It was a late night. Late, on my terms anyway. I like things simple. I like them local. Near home, or preferably at home. But that doesn’t always work out.
An opening, a couple of artists I had interviewed a week earlier, everything was how they had explained it would be, everything was beautiful, as expected - all except for one of the photos, one of The Muxes. I heard a girl ask the gallerist why the glass was shattered on that one. What was the significance? One of the artists stepped in to explain.
"It fell off the wall while we were hanging the show last night, but, you know, it’s part of the show. The glass broke, and now that’s part of the show too."
Then we discovered several cases of wine beneath the refreshment table.
I spoke with an attractive man, he was dark and had a foreign accent. He seemed to like what I had to say, answered my questions. But there was a disconnect - he wanted to express admiration to all the men whose women were spoken for. That included myself as well as my dearest friend who was there with her husband. (Her husband did not appreciate the sentiment. If it had gone on any longer I think there might have been fists.)
Everyone else was eager to get rid of this guy, but I was interested in what he had to say, nothing more than that, but all the same, he talked plenty.
Frankly, I’m interested in what most people have to say.
Talk to me.
Answer my questions.
I will smile. (If only to keep you going.)
I will make you feel important. (And you will give me information, as much as possible. These are the terms.)
At the end of the night, cases of wine depleted, further notes for use on the article, exhausted, conversations achieved, dinner achieved - minus the full trust of the gallerist, (possibly to be pursued at a later date), I refuse the cab.
The company is the best around, no question, and yet any sort of notion of a claustrophobic cab ride seems…. unpleasant. I refuse. It takes some gentle and diplomatic words, but for the first time ever, I refuse.
The train comes quickly and I jump from car to car, getting to the front so I’m closer to my exit when we arrive at my stop.
Finally, so grateful to be close to home, to be at any sort of landmark saying I’ll be home soon… I’m coming home.
All I have left is a short walk. Up the subway steps, and a few blocks home.
(But it’s never that smooth, now, is it?)
The stairs. I had been so graceful earlier. Outside the once-church-now-gallery, white stone steps taken like a fucking ballerina: off the roost, off the step, from the sidewalk, off the post. And right in full view of that sexy-as-hell photographer from Ireland.
That last barrier, just a short flight of steps leading me out of the subway and a few steps from home. But no. I fall. I fall UP the stairs. And a bad fall at that, a leg maiming fall.
Two men gallantly stop to see if I’m alright. I pretend it’s all okay.
"Oh, I’m fine. It’s just… my pride." I tell them, hobbling off.
It’s well early in the morning, or late at night if that’s how you handle business.
I prefer to settle my affairs in my pajamas, coffee in hand.