November 15, 2011

 Let me tell you something about tap dancing: I’m not very good at it.

It’s one of my favorite pastimes. I have an expensive pair of Capezios (with a box in the front) that I found at Reminiscence in Manhattan for $18; I’ve been taking class from the same woman for almost 10 years; my other teacher was in Enchanted ; and despite my best efforts, my double pullbacks are shit. Class usually goes like this: “Mac, pull your feet up.” “I can’t!” “Never mind, just cheat it.” “DJ, I can’t cheat it.” “What do you mean you can’t cheat it?” C’est la vie.

This weekend I was in San Francisco. I took a picture of the woman on  the left four and a half years ago at the end of the cable car line by Union Square. She was watching two of her students tap dance on a piece of plywood.

I was in San Fran this past weekend, and I saw the same woman! Strange how such things comfort you. I fell even more in love with her than I already was. She was wearing an orange hair scarf, flowy skirt leggings and flamenco shoes. She watched the same two dudes tap dancing on the same plywood. I was able to pick apart the steps they were doing, and although they weren’t terribly complex, they were clean, and they were fast. The guys turned to the crowd and said: “if you see something you like, you can clap. Unless there are some amazing tappers in the audience.” My hand stayed in my sweater pocket. Tapper, yes. Amazing, no. “There was a guy earlier who tap battled us.” I would love to tap battle someone; but not until I can master my pullbacks & butterflies. Again, C’est La Vie.

Tea Chai Te just moved into my neighborhood. I’ve dragged Kathryn along on a few of my tea-ventures and the last time we were there together, the guy behind the counter came over and introduced himself. “I’ve seen you guys here before,” he said, “what are your names?” Today, I woke up early, and stayed in bed late. My mother and I had a fight about my supposed lack of ambition, and I walked to the tea house to calm my mood. The same guy was there, and I asked him what he would recommend as a “worst day ever” tea. His eyes lit up, and he mixed me some strawberry coconut oolong with honey and rice milk. I enjoyed it while reading a Clive Barker novel, listening to bent, and watching the little bit of sunshine hiding behind the rainclouds disappear beyond the horizon.

One sip of the sweet concoction was enough to save what was left of my mood, and I cradled the mug while curled over my book.

Behind-the-counter-guy, (who’s name is actually Chris) is cute.

Sometimes we’re flirty when I order a cup of tea. Today it was just what I needed.

“Why tell these stories together?” You’re wondering. There is some sense of comfort in familiarity. Seeing the woman with her students rekindled my sense of wonder. I remembered why I loved her, if only from a distance. Tap is comfortable because it’s expressive.

Comfort to me is warm tea in your stomach.


My ecstatic esophagus tingles sometimes.

Comfort is a nice feeling.

Incase anyone was wondering, here is a video of someone doing pullbacks and butterflies (they start at :15) :

And my favorite step, paradiddles! (they start at :21)


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