In Which There are Politics and Yoga


It’s been one hell of a week here in the US. We’ve managed to vote in the Trumpster. I hadn’t even seriously contemplated the possibility. I mean, I’d talked about it, and thought about it in a purely theoretical sense but I had never actually sat down and thought: what happens if he does get elected. Somehow I just always thought that America wouldn’t quite be bold enough to go for such a flamboyant character.

So I haven’t been sleeping all that well. I’m trying to reach a point of Pollyanna-ish-ness that will allow me to hope for the best but there is a sneaky, creeping terror living in my belly which keeps reminding me that it’s all red going forward, the supreme court, both houses, and the president. I’m moderately affluent and very white, but I’m also a woman and a person who cares about living in a place that treats everyone as well as is humanly possible. So I’m worried. I’m worried for my reproductive rights, I’m worried for the rights of queer people and people of colour, I’m worried that the desperation and frustration of the disenfranchised working class of America might just put us all in a terribly sticky situation. I am, however, hopeful that the checks and balances that made it so hard for Obama to get his work done will also make certain that this Republican landslide will not bury us too deeply beneath social conservatism.

Thankfully, work is keeping me busy and largely out of trouble. But even between work, dance, and drinks with coworkers, it’s been a hard week with a few too many moments to think. So, being me, I’ve gotten back into hot yoga. There is something so purifying about working yourself to the very edge of your strength and ability, sweating and shaking until you think you might faint entirely away, and so I go and I sweat and I shake and I stop feeling all the worries and the fears and it’s only my body and the floor beneath me. Really hard dance rehearsals have a similar character but I’ve yet to find one here in New York.

By the time I’d fallen face first into the weekend, I was a bit sore, a lot tired, and desperate to go dance it out. I went to Yamulee on Friday where I was shocked by a twice as pricey as usual ticket and a bouncer searching my bag. Apparently, in contrast to the last time I went, water is now no longer allowed inside. Fortunately the shows were amazing (it was a celebration of Delia’s tenth year in salsa and so featured many of her best routines) and I managed to get one really nice dance with a very tall fellow who put me through my paces in the nicest way possible.

I have also decided to be flattered by the fact that my attempts to socialize were instantly and utterly stymied on three occasions. There is a fellow who I see at most every event and he started talking to me, just a line or two, but enough I thought to justify a conversation which would make me look a little less completely uncool and alone so I went to reply. Almost instantly his girlfriend and her hoard of friends materialized out of nowhere and surrounded him leaving me on the outside. This would happen twice more before both he and I gave up on the idea of saying a single word to one another. I choose to believe that I was looking dangerously hot.

Yesterday I attended another brutal hot yoga class, bought groceries, and finally caved to my desire to own thigh high boots. They were cheap and I love them, this will have to be justification enough.

I also headed out to Salsamania where by some unfortunate fluke I ended up dancing on 1 as much as 2 (and equally often on no time I could identify) and even ended up dancing Cuban. It was a strange night in New York and unfortunately it was just busy enough and crazy enough (lots of people seemed a bit fuzzy on the concept of a line) to end in injury. I was stepped on at least half a dozen times but two stand out in my mind. The first left a stiletto sized hole in the side of my right foot which is now also impressively swollen and coloured a real charming shade of purple and second which left a raised scratch from the middle of my foot down into the vamp of my shoe as far as my toe bed. I suspect that it is also a key contributor to the pain experienced when I try to bend my left foot today. Already being sore from yoga and with increasingly crippled feet, I was having a very hard time dealing with what, to me at least, felt like very rough dancing.

Fortunately, there were also some good moments that made me forget how much everything seemed to hurt. I danced with the lovely Jimmy Anton who seems, magically, to know just how to dance to keep you entertained and challenged without ever hurting your body or your ego. There were some other high-level dancers who deigned to dance with me and really only one treated me to the delights of having my ass kicked and then him chuckling to himself as soon as the dance ended—so I mean, mostly wins. I also danced with some of the fellows that I see out regularly, one of whom stands out for his reliably cheerful and good humoured dancing. He’s always very careful to keep me out of harm’s way (which was feeling pretty damned important last night) and we always have fun, musical dances which leave me laughing and last night was no exception.

I had been warned before I went out that midtown mightn’t be the safest place after dark these days (what with all the Trump protests) but I was pleased to note that the only shouting I heard while walking to the train came from roving bands of drunken, shirtless Irish, tricolour in hand as they celebrated some form of footie win. It seems I can never escape their benevolent chaos. I’m not certain I’d ever want to.

This morning I woke up feeling very much like the walking wounded that I was and got up to make bread. I fear I’ve gotten the dough too stiff so it is currently resting and (hopefully) rising in a dutch oven on my window sill. I also managed to get my laundry done in a very busy laundromat and so have made a total of six trips past the film crew working outside. I haven’t the faintest idea what they were shooting, but I know I’m Canadian because when I woke up to a bullhorn shout of “Car! Clear the road!” my first thought was “road hockey?”

And now I’m here, waiting for my bread to rise and hoping that by the time evening rolls around my feet will fit in shoes again.

More than a bit broken,
The Salsa Girl


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