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  1. Unprepared vs. Prepared

    Tuesday, October 8, 2013

    Put your hand down, Mindy, I told myself.  What if he invites you to come up on stage to do your monologue?  You can't even say hello.  You pulled your teeth out when you went home for lunch after class, and you left them in the bathroom.  Here, you could make the acquaintance of Chazz Palminteri and let him hear your genuine Bronx accent, but you fuckin' left your teeth at home. 
    Sooo angry at myself, I tried to sit back and enjoy the rest of his talk at Lehman College in the Bronx.  He's a Bronx man, author of A Bronx Tale, and the actor who played Sonny in it.  He spoke of his life and career.  He even did a few minutes of the original one-man show from back when he was work-shopping it.  He was patient with college students' questions, allowing people to feel free to ask all kinds of things.  I was one of the few non-student members of the college community attending.
    When he spoke of being prepared for when an opportunity presents itself, he asked who here had a monologue prepared.  Simply answering the question, I and a few others raised our hands.  That was when my tongue ran over my gums.  Oh fuck, Mindy, put your hand down.  What if he invites you up there to perform it.  You can't let him remember you this way.  How could you not have foreseen a possible meeting?  Oh, Mindy.  Dammit.
    I sat and watched as he gave two young men the opportunity to perform up to a minute of a monologue.  They sounded okay, way less experienced than I, but were given credit for being prepared.  I could have cried, but I felt more steaming at myself.  I believe my Bronx accent would've felt like home to him.  My monologue is from the Vagina Monologues, and I think he would've loved it.  Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.
    Woulda coulda shoulda.  That was a fucking hard lesson.  Now I keep the teeth replacements in my bag when I need a break from them.  (I do hope that the more permanent replacements, which I will be getting soon, feel more comfortable.)
    And now an uplifting moment from the neighborhood that wouldn't have happened without what came to be known as feminism (ya know, that radical notion that women are people):
    I was walking up Bedford Park in the Bronx when I saw a woman complaining to a man, "Now my fuckin' hair is messed up!" 
    I didn't see what happened before, but from her tone, I thought that she felt he had messed it up. 
    He was insisting, "It isn't messed up." 
    As I walked near them, he addressed me.  "Do you think her hair is messed up?" 
    She looked like she'd be upset with either answer as I would be in her shoes.  I cut to the real issue.  "It's only what she thinks that matters." 
    "Thank you, Mami.  Thank you so much," she said after she got past her surprise.  Her gratitude warmed me like a hug.
    I could feel the weight lifted off her chest as she had her power back. 
    He laughed.  He really did seem to find this twist of events very funny.  His laughter was genuine though I was not at all joking.
    I don't know if he got it.  The important thing was she did.

  2. 3 comments:

    1. Anonymous said...

      Great one, Mindy!

    2. RHC said...

      We do the best we can & keep getting up! At least that's what I'm saying this week...

    3. Thanks people. I did end up writing a poem about the incident in the neighborhood because, like a thin slice of rich cake, it had so much in those few seconds.

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