70 years ago in The Villager

By Jenny Klion

Volume 73, Number 24 | October 15 – 21, 2003


Losing my edge — and do I really want it back?

I’m worried that I’m losing my edge. Almost three years after the fact, I think I’ve finally succumbed to the lifestyle of being a single mom, one in a breed of women who, according to the mighty John Leguizamo, is always tired, broke and unable to get a date. Could my reluctant quasi-resignation to single parenthood be a sign that I’m actually maturing, or am I just becoming soft — no pun intended, maybe — with age?

Judy’s fine; she’s taken care of. School, soccer, tap dance, etc. It’s me I wonder about! I spend most days working/reading, yet imagine the mindset of a person — moi — who sucks down endless books with titles like “Heart Attack” or “Lunatic,” or even “Local Boy Realizes the World Is Coming to an End — And No One Believes Him!” (Let’s see: three such books a week times 52 weeks equals… wait, I’m not losing my edge, I’m losing my mind!) Even Mr. Greek hasn’t been around much lately — who can blame him?! — though he’s hardly your conventional judge of what might constitute a hard edge.

Long gone are my rebel days, when I thought nothing of running off to be a cook on a fishing boat (150 miles offshore with four fisherman and two cats on a 75-foot converted shrimper named “The Castaway”). ’Course I was 17 then. Now approaching a much bigger birthday — let’s just say I’m waaaay more than doubling that teen number — I find myself predictably trying to re-enliven myself. I recently cut my hair — though only my shrink has commented on it — and am now considering going blonde, or possibly piercing my nose. (Hey, I had that desire waaaay before it was de rigeur.)

Judy always enjoys adventure stories from my past: i.e., “How many boyfriends have you had?” she loves to ask. (I low-balled the figure for her young ears, but then later had to mentally go over my list, just to make sure.) However, Judy — a girl whose teachers want her to expand her horizons just a little bit outside the box — seems to be taking a different tack in life. “She’s so preppy,” one school mother noted. Well, what with her Christie Brinkley look-alike thing going on — blonde hair, blue eyes, beauty mark and single dimple — how could she be anything but?

Anyway, not to be undone in my research for edginess, I recently accompanied my friend Vivian and two others to a dance performance designed to excite and confuse its audience at Dance Theater Workshop’s beautiful new space. Upon our arrival, we read instructions from the Berlin-based company regarding our possible upcoming participation in their production. Subsequently, I chose to sit on a large communal platform bed — designed for middle-of-the-road wannabe accomplices. But after watching Vivian and another friend get sensual head and foot massages on their high-profile solo beds, I suddenly wished I’d taken that higher road.

However, things changed dramatically midway through the performance, when I was then handpicked to be the recipient of a highly graphic sexual reenactment. At first, I tried to go with the flow, but after almost swallowing my gum while a beautiful but sweat-drenched dancer flipped me over in more than provocative ways, as well as bit and slapped my mini-dress-revealing butt, I decided I’d experienced enough edginess for one night, or maybe a few more.

I was still shaking when I hit the women’s room afterwards, and was consoled by several patrons therein. “I think a lot of people would’ve wanted to trade places with you,” a young woman confided. “Not me,” replied another, more rational dancegoer.

Alas, in retrospect, perhaps I’m not losing my edge completely. But if so, maybe that’s not such a bad thing.

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