Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Bella Lagosi's Fearless

This morning I was listening to Goldfrapp on my headphones. I was really getting into it. "Ooo, I wanna dance! Yeah, dancey dancey. Hey, look at me, I'm "Goldfrapp"! Look at me go! No!, no time to dance, gotta leave for work. And you're OLD now. You're a MAN, not a BOY. Men don't dance before work. And, uh, oh yeah, you're fat."
Ughh. These are the wars raging in my head.
When I was 19 and in Beauty School (in Appleton, Wisconsin), I would get up around 6am, drink strong, black coffee, and smoke cigs and watch Bozo's Circus, usually nursing a hangover. After my shower, I would dance around the house after Dad left for work. I would put on either Whammy by The B-52's, Waking Up With the House on Fire by Culture Club, or Nina Hagen's Fearless, and dance for about an hour before school. I would dance like I was Nina or Boy, or like I was a back-round dancer in a video, or like I was at the Peppermint Lounge in New York. (There used to be a very amateur -looking cable show on on the weekends that was "live from the Peppermint Lounge" and you could watch cool skinny kids dance to the latest New Wave offerings.) It was like brushing my teeth: an essential start to my day. It was fun. You should try it.
Fearless is a great album with a title I took to heart. In Beauty School I dated Doug, an art student at UWO, and before I graduated, he moved to Chicago to go to the Art Institute. I really wanted to leave Appleton. I also really wanted to move to New York, but I didn't know anyone there. So I foolishly, blindly, brazenly, shockingly moved in with Doug. With literally 5 dollars and no job. I had been to Chicago only once before, for an 8th grade trip to the Field Museum. I knew NOTHING about Chicago other than what I saw on Goodtimes, and the night-time aerial shot of the city from the WGN station-identification breaks with that cool black lady's voice-over: "Double-ewe Gee En, Chicaw-gowe" It was like she was trying to match her voice to the majestic, sprawling vision of Chicago at night. She succeeded. It stopped me in my tracks every time.
But I really wanted to be in big city! I didn't care! I just went for it. On April 25th, 1985. Kelly drove me down, and the first thing I remember seeing was Lane Tech High School. I could not believe how big it was.

"Kelly, that's a school!" I said.

"What, do they make every kid in Chicago go to the same school?" She answered back.

We had some time to kill before Doug got home, so we found his apartment by Addison and Racine, and went shopping. She spotted the Century Mall, so we went there. I had to pee, so I searched out the bathroom. I opened the door, and there is this cute blonde guy in a suit taking a crap. Yes, on the toilet, but there were no walls around it. This is the first Chicagoan I've ever met, so I can't freak-out! (Even though I've never seen a grown man pooping before.) So I walk in with my best world-weary, I've-seen-'em-ALL-poop-before look on my face and .....wash my hands. I didn't want too see, hear, OR smell that. I scold myself: "You're in the big city now......people poop anywhere without shame...get used to it."
Later when Doug and his roommate Steve got home, we go out for my first night in town. Divine was performing 6 blocks away at Medusa's! (I had pictures of her hung up in my locker in highschool I cut out of People Magazine.) We tried to get in, but I had no i-d. We drive over to Take One, walk in, and there is Boy singing Miss Me Blind on their giant video screen. But they wanted i-ds, too, so we tried Club 950. They let us in. It was a grungy pub with a dance floor that looked like it saw better days a long time ago, but I loved it. That night Doug and I slept on the floor in Steve's room. I'm not really sure why that was, as I write this, I realize now why Doug moved back to Wisconsin a month later...

My point is, don't be afraid to take those big risks in your life, especially when those risks are dreams. And don't be afraid to let your blubber fly to your favorite tune. Now that takes bravery.


Trista said...

I loved that blog. I'm already thinking of what song I want to dance to when I get home.

David said...

I can't believe you didn't do the guy that was pooping! You're so shy.

Merrie said...

It's just not a BC blog entry unless David asks why you didn't screw one of the minor characters.

I dance to Soul Coughing or George Michael, myself.

BC said...

Oh Merrie, that made me laugh so hard.

David said...

I believe the cool black woman you're referring to is Merri Dee,0,6029803.story?coll=wgntv-station-2