Keeping my head above water meant attending a much-hated yoga class. At the beginning of every class, Teacher always played something woo-woo to lull us into thinking we would be enjoying ourselves for the next hour. Mostly it was a lot of acoustic guitars and young women’s lilting voices singing love problems that happen when you are 24.
But today, instead of young angst, a solo piano rendition of Clair de Lune by Debussy slammed me against the wall.
I was suddenly back in a minefield packed with the millions of years I spent as a child wandering around the house listening to Florence break the heart of her piano. Until I fled at 15 to another home, I listened to her play this piece repeatedly.
I hated this piece more than I hated yoga. It was the essence of reminiscing about the time you had hope that love might work out. Those kinds of memories are like drowning in the worst of sorrow and disappointment at your life.
Teacher began the usual bla bla bla-guidance about spiritual this and intention that. But, in this class of 40 or 50 people where I was the only student over the age of 24, all I could see, hear and feel was Florence the young girl and Florence the young mother and Florence the old woman playing all this hope for love she never got to have.
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.