Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Blood & Thunder
Rain in New York City keeps most of us indoors this afternoon. However, there is a madwoman sprawled and clinging to the top of a red Buik Terraza that happens to be speeding down 73rd Street; the madwoman is imitating the sounds of a fire engine while the falling rain soaks through her hair and clothes. Lightning flashes and thunder claps as the Buik passes a certain residential building. Inside the building, one being is experiencing a profound life change that is likely to make one feel trapped in a real-life Doctor Frankenstein moment. Is the change happening to Lady Leisure, who is playing her piano in the fifth floor apartment? Is the change happening to the college kids making love on the fourth floor? Is the change happening to the stray cat that is flicking a roach with its paws in the deserted apartment on the third floor? Is the change happening to the nanny who forces a red-eyed child down for a nap on the second floor? Is the change happening to one of the Bruscoe twins who are arm wrestling on a card table set up in the first-floor apartment? Or is a change visiting one of the three plumbers in the basement who are arguing about the statistics of Pat Venditte, trying to weigh the pros and cons of the Yankees drafting an ambidextrous pitcher? No. The change is not happening to any of these characters. A dramatic change is happening to one adolescent female, Lady Leisure’s pupil, Tamara. Tamara is using Lady Leisure’s powder room. The moment the lightning strikes and the thunder claps, Tamara looks down between her legs at her white satin panties, and she discovers The Blood. Now, how is she going to explain this to her old hag of a piano teacher? What should she do? What should she say? The old woman is engrossed in Beethoven’s piano concerto No. 3 in C minor, as if she chose that perfectly haunting piece to scare a girl who is being visited by her first blood. Tamara sighs; she sits on the toilet, listening to the storm and the piano. She tries to be in this moment, so she might remember it into her old age. She tries to absorb everything going on in this tenement building. This puts her in a contemplative mood. She looks down at her panties and thinks about the monster that is her menstruating uterus. She hears the madwoman’s siren cries in the distance and suddenly Tamara feels the urge to squeeze her fists and cry out, “It’s alive!” There's more lightning followed by another clap of thunder. Tamara hopes the piano teacher didn't hear her outburst. The girl stuffs wads of toilet paper in that discreet place then dashes out of the old woman's apartment. The woman rushes to the door and shouts down the stairwell to Tamara, "Where are you going? Hey, don't forget: more practice with those finger exercises before the next lesson!"