Alien

by stargayzer3000

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My mind keeps looping back to seeing her in that chair, watching the dance show (A dance show! Of all things. A wonderfully weird one at that). I was sitting in a high chair at the back of a cluster of seats – the seating designated an octagonal stage area with big exit corridors that the dancers kept leaving and entering through. There she was, sitting cross legged and content in her beige suede overcoat, tousled blonde layered curls and fancy boots. I was between S and M and I kept saying to S that’s her that’s her and S said that’s not her and I said yes it is you shouldn’t doubt me on these things and it went back and forth like this in the meaningless way that she and I usually converse unless we’re reminding each other how much we love each other, which is meaningful and also true. I didn’t bother to get into it with M because she never recognizes any of those people.

I mean really what the fuck was she doing at that show. It was the definition of incongruity. Did she know the choreographer? One of the dancers? How how how. I sound insistent now but at the time the question was held more gently, like a reminder you give yourself while walking around your apartment in the morning to not forget your keys. Her face is smaller in person. It always seems so wide on screen but maybe her co-stars have teeny tiny narrow faces. She’s very pretty, much prettier than I’d have expected but maybe with the way they vamp her up and the way she preens on the series and the movies I never thought that in person she’d look so very comfortable in her own skin. Surprisingly affable and down to earth. Oh whatever I’m going on like it’s so shocking but she is a fucking actress for god’s sakes. During the first few moments of the show she smiled generously but later her expression changed into something less legible. Was she confused, annoyed, cagey, what. I think the show had a lot of people going through those feelings. I had completely surrendered to it pretty much right away, loving its alien ritual strangeness and total detachment from any apparent need to be contemporary or marketable. K didn’t project a need to be on display even though she was in the front row of the circle and very visible to most of the room. For large swaths of time I happily forgot she was there as I thought about space, alien abduction (the joyous kind I fantasize about where you get to go up and come back and it’s all good the whole time), the future, hybrid mechanical-organic forests, composition and decomposition, priestesses, how perfect it was that the piece was being performed in a church, how beautifully my friends were dancing, how a couple of them are mothers, how nice it was to see grown-ups dancing. I felt very happy and unencumbered and intrigued by how unpredictably everything unfolded in the piece. I tried to avoid looking at my students for fear of getting caught up in whether or not they were enjoying themselves, but at one point one of them looked at me and just shrugged and threw up his hands as if to say, yeah I don’t know what the fuck we’re looking at, which for me is precisely what tells me it’s a good show.

After the performance I lingered for a long time saying hi to people. I’d been out of town for a while so it was nice to be social and get filled up with love and familiarity. I repeated to my friend look it’s her and she finally relented, oh yeah, maybe it is her, which was as close to a concession as I was ever gonna get.

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