I didn’t post my last entry because it’s just me being homesick and worried, and frustrated that it’s the weekend and no jobs happen then. I was freaking out because my agent sent my resume to her other big law firm client and I’d already sent on in! Stupid of me, I was sending so many at once for the last three weeks I was in Michigan. I felt like I was “in trouble” like a ten-year-old. And I felt guilty, because she’s done a lot for me. So on Saturday I was stewing in a pot of ineffectiveness.
OMG. Let me tell you about Frank Williams. For those of you who know me through Sindecuse he is the handsome young man in the first Sindecuse Promotional Video that I ever did. He has been absolutely awesome for me here in NYC. When I visited in May he came to see me not once, but twice, and kept me company neighborhood shopping in Riverdale. He is creative, and talented, and beautiful, and a wonderful soul. (Yes, I know he’ll probably read this, but I do really mean it and I want to sing his praises!)
Anyway, we hadn’t been able to connect all week with one mood or another, so on Sunday he invited me to the parade. He told me he had an extra “ticket” and that he’d be riding a float. I had no idea what that meant, but after the doldrums of Saturday I knew I needed to get out and go on an adventure.
We were supposed to meet at 2:00pm at an address in Midtown. I got there early, shopping a bit on my way. Then I ate a quick lunch at the restaurant on the site. Kicking myself because when I got up to walk around while waiting there were much cheaper options just a bit further down the block. Ah well.
I found the place where people were meeting. There was a young man checking people in, there were “paparazzi” coming and going, there was dance music playing in the back, and there were several scantily clad young men coming and going. I waited outside for Frank. Finally, he showed up with his boo*, and we went inside. Can I tell you I felt VERY out of place! I had bought a couple of rainbow bandanas and had one tied around my neck and another on the handle of my purse, but my inside was screeching “old lady”! This was a young crowd. I told Frank I was hoping there’d be some older bears I could hang out with, but he wasn’t having it.
Frank is following his dreams of making reality TV. We huddled in a corner while he assembled his fancy camera and microphone. Desperate to have a purpose, I untangled his microphone which he then told me to put in front of people and get them to exclaim about Pride. At least that’s what I think he told me to do. It was loud. I was SOOO outside of my comfort zone. Not for the people, but for the crowds of people, but mostly the noise, the music. But I came to NYC to LIVE and experience, so I was determined to stay and appreciate every moment.
The place was a gathering spot for Impulse, a group concerned with safe sex. Right up my alley! I followed Frank around as he shot pics of some truly fabulous people and outfits! People were drinking “punch” and having a great time. Finally, around 3:15 we lined up at the door and got ready to march to our staging spot. A young man in front of me overheard me saying I didn’t know how long I would stick with the parade and promised to “carry me over the finish line” to make sure I did the whole experience. Sweet.
One of the organizers reminded the crowd one last time that there was to be no lower half nudity. And then we were off. The door opened and we took off into the bright sunlight marching down West 30th street to 8th Avenue. This wasn’t the real march, we were heading to the staging place. As we got closer we came across other marchers and other groups. One was holding up signs against wristbands. I had a wristband. I don’t really know the history, but I suppose the Pride Parade has been open to all in the past and this year it required wrist bands for entry to the March. The wristband was the ticket that Frank had referenced and although free, he had reserved the spot.
At 17th street we were allowed past metal gates (so were the protesters w/o wristbands), and we made our way to a double-decker bus. Frank, me and his boo* scrambled right to the top to get a good view. He was taking pictures, and I was watching everything, excited to be part of the event but definitely feeling like an imposter. We met Frank’s friends, one of whom was a smidge older than me, but OMG could I look that good. We then stood there on top of the bus, jostling for cooler space (the rails), for about two hours. The bus started blaring music and everybody started dancing – and when I say dancing I mean twerking – and laughing and drinking and it was so filled with joy even I couldn’t help but get caught up in the moment. I was hot, I was thirsty, Frank checked in on me a few times and I told him I was thirsty but I was nervous about leaving the bus in search of water and getting left behind. The truth was I felt like I had to stick close to him and his friends or lose my place in this different world. By myself, I didn’t belong, but with him I was his “publicist”! Gallant Frank found me water, though, and passed it over. Lifesaver!
The bus started moving to great excitement, although it only traveled about half a block. Groups of other organizations were coming up behind us on 17th street and passing to join the parade on 7th avenue. The Gay Man’s Chorus passed, and waved. I was a little sorry to miss their routine, which I could see them performing further down the line. Several athletic organizations passed, proclaiming “anyone can play!” United Airlines passed us by, and that made me think of Bruce, who works for Delta – and sure enough I found out later he was there, just on another street. (Although half of his handsome face was on the MSN webpage this morning!)
We finally joined the parade at 7th Avenue. I figured out from there that each cross street was a staging place for a number of different organizations and they were all feeding into 7th Ave bit by bit. Once we were in the route it didn’t really get raucous with the crowds until we were closer to the village!
It was such a glorious occasion! So much joy, and celebration on a scale I’ve never seen. There was a fantastic sense of play! Most holidays or parades seem perfunctory celebrations to me. I usually avoid them. But Pride is just that, it’s the joy in overcoming. Talking with Frank’s friend, while waiting, we compared experiences. So many people live an unexamined life. The sort that’s not worth living. But if you face any form of adversity, knowing something about you doesn’t fit at an early age, whether it be the color of your skin, you size, your sexuality – knowing that you’re different and that it is somehow considered wrong, so you must hide it, learn to navigate your every breathing moment: well then, every moment is truly examined and richer for it. This was a parade of people who have examined every moment of their lives and loudly proclaimed their value. HOORAH!
I made it until about 7:00pm. Standing is a lot harder for me than walking, it hurts my knee, it makes my feet swell. When we got to Christopher Street I bailed, and they all went on without me. I blew kisses at Frank and Boo*, and made my way home, footsore but satisfied.
At the apartment the roommate told me that her friend would take the place August 1st, so I have to move a little earlier than I’d planned, but I understand – a bird in the hand. They want someone who can sign a 12-month lease rather than risk having no one in September. I get to keep all the furniture though, so that’s a bonus!
I shared with her my anxiety about nothing moving on the weekend and waiting to hear about this job. After lots of commiseration I retired, checked my phone and the agent had called! The law firm I tested at on Wednesday now wants me back to test again. Hmmm. They did tell her (the agent) that I did great on Word (I knew it, but I was second-guessing a hard return or two) and wanted to know if I knew PowerPoint. This is kind of weird because I tested on PPT for them on Wednesday, too, and there was one tiny little thing I didn’t know how to do. Also, they want me to redo Excel – which is the one I didn’t know how to do. So. I’m now waiting for a new appointment to go back and take these tests. I’ve been upping my skills all day and I’m ready for them. I am really hoping to meet someone with hiring authority in person because everyone seems to insist it’s my personality that will nail it. Frank’s Boo* was especially sweet saying this to me.
In the meantime, my feet are swollen and sore today, but I have found walking helps. My quest was to find larger bottles of wine (!!) and I made my way over to the East side today. I don’t think I’ve ever ridden the B/D trains in all my past lives in NYC, but it’s close to my apartment so I’m figuring them out. Here’s an example of the advantage of knowing where you’re going. When I got off the E at Lexington and 53rd I didn’t follow the obviously knowledgeable woman in front of me but directly took the stairs. On the next landing I realized that by doing so I had started a commitment of six flights up to the ground. Yes, I could have turned back and found the escalator which ran tantalizingly next to the stairwell, but I challenged myself and did it. Making sure to find the right way back.
*I don’t know Frank’s friends well enough to know if they would mind being named in my notes here, that’s why I didn’t name them.