her around, always smush up to the front center, and get in trouble for getting too close to the star…

oh, i fanatically study and love on many artists and their works. but live shows are my thing. they are what truly help me wake up and identify as a living human. quite a mash-up for my crowd-avoidant-introverted selfhood and performance artist worshipping freakiness. i have not been able to be the live fan for the artists i most deeply admire/melt for…

so here this year i’ve been blessed and privileged and able to move Hedwig from a movie/cd kinda dream place to tangible reality! (whew. tangible. indeed. still giddy-silly-high 4 days later, any moment remembering the physically and socially awkward oh-so public moment.

.

part 5

impartiality

i’m in drag in my hoodie uniform, such as i always am. Audience community builds around my silent space. in my solo attendance, i wonder how much i can let go, cry, sing out-loud, express the way i ugly sob when listening to Wig In A Box or the film soundtrack at home…

i was ready in my anonymity to cry my eyes out, sing outloud etc… express. participate as i just don’t do in context of known others. not that i can’t, i just am quiet like that- energetically, emotionally, physically. of course some of you close family-of-origin and chosen-family members are laughing at me now; you get to see my drama-king-queen sides more easily.

Alone at home i naturally express a wider/fuller repertoire of emotion etc… That’s the kinda agendered asexual recluse i am. Alas, i thought i could i might… i felt a possible freedom this night to let go into the anonymity…

.

Some famous folks sit one seat over to my left – folks i don’t recognize, but everyone’s abuzz as to who they are. The couple to my right has seen Broadway Hedwig 30+ times. Many around have seen each actor portraying Hedwig at least once in the past year’s rock-n-roll-ness. i feel all humble and small and comfortable with my power of casting a leave-me-alone-to-my-experience wall around myself…

The show begins. Time moves. The 4th wall is broken quickly. Those interactive tropes of the show accumulate. Hedwig steps right on top of the head of the neighbor to my left. Spit falls on our half of the front row. A person way over on the house left side of the row receives the carwash. Another from that territory gets pulled up on stage as America’s Next Top Bottom.

It’s cool. It’s all good. i’m not having to fight my i-wanna-be-more-a-part-of-it-all / i-wanna-disappear demons. people are enjoying themselves, becoming more and more a part of it all for this night, this show at least. The energy is all… awakening. full. the sensory overload of such encounters are in the end always enough for me. more than enough. life-enhancing. revitalizing. i just know how i can easily come across as disinterested and disingenuous from the outside.

Yitzhak slays me per usual. Not sure whose pain ever eats me alive more, Hedwig’s or Yitzhak’s. i’ve made eye contact with all the actors and musicians. lovely. It is an intimate wonderful context.

i am not accessing the watery emotions. i am struck at witnessing JCM measure his body/cave, pushing and pulling softening Hedwig’s projection of voice and energy in turns. this is where my experience rests. witnessing the mastery of the artists. Lena Hall’s voice. Yitzhak’s forlorn gaze. ugghhh. i also cache some of this emotional distancing as response to how physically close i am! i can’t take in the whole postural humor and dismantling of identities in the way someone farther back can. i saw it that way the other time i came; of course that wasn’t JCM. but i’m finding my way in, to marvel as a lowly mortal receiving an inestimable gift from JCM/Hedwig hirself and the Angry Inch/Tits of Clay band members themselves!

.

part 6

blood on my face

and.

suddenly.

i. was.

f.ing.
french kissing JCM.
!!!
or.
s/he kissed me?
.
Hedwig seems the only and best time appropriate to ever never use “s/he.”
.
some call it the “triple crown” when they get the carwash, the spit, and the tomato ness.
i did not get the carwash.
i got tomato stains ample. 2 times spit upon.
and…
DSCN3475
.
part 7

I could swear by your expression that pain down in your soul

was the same as the one down in mine.

.

or.

.

part 8

why did s/he choose me?!

  • because i looked like i needed it the most
  • because JCM could see through my self-in-drag-as-self and see my 3rd/4th wave queer post-post-feminist non gendered performance artist self who ritualizes similar disrobing/dismantling of clothing, skin, identities – public bleeding literally – despite my inspirations not being JCM himself but artists he might appreciate: Carolee Schneeman, Karen Finley, James Luna, Annie Sprinkle, Meredith Monk, Diamanda Galas, Mierle Laderman Ukeles, …
  • because…!?
  • because I looked like I needed it the most
as a performance artist myself, i know those choices made precisely particularly to the very present audience of who to play with / off of. some moments it is the waifish needy looking sad case. other moments it is the one who looks willing, brave, open, able… verruh different presences/beingnesses that connect to how i as the performer am even feeling able to cull another’s energy in any given performative moment or exchange. there’s no simple one-way answer. what is not a performative moment? you are performing drag as your self – however you chose to dress/appear today!
.
oh the fantasies of self-importance. how JCM was gonna demand the online ticket seller reveal my email and reach out to me (via clues -that aren’t there- in the gift i handed him). and consult about pedagogy and all things contemplative embodiment. how young children teach us. and how i could support his management of physical and vocal energy. as if he needed such! neverminding that i witnessed him eloquently beautifully fluidly choosing to pull back and push forward with his vocal effort when perfect to do so in the character and story of the moment — and in the real knee pain compromisings i could detect. exquisite.
.
slip into your self-same shaped egomindheartbody mechanism and find those reasons you thinkfeelsayact your ways. you know at least the scape-space inside you, the same as the one down in me… where we keep our deepest sanest thoughtsecrets.
.
part 9
naiveté
i’d no idea what i actually looked like for hours after, as i sat in audience, waited in fandom queue, waltzed through the subway after 1am. i thought i looked freakish with some glitter and sheen all over my visage.
what a laugh, when i saw the bathrrom mirror at the seminary guest house i was abiding. i looked like – just like – i’d been kissed by a drag queen or some such. i looked just like i’d been French kissed by some heavy make-up wearing valkyrie. oh, the smiles and winks i’d exchanged with underground performers and subway folks waiting. i truly thought i just looked more queer/freakish with some sheen and glitter all over my head. inspite, i looked kinda sexual? active? available? or spent?! another layer of the hi.larity of the nightmorning and my ignorance as an asexual freak-thing.
.
dry cracked lips and all the smphwhaauhh marks around.
i’d chewed gritty glitter for hours after the kiss.
this. was. real.
this. happened.
to…
me?!
why?!
because i looked like i needed it the most
.
part 10
blood in their eyes
what still goads me is, 4days later, i still don’t recognize the depth of the laugh that leaves my body, when i remember how suddenly Hedwig’s/JCM’s legs were around me. i didn’t look up. S/he grabs the scruff of my hoodie and pulls me up into her/his face! there was the slightest non-verbal communication of: “Yeah. I mean. you. Yeah. This is happening. Now.” um. there were teeth and tongue and glitter was transferred. TMI. sorry not sorry.
.
i don’t remember opening my eyes until after. Yitzhak is glaring with stabbing defeat into my eyes into my colon. Hedwig is glancing with disappointment and requests Yitzhak to clear tomorrow’s appointments for more disappointments. me being disappointment #1. (i was already raising my finger high in the air – understanding my role in the scheme of things – belatedly remembering this play/line from the summer show…) what a rare true disappointment asexual agendered inexperienced non kisser me must have been for poor JCM! my contemplative lay-monastic Tibetan Tantrika self gritted glitter between my teeth for hours.
.
part XI

what does this mean?!

here’s what i learned about egomindbodymechanism after star-crossed kiss…
what does it mean that JCM chose me to kiss out of the shiney front row of stylized stylish wealthy and famous people that night?
i was seen.
for a moment.
that’s all.
that’s worth a lot.
for one who wishes for invisibility and death frequently.
it was validating.
i exist.
i am corporeal.
lovely.
intimate.
painful.
aching.
ripped apart and sewn together in my ways too.
literally. (which maybe isn’t the case for the hundreds of others JCM’s Broadway Hedwig has kissed and will kiss…)
among the throngs and thongs i’m nothing.
a speck.
tommy speck.
tommy gnosis.
.
part p.s.
i helped Hedwig lose the make-up and become self-knowledge and acceptance of self… or something like that.
and while i was outta town, my school officially shared the news with families and staff that i am leaving my job. whew. heart wrenching sadness.
Photo Mar 14, 11 50 34 PM (1)
.
part psst…
rain.
falls.
hard.
burns.
dry.
a dream.
or a song.
that hits you so hard.
filling you up.
and suddenly gone.
~Midnight Radio
Advertisements

5 Responses to “blood on my face, blood in their eyes”

  1. Kelly P Says:

    O.M.G…best blog ever…! Smiling.

    Suddenly, as I am reading, an elliott-not-elliott thesis presentation quote re-surfaces in my consciousness…”y’all sitting there in drag pretending to be who you think you are…” Smiling.

    And the fact that my son just a few days ago gave me the Hedwig soundtrack to me for my bday, and I stated to my husband that I wanted to go to NYC to see Hedwig on Broadway… Smiling.

    Crazy.

    • embodhiment Says:

      ahhh, my Kelly friend. i see you and your amazing family. Love to you all! …ehem, go see the show! (before April 26 if you can, though i’m interested in Darren Criss too 😉 i cannot listen to the soundtrack in privacy and not cry… bawl… wondering how the music & lyrics land on your heart.
      bowing ever, Kelly,
      you are amazing. doing such incredible work. parenting and teaching… loving and sharing. i see you.
      ever never, elliott

  2. melanie Says:

    i. love. you.

    • embodhiment Says:

      hi! Melanie 🙂 bowing with whole-self yogic love and gratitude. teacher-friend on the path-road-sidewalk (technical terms my 3-yr-old students are currently discerning!) thanks for daring to read the ridiculousness. xoxo

  3. dsloanerider Says:

    Wow… just wow… you are incredible. So grateful to be a witness…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: