Monday, December 30, 2013

The fourth day of Christmas: And just like that, he is gone


Have to move Joe and his girl off the steps in order to get in. But George is still there. Which raises questions. How do I require some like Joe to leave and allow George to stay there 48 hours without moving?

Jeremy G arrives with Mario Biagini, who turns out to be not just another one of Grotowski’s children, but actually an heir.( He was with us for Christmas Eve and wants to explore  an extended residency that would leave something behind when he leaves. Perhaps a choir. As well as several performances. And he’s very interested in how to bring into the same space the new gentry of the neighborhood with residents of the public housing projects. It’s typical of Mario’s work that he does high end performances in Dubai to fund work with people in the South Bronx. And I’m especially interested in his work around the Gospel of Thomas and the connection between the music of the black and white south and the poetry of Alan Ginsburg. This could be good.

As we finish, the strange young woman with the large back pack and the larger eyes is on the steps. Donuts? She says imploringly. No, I say, no donuts. Donuts? she repeats. No I repeat. An she turns and goes. 

Now here’s the issue with George. He’s not actually homeless. He’s got an apartment in the Bronx. And he just doesn’t sit there, he hangs bags from the door, surrounds himself with crates, looks like he’s moving in. It’s the kind of thing that encourages people to leave bags of clothing and food on the steps.

I’m trying to imagine how I can tell him that we’re trying to revive this place, bring it back to life, and his presence frightens people. That it looks like permanent homeless encampment, in city parlance. And I continue to reflect on how we remain open and welcoming and accepting and build a critical mass great enough to support and sustain that openness. And I don’t yet have an answer. Although RL posits that it involves spotlights.

And of course Rachelle is back working on her project that will never end. She will never get through her carts. She has probably worked on them 24 hours or more already. We will simply have to set a deadline and be prepared for a load out on a big stuff collection day for the city.

She wants to help me get ready for Sunday. It's not fair, you’re here all alone, she says, let me help. I try and remind her that the only help I really want is to get her things in order and out.

I ponder the fact that in this holiday season I have  spent more time with her than my family and shake my head.

Eldridge is back again, mumbling and with an extended and expectant hand at the end. Happy holidays, he says as he leaves.

I need to leave and meet Nancy for a marathon of apartment searching.

It’s dark now. A neighborhood rabbi has just walked in. Looking for Stephen as a possible post Shabbat party player. I’ve got some other ideas. But how did he get in? When he leaves, Rachelle goes with him.

I’m now ready to face George. But when I go back outside, there’s nothing there. Just like that, he is gone, as if he were never there.

I come back inside. Do some more work. Look up, and am startled by Rachelle, back inside. We must fix that door

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