Monday, 17 September 2007

An Angel

This is the story about my subway ride home on Friday night. The first part is a funny anecdote and the second part is the meat of the story:

So I wandered/tottered, ecstatic, into the subway near where my friend Raia lives; it was about three in the morning and I have to confess to some problems with my Metrocard. But eventually I made it through the revolving gates (everything in fucking New York City REVOLVES), and as I walked in, three very disgruntled Frenchmen walked out: 'Well,' they said, 'you can wait but ze train eez not goeeng to come.' They obviously thought that America sucked. They were right in many ways, but wrong in a very crucial one, because five minutes later, the train came! & I got on.

Somewhere in the seventies, I believe, a tall thin man with red-rimmed eyes, long white pants, and a shimmery pink shirt got on, carrying a pair of hula hoops. I was getting pretty into the Side Brok I was listening to at the moment, so I didn't ask what the hula hoops were for, I just looked at him: he had a sympathetic face. He pointed to where a watch would be so I showed him with my fingers 3 0 4. And then I thought, I can listen to Side Brok later, so I asked: 'What are the hula hoops for?'

The hula hoops? he said, They are for dancing. This is how I make a living. Well, one quarter of a living. You can only make one quarter of a living dancing with hula hoops, but it is worth it if dancing with hula hoops is what you love. And he explained to me how he makes the other 3/4 of his living; I have since forgotten.

This was an introduction to a fifteen minute motivational speech on the importance of following your dreams and doing what you love. Security, he told me, is overrated. It is important, you need to pay the bills, you should not get into too much debt, but sometimes it is worth it to get into a little bit of debt if it means that you are more alive as a person. If you follow your dreams, he told me, the most likely outcome is that you will be disappointed. Probably, your dreams will not come true. But there will be the tiniest sliver of a chance they might, and, he said, in his opinion it is better that there be a tiny sliver of a chance that they might come true than certainty that they won't. Because although at the end of the day you will probably go to bed in the same bed you would have had you walked the safe line, at least you will be able to sleep peacefully, not wondering what if? What if? So, he said, follow your dreams. Do crazy things. Probably, it won't work out, but maybe it will. And he got off at 14th Street and he was gone.

Happy I danced home in the rain. The end.

1 comment:

Sofie said...

does this mean you should take up a loan and come to europe!?