Friday, December 25, 2009

Cathedral of Light (for Amanda Palmer)

I woke in a cathedral of light.

Shards of glass surrounded me. It took me a moment to realize they were held together with tar and love and moxie and were not about to crash down around me. As I blinked awake, I computed that they were fashioned into a geodesic dome. Bucky would be proud. I saw blue blue sky and the wave of a nude branch on the horizon. There was no indication where I was, other than high up.

I could have been in a gun turret of a space ship about to land, but no laser was in sight and I didn't think the place was moving, though I personally was spinning a bit. As I measured the dryness of my tongue I surmised that drinking had transpired the night before.

But where?

But it still wasn't clear at all where I was.

Then I remembered, I was on the top floor of a building. The cold slipped through the hundred panes and I felt the reverberations of someone yelling out "Let's have an orgy!" the night before.

I was certainly alone in this geodesic cloud bed, but I think there had been another bed earlier in the evening. It was sometime after that child yelled out "Let's have an orgy!"

It was a fine idea, but no one knew how to go about it really. There was a bit of disrobing and a bit of hooting and hollering. But how does one actually start up an orgy? Can one call it out? Folks were game, but we were no Romans. We didn't know how to begin. I was an elder there, 5 to 10 years older than some, though I knew no one. I was pushing 30, so was lucky they even let me come into their brick palace littered with the detritus of Victorian dreams and garbage heaps. And though I had been to burning man twice, I didn't do any drugs or have any sex while there, much less start or even participate in an orgy (even though I secretly hoped to). So I was little help.

And anyway, there was one demonic lass I had my eye on. The larger crowd was a motley bunch of Bostonian bohemians. That's right! I was in Boston. Where exactly to this day, I still can't tell you, (lord knows how I got home) but I remember Amanda had led me back to this 4-story arts commune after we left Pan 9, the arts collective where we both performed at and where we'd just met.

Amanda. Right. She still had eyebrows then. And a wicked glint in her eye. She'd accompanied herself on the piano, clanging away as she screeched and warbled old Weill tunes auf Deutsch. Not that she didn't have a good voice, but she let herself be beastly - a remarkable act of confidence for any woman of any era. Somehow her rawness made it authentic instead of pretentious. She steeped herself in the culture and she channeled the muse of Weill and frankly kicked Lotte Lenya's ass in the music department.

Hours later, after the confusion of the orgy proclamation subsided, Amanda took me by the hand and led me to her room. After a brief tussle on her bed, it became clear we had greater admiration than attraction for one another and she most pleasantly kicked me out of her disaster lair.

So I climbed heavenward and drank 'til the children went home or passed out in their cubbies downstairs.

And I pulled up a blanket and centered myself beneath the dome, peering at the chilly stars, but never imagining I'd wake to the blaze of light that made this Jew smile a smile I think only a Christian boy on Christmas Day knows otherwise.

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