Although Janene and I both live on Islands, Bainbridge and Manhattan are like apples and oranges. Actually they are like apples and…truffled-infused marscapone capaletti (I think that is the most opposite of apples, right?).
Janene’s backyard alone could hold a Duane Reade, liquor store, nail salon, falafel stand, local watering hole, 2 pizzerias, a few boutiques, a barbershop, a subway station, and the homeless man who has occupied my stoop (don’t worry he is very friendly and mostly unconscious).
Living in a city with endless opportunities gives you the silly notion that you should maybe not order sushi to your doorstep and watch a marathon of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills for the 3rd night in a row because it is exactly 12 degrees outside, and rather you should…try something new.
Enter “Aerial Arts of NYC Beginner Silks Class”.
Aerial as in happening in the air. Silks as in Cirque. Cirque as in Circus. As in on what planet was I qualified for this? I did gymnastics once when I was 6, and I’m pretty sure I quit at 6 ½.
The website said “you will learn, sequences, drops, slides, and flips that allow you descend the fabric with style, poise and grace”.
As I am trying to picture myself gliding through the air, effortlessly and angelically, maybe some Adele playing in the background, I quickly snap back to reality. Drops…slides…and flips…?!? Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. I am inclined to think we should start with something more intro-level, like a somersault? Maybe stretch out the silk and rest in it hammock-like to warm up?
I recruited 2 friends, Felicia and Yasmine, to fill out my Ringling Bros trio. But instead of Style, Poise and Grace, we were Awkward, Clumsy and Uncomfortable.
First of all, to my shock (and horror) they let any klutz walk off the street, climb 30 ft in the air on a piece of slippery fabric, with no harness, no safety net, and a mat at the bottom that is about 20 inches wide. The chances of me landing on that mat as I plummeted to the ground were about the same as sky diving into a fishbowl.
Clearly, we had to sign a waiver. (“I ______ hereby acknowledge that should I drop, slip, or flip off the silk in a manner that contorts my body in such a way that I can no longer feel my limbs or turn my neck to the left, NYC Aerial Arts will not be held liable.)
Nonetheless, Yasmine, Felicia and I
bravely foolishly had faith in our athletic ability.
Yasmine’s Aerial career started at 7:00pm and ended at 7:53. She will forever be revered for her long limbs, which flailed about haphazardly and frantically.
Felicia showed more potential, but needed to work on her “performance quality” – namely not looking utterly and completely terrified 98% of the time.
And as for me, the judges noted a half-decent starting sequence, giving way to a rather abysmal landing. AKA I was able to scurry my way up the silk rather easily – and maybe during our second class I will learn how the hell you are supposed to get down once you are suspended in the air by…oh yeah…nothing but your feeble arm strength.
I don’t think Barnum & Bailey will be knocking on our door any time soon, but we unanimously applauded ourselves for the valiant effort – and promptly treated ourselves to gelato. Which we had to walk exactly 37ft to find.