Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Cat Sweat

When I was nine, my mother brought me to New York City for the first time. On that trip I received a pair of shoes almost identical to these (sans hearts & deer):
I wore them until they had holes in the bottoms, and then I taped them up and wore them some more. Even more important about that trip, however, was the night we went to Cats. At that age I wanted nothing more than to be a dancer (slash movie star slash doctor slash horseback rider) and there, on the front row of Broadway's longest running musical, I sat in awe.I loved the cats, wanted them to come closer to me, to crawl right off the stage and snatch me up by the nape of my neck and take me into their little hovel. I'm pretty sure I held my breath the entire show, and towards the end, as if in answer to my manifold prayers: it started happening. Rum Tum Tugger danced his way downstage and was so close to me that if I had been brave enough I could have reached up and grabbed his perfect tail.

Music pounded through the room, and Rum Tum began a wild succession of Foite turns. The world spun around us, and in a moment that in my memory is slowed down almost to a stop: a single bead of Rum Tum's sweat flew off of him and onto me.

My wrist shined with wet hope; I brought it to my mouth.

A more germaphobic child would, of course, have found this repulsive; a less delusional child might have just wiped her wrist on her jeans, but me, I took it for what I believed it was: a sign, a glorious sign. I was, I reasoned,--by way of sweat from this curious cat!--destined for greatness.

I mention all this because for the past three days I've been running wild all over the city with mom and my little brothers and sister (happy birthday, madeline!): I'm just hoping that somewhere between the Beast and Coney Island, Central Park and Soho, Legally Blonde and Rice to Riches, Times Square and The Statue of Liberty one of them got hit with the proverbial cat sweat. Trust me, it feels good; I've been riding this wave for a long time.

6 comments:

Gaar said...

I came to New York for the first time when I was 14. As we started our initial decent into LaGuardia, the pilot told us that we were going to have to be in a holding pattern for some time because of traffic on the runway.

We circled and circled, and the whole city gleamed up at me for what seemed like hours. That was my sign: always notice this magical place, and never once take it for granted.

Beautiful story, Nicole. Hope you're having fun sightseeing!!

Joe Hefner said...

I wish I was there with you guys..perhaps I could dip my toes in the proverbial sweat pool of greatness...

little miss mel said...

yea for family being in town!!!! Enjoy, enjoy!

Andrea Luttrell said...

Funny. My first experience with Cats was somewhat different. My grandparents took me to see it when it came to Dallas when I was six. In the middle of "Memories" I turned to my Grandma and asked, "Grandma, why does that one cat look dirtier and messier than the other cats?" My Grandma, a die-hard liberal and never one to lie to a child, thought for a second and said, "Andrea, she's a prostitute cat. Do you know what a prostitute cat is?" I shook my head no. Grandma continued, "A prostitute cat is a cat who has sex with other cats for money." To which I replied, "Oh - you mean a hooker." Apparently, my Grandpa laughed so hard he nearly fell out of his chair.

Anonymous said...

I've only been to New York once... white pepper, icy hot, I Love You, Your Perfect....Now change...what a time! Seems so long ago, how our lives have changed. Hope we can do it again someday soon... sans the icy hot for me though...
Much Love,
Hol

Anonymous said...

yes, we did all that and more!! What a blast! Thank you, Nicole for a really fun, action packed time.
MOM