Hadn't really been back at the Y on 14th Street since that time my new bikini top came off in the pool in front of the boy I had a crush on.
I think I was 13 but it was so traumatic I didn't cross that threshold until I was in my thirties. All the theater shows I had done, all the friends I had made, all the volunteering I had done through their volunteering office, all the babysitting jobs I had gotten from posting my name and number on their community bulletin board... left behind in the burning shame only a teenage girl could sear into herself, blaming herself for straps manufactured for different shoulders.
But time does heal some wounds and recent events necessitated me and the Mariner joining the Y for the many classes and wonderful gym and better hours and that pool where me and my very young titties had popped out so long ago.
There were delightful surprises when I returned to the scene of my youthful disaster and ensuing departure. Wonderful neighbors jumping around in dance class, being the youngest in yoga classes and a landscape of bodies where for only the second time in my life I fit in.
However, a little surprise I never could have imaged awaited me in the room where at 13 during some teenage theater show I had sung a heartfelt song about wanting to be wanted just the way I was.
From the corner where I'd make my big entrance was a little sign making sure the little kids who attended my old grade school, so much younger than 13 for sure, knew where to hang their little coats and their over-packed knapsacks.
MY PRIVATE CONEY presents IT WAS HER NEW YORK, the short stories that accompany the work-in-progress video and photo collection of the same name (myprivateconey.com - media link - IT WAS HER NEW YORK). The stories and the media explore the tender rubble that holds both my mother, Florence's and New York's soul as one disappears into old age and the other into gentrification. All are real observations and/or experiences with very little tall-tale telling.
Except when it makes the story better.
Please visit myprivateconey.com for additional information and sample works.