Tonight was not a good night for silence.
On the subway in Manhattan, headed south from Columbia towards the lower east side. Erin and I notice that a group of college kids have hopped on the car at the other end of where we are. It's obvious to me that they are theater students, or dancers. They are at ease with and have a command over their surroundings -a quality one finds with born performers who still haven't allowed the world to swallow them up. Type-A personalities (at least a few). Untouched jewels. They love the world and for this, it loves them right back. They are all attractive kids, all comprised of African Americans and Latinos. They laugh and carry on at the other end of the car. They play a game that I may have last played in a high school drama class, or in the "theater games" segment of some opera rehearsal in college. I certainly cannot think of its name. From what I can tell, the group begins totally frozen, one person takes initiative and makes a decisive movement. Another person follows, establishing a tempo. A third person then moves, adhering to the pace established by his or her predecessor. This seems to continue until every one in the group has gone, after which I they start over. They They try to avoid moving at the same time. Eventually someone forgets to move promptly or moves out of turn. By establishing the order smoothly, they begin to formulate a group consciousness, a mental and physical sense of ensemble (that would serve them well in a stage production) in a noisy and crowded city subway car. Rounds of the game come and go, each one ending in a burst of laughter. No one seems to mind the raucous they make. The kids are funny. They have bright, smiling faces. They do not curse. Each of them is young, happy, beautiful, and surrounded by friends. They are living and creating on one of the most exciting islands in the world.
It was at that moment that I realized that I never really lived a day in my life.