Joyless Dancer

by

12/31/2006

City Hall Park, NY, NY

Neighborhood: Financial District

A young woman dressed in a leotard was dancing in City Hall Park today. The sun was brilliant and warm, the fountain flowing with water and the soft sound of an alto sax in the background.

I felt nurtured in the sun, and great joy looking at the voluminous colors of spring tulips in luscious, full bloom.

The young dancer was now in my periphery. “Get out of my way,” my mind kept saying, “go somewhere else, don’t dance here.” She was making fun of the passersby dressed in business attire, there was no joy, just making fun. She seemed to enjoy humiliation.

I grew up Jewish in New England and was constantly humiliated by the kids after school, running after me and throwing garbage and tin cans at me while yelling out “dirty Jew, dirty Jew.” David Spinney was especially frightening, threatening me in the schoolyard each and every day. I asked my mom if she would meet me after school to walk home with me, but she always said “No,” and dad was never around and thought I was always making up stories.

Time went on and I went to a junior college down South. I was the only Jew. Friends would invite me to their homes, and then report back what there parents said about my visit. “If we knew she was such a nice Jew, we would have invited her sooner.” I found out later that these parents were part of the Klu Klux Klan. The second year I was there I had a private room and kept my door locked at night. One afternoon, I walked into my room and smelled rotten cheese. Someone had smeared it all over my lipsticks and when I opened my close closet doors, there were meat bones hanging with blood dripping down to the floor.

I moved to another bench in City Hall Park. One that was far away from the dancer, and where I was surrounded by yellow, white, pink and red tulips. I was glad I had become an Interfaith Minister two years prior.

Comments
Rate Story
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Loading...

§ Leave a Reply

Other Stories You May Like

Nearby Financial District Stories

Billionaire Spermatozoa and Deadly Peking Ducks

by

The author gets taste of the Seagrams gin fortune when he does waiter duty at a billionaire heir's lavish birthday party

An Urban Archeologist at Ground Zero

by

There is the sense that we are doing something wrong, Diana Wall and I, as we walk south from Franklin [...]

Sunset Panic

by

I am ashamed, but also so close to breaking down from being overworked that I cease to be available to guilt.

About a Toy

by

It was my first day and Beth, who worked in the cubicle across from mine, was talking on her cell phone about sex.

Noppi

by

Twin sisters, and the twin towers