April 23, 2012 § Leave a comment
The Life Of Walsh Episode: 104
The career of a dancer is often short. The dance industry is like a silver fox looking for a second wife, they like ’em young and limber. (Ew, TIB, why would you say that?!) It’s true. As a collegiate dancer, you know this. You’ve been given the lecture. You’ve done the math. You’ve looked at your ass. You know it’s not going to be perky forever. Which is precisely why when I was 20 I spent a few months in NYC testing out the scene. I had an internship at Broadway Dance Center where I worked for a summer slaving salads and smoothies in exchange for classes, seeing if I could hack it in the dance world.
I’ll save you the suspense… I couldn’t. But my young small town eyes were opened wide this summer. I threw myself in the middle of my first metropolis and asked big ol’ New York to give me her best shot. I was debating which story to tell you first, so I’ll just start at the beginning.
I came from Michigan State, my roommate who we will call Sweaty Legs (because after a hearty warm-up in the NY humidity… watch out), she went to U of M. You know, rivals. We were set up by the internship program. I think we met once while we were still in Michigan, but I can’t be sure.
We sublet a room on the sort of bad part of the upper west side from a woman the Dance Center matched us with. I think she taught literature at a City College. First, she had a mullet. Second, she didn’t shave her armpits. Third, she watched endless hours of the SciFi Channel. Fourth, she constantly had a glass of red wine in her hand.
We arrived eager, wanting to throw down our stuff and get out there. Sweaty Legs and I had really never met but had the automatic trust of kinder-gardeners, picking out our debut big city outfits for our first adventure. Then SciFi Mullet Lady then dropped the bomb. We were really subletting her bedroom, and she was going to sleep on the couch for three months. What? Yes. And that meant two strangers, one bed. Too distracted by the city to deal with this issue, we decided to figure it out later and went out exploring.
Not steps out of the subway, a bird shit on me. Then we crossed three avenues on foot to meet her friend downtown for drinks. Avenues are long in heels, lesson learned. On that walk we crafted the plan to get an air mattress and a cab back. Then we headed uptown for more drinks with my friend. That’s when we realized how expensive the city was. We met a foreign fellow who told us if you didn’t make eye contact with everyone who was toasting, it was seven years bad sex. There were a lot of toasts because he was buying and as a result we decided we didn’t have the money for an air mattress and it was a big bed so we’d just share it.
It was a big bed and we were small people. So for three months, her and I shared a bed. Don’t get excited, it was platonic. Still to this day, best first day in any city I’ve ever been. And Sweaty Legs and I are still dear friends.