Monday, November 19, 2007

Lost in Translation

Last night I went to see my friend Lucy’s dance performance in this communist looking community center in the Lower East Side. As much as I pretend to be artsy, I don’t really know anything about dance, but was impressed that Lucy pulled off such a great “show.” In a lot of ways watching her performance was kind of like watching a movie in another language. I really had no idea what was going on, but could kind of figure out the story’s general premise with the few tools I did have: the lights, the music and the dancers’ expressions.

I know Lucy from Skidmore and wasn’t at all surprised that I recognized a number of people in the audience. Some graduated before me and other arrived long after I left, but they all seemed to mash into one big mutt of familiar faces, kind of like a background shot from an episode of The Simpsons.

After the show I went with a few friends to a BYOB Indian restaurant on 1st avenue and I ate some vegetarian dish that didn’t really fit into any of food groups profiled on the placemats my Mom had on the kitchen table when I was growing up. I’ll probably have indigestion for a week, but it was worth it to hear a song I can only describe as an Indian dance remix of “Happy Birthday” played over the restaurant’s PA. I didn’t really understand what was going on, but then again that was part of the fun.

I was actually only friends with one of the five people at my table when I was in college, but we all managed to find enough common ground to make the evening’s conversation feel natural. It’s strange that in a small micro-community like college there are certain universals…certain people, certain bars…who manage to transcend time and who everyone can relate to/make for of regardless of the year they graduated. At one point I looked over at a group of girls two years younger than me, who I vaguely remember hanging out with in some peripheral circle, but whose names are now lost in the lump of random Phish trivia that consumes most of my short term memory. I’m sure our paths will cross again at some point, either in person or on Facebook, and I’ll be sure to ask their names, but until then it’s nice to know they are somewhere in the backdrop, experiencing the same indigestion I am.

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