Kimberly and I had for a few months exchanged idle suggestions that I come to New York to read at one of the Literary Experiences. Then United had a special. Buy a ticket with the moon and Pleiades in Acme special configuration, and get another ticket free. I happened to be traveling for business under that auspicious astronomical prodigy, so I thought to myself, still with an idle inflection, “hey, what better use for that free ticket I have coming?”
I asked Kimberly what she thought, and after a while she responded, “Well, you know, late March is about right for the next TNBLE. I’ve got you down.” Oh shit. So much for idleness. As I firmed up travel plans I increasingly looked forward to meeting Kimberly and others with whom I was familiar from TNB, including Kristen Elde and Tod Goldberg. Kimberly set the theme “Growing Pains”, which gave me plenty of space for creation (which is to be expected, since this is the most prominent theme of TNB pieces).
I wrote and re-wrote my piece, a poem called “Growing up Misfit” which I’ll post in a day or two. [Done]. I picked out an appropriate Senegalese kaftan with Djellaba stylings (minus the hood, of course,) made by the excellent tailor Dantata near the Muslim Quarter, Bogobiri Corner, of Calabar. I was ready. After an uneventful trip Friday morning I arrived at LaGuardia and took the shuttle to the hotel, taking a moment to puzzle at the groups of soldiers with prominent sidearms hanging out ostentatiously with police at the Queens–Midtown Tunnel. “What, do they think they’re the Comitatus Posse?” I wondered.