A Night at the New York Film Festival, or the Rebelliousness of the Body
It was the bacon that did it. I had a seat and a night planned - friends were in from out of town and a night of nostalgia and revelry was in store. But as young Wu was getting examined by an Army doctor before the Sino-Japanese War, my body gave me some foreboding premonitions. That headache had turned into all-over pulsating throb. My intestines were doing the slow-build, an effective set-up for a gory climax.
The Go Master was screening at 3PM, and at about 4PM I calmly stood up and walked outside, painfully aware of my etiquette breach. But something had to give - my mind slowly gave up the struggle to my sweating, squirming flesh. I tried to focus, appreciated Chang Chen's orbital glasses and the ascetic purity of Go piece on wooden board. Then my obstinate body pulled me back towards thoughts of viscous fluids. Once again, the mind lost out, and I scampered out. Once the body was assured of victory by my white-flag waving mind, it escalated the attack, and applied the coup-de grace. I barely made it to the toilet before the day's events looked back at me from the porcelain. I had tickets for Woman on the Beach at 6PM! Alas! Would this cleansing of the insides give me the strength for this $16 ticket?
My digestive system rejected this hope. I sat. Stared at water droplet skitter down back of toilet. Heard patrons (or workers?) enter, relieve themselves, and leave. This, I thought, was absolute misery. $32 wasted, a night of drunken reminsicing lost, and the prospect of an hour-long subway ride home while still overwhelmingly nauseous. So stolidly I wiped up some fugitive spittle and waited out the end of the film to inform my compatriots of my dilemma. I spent it walking in and out of the bathroom, challenging the ushers and security guards to question my curious path about the Alice Tully Hall. They left me alone, perhaps sensing my anguish. Civilized folk.
A few sprightly dry heaves later, I was home, ensconced in bed and joyful in its comfort. Never shall I take my health granted again! This is what I wanted my future self to forever remember - but it's already too late, with other pointless thoughts meandering in and out, and with the 6PM screening of Bamako rapidly approaching.
Before this incident, in line to enter the theatre, a greying lady gave me a ticket to Bamako for free because she could not attend. One grace note in an eventful evening that I'll forget as soon as I wring pitiful stares out of everyone I know after the telling of this story.
And the bacon. I ate it at Lindo's on 5th Avenue in Brooklyn. Otherwise a fine breakfast.