A big corporation asks me to do a live performance since the one I gave in real life went well. This time I do not feel engaged enough to do a good job. I’ve brought along some index cards but can’t find them in my purse and every time I stop to dig for them I lose my thread and audience so I plod on. Everything and everybody is twitching. The crowd and I are standing in a big drafty old factory floor that’s not quite been transformed into something else. It’s the kind of building that used to abound in the West 30s and 40s when I first moved to New York. I am rambling while worrying idly that I’m not worrying when the roof begins to crumble and then bursts into flames. Again, I think, since the roof of Chelsea Market burst into flames earlier this month as I was getting fired. Everyone runs out but me and a tall woman with beautiful arms and copper skin and eyes. She and I are detached, watching the drama unfold. Then we turn to each other and begin to make love. Kiss, caress, finger, fist. Fuck. We find a cot and then a rhythm. The sex is enjoyable but not death-defying. I am in a state of high arousal but register no high stakes. Still, everything is burning and everyone is evacuating and she and I continue to give each other pleasure. What’s happening is so terrifying that I can’t focus on it. People are being lifted out by helicopter as the space is high above the city. Now that the walls have been burned away, there are amazing views. Without barriers, we are part of all we can see. The woman and I lie together on the cot, looking, and then realize we’re in a burning building with no more escapes.
We make love some more.
Pics: Shara Hughes (left); Alice Neel (right).