He could not pronounce 'Ellen' so he called me 'Mary Elephant' I was a baby, and he was three and a half. Anything Joe liked, I liked. Anything he called me, I became. My older brother, as older siblings do, shaped me. Some days we were inseparable. As we grew, some days were difficult. I always looked to him for definition.
I became an elephant. One evening, Joe sat with his speak n' spell working over his vocabulary list for the third grade. He asked, "How do you spell Elephant?"
"E-L-E-P-H-A-N-T" I replied.
"She is in kindergarten!" he said with tears in his eyes. I didn't understand, because I thought he knew that he was the one who taught me that word.
I was told to go to my room. I didn't play downstairs while Joe did his homework anymore after that.
In Melbourne right now there is a parade of elephants all over the city. Mosaic elephants, painted elephants, knitted elephants, all with their trunks up, of course. I see them everywhere and it makes me feel home. I asked a dear friend of mine, a man I was once in love with, who I still very much love, to draw me an elephant.
I just want a little elephant with me all the time. One that can never leave.
Now I have an elephant sitting above my left ear.
I just wish Joe was still here.
Balaclava to Fitzroy via Elsternwick and tram 96.
See you again soon.
Last night was my last evening with the Melbourne Contact Improv Jam at Cecil st studios. I attended a improvisational teacher training workshop my first week in Australia with Al Wunder, and I immediately fell in love with the space. It has a feeling much like Eden's Expressway in Soho and The Woods Cooperative in Ridgewood Queens.
The contact community in Melbourne is really open and accepting and I know I'm really going to miss it.
As I type this, a train is carrying passengers like myself away from Melbourne to Ballarat and beyond. Al Wunder has invited me out To stay with him and his wife for a few days. I'll be back for the weekend, but then Sunday I will depart for Sydney. I am really going to miss the community, the city of Melbourne, and the very special people with whom I've had the pleasure of dancing and laughing.
This is a jam where I really felt contact.
Returning to New York feels like a dream to me now. I am so comfortable here.
Finding home in many places is a blessing, to be sure. There is just so much more to love this way.