MORTALS and PORTALS: A Morphic Resonance Montage
Manhattan, 1988, dressed to the nines while negotiating eight plates spinning mid-air, dreams about the skyline of the city falling like dominoes recurred with alarming frequency…
It’s not unusual for me to have OBEs, angelic, even ET visitations. (Don’t you!?) As far back as I can remember, I commune with the departed in dreams---they often offer the most pithy, remarkable tidbits accelerating my spiritual evolution. Then there’s the repetitive leit-motif, flapping my arms, becoming air-borne, sometimes soaring out into the vast reaches of outer space, past Alpha Centauri at light speed. On occasion, I venture through a worm hole, a kaleidoscopic spiral of 3D Platonic Solids. (Don’t ask.) More than this, the numinous, prophetic dreams take me by surprise without fail. Friends, family members, public figures, and world events each have made cameo appearances foretelling prescient narratives in the Orphic Realm. (Do tell…)
We mortals like to believe choice—free will at the wheel, steering the course of favorable events—determine our destiny. Yet, a spontaneous, impersonal shock wave can ripple out setting an avalanche in motion, toppling our best-laid plans, making a mockery of our precariously situated constructs…Friday, February 26, 1993, 18 minutes after 12 noon, a truck bomb was detonated below the North Tower of The World Trade Center. I was at work in the box office of the Joseph Papp Public Theatre on Lafayette Street, East Village. My colleagues and I were noshing, more than likely engrossed in dissing the upper administrative echelon, happily ignorant of the terrorist plot unfolding. Without any courteous preparation, the floor gyrated, the windows
rattled, our nerves frayed. Mind you, the blast reverberated up the streets and avenues from two miles away, downtown!
The ensuing moments, amidst the wailing, hysterical fire trucks careening by, I knew: In an explosive flash, New York had changed. Granted, the city can dole out its fair share of lurid tabloid fodder. But, a terrorist attack!? Perhaps, I over-reacted a la Chicken Little mode; nevertheless, heeding an intuitive flight instinct, “Get me the hell out of here!” was foremost in my frontal lobe.
Within a year, I would come full circle escaping with two bags in tow similar to my arrival thirteen years before. I dearly departed, in the wake of a debris trail strewn with discarded possessions and splintered identity fragments.
Suppose, for example, an idea, or a suggestion has the quality of an evolutionary undertow, pulling us forward into the future…
Even though, I swore up and down, I would not set foot in Manhattan again, New York will always be home to me. I forgave and forgot the lofty aspirations that crashed and burned. Time did heal the heartbreak of betrayal, the all too familiar dynamic of unrequited love affairs. And, as for the devastation suffered by too many close friends lost to AIDS---with or without you, the Hudson River of life will poignantly roll along gathering no moss. Inevitably, a return to the city that provided refuge from the Bible Belt constricting the burgeoning artistic verve of my youth, was indeed, predestined. (Never say never…)
Underlying the seemingly randomness of multidimensional existence, the Universe provides portals which awaken us to the unity of interactive probabilities…
For those of us there at its messy, yet inspirited emasculate conception, we will attest and aver, WIGSTOCK has an unabashed, overt, in your face impelling allure. The power of drag compels you. WIGSTOCK is an apotheosis of biggest hair, highest heels and grandiosest [sic] camp. The annual Labor Day event helmed by The Lady Bunny and a pre-Gaga gaggle of outrageous, innovative drag queens (including RuPaul), began in the early 80s as a fierce and fabulous fete eulogizing the end of summer. I had been a devotee from the beginning. Ergo, there was no hesitation: when my friend Gary called to tell me the cityscape was festooned with posters announcing, 2 September 2001, WIGSTOCK 2001: THE FINAL EXPLOSION would be the end of a chapter in New York City Gay Culture---“Oh, my Diva Goddess! I’m there!” Besides, I had been musing about a provocative subject for the next photography exhibition. Come on---the thought of New York drag queens garnishing the Deep South walls of a Tallahassee gallery was titillating, to be sure.
"Once you decide to titillate instead of illuminate . . . you create a climate of expectation that requires a higher and higher level of intensity" (Bill Moyers).
[NOTA BENE: Similar to the indefatigable farewell tours of Barbra and Cher, WIGSTOCK has subsequently been revived and resurrected like Lazarus rising up (quite appropriately) lip-synching the irrepressible anthem, I WILL SURVIVE.]
On that grand and gloriously gay of all days, it was at least 110 degrees in the only available shade provided by towering bouffants, bee-hives, rococo parasols and other such feats of architectural artifice. Wading neck deep in an undulating, uber-accessorized current of sub-woofer beats, gold lame’ and mascara, pectorals and biceps strategically sculpted into chiseled precision, glistened and flexed to distraction. Abreast a wide assortment of liberated bosoms ranging in sizes from tea cup to the silicon and/or helium enhanced, the excessively buxom served as floatation devices keeping the sweat-soaked unified mass of humanity suspended on waves, upon pulsating waves moving together in rhythmic ebb and flow. The ecstatic ocean of male, female, Lesbian, Gay, Bi-, Trans-, yes, even hetero- couples with offspring, all randomly tossed adrift, were buoyant on a burlesque high tide rolling in hysterical pretendence and gender ambiguity. Yet, somehow, without an act of God scourging the accusatory acts of abomination animated, quite naturally, we bonded together in an authentic, unconditional solidarity. (If only everyday were like this.)
Emerging from the undertow pulling at our lower three chakras, Gary and I pried ourselves free from the incessant beat of the disco. Surfacing out of the seductive amalgam, we sauntered downtown, along the banks of the Hudson River toward Battery Park and The World Trade Center. In no hurry, without a particular place to go, it was if we were propelled toward an undetermined destination. Wherever, whatever it was that beckoned, the still, small voice of a siren’s song spun, turning and turning us into the center of a concentric gyre.
Unwittingly, my companion and I were swept up in the centripetal force around the perimeter of old Pier 26. We approached the south side of the boat hangar. An appointment with destiny directed us to a precise intersection of latitude and longitude. There, prepared before us, in the presence of an undisclosed enemy, laid a blemished, yet white, round, plastic picnic table. Atop, placed dead center, was an 8 oz. clear plastic cup approximately ¾ empty. Two straws were leaning against the northeast rim.
Much to my horror, albeit mystified just the same, it would soon be exposed nine days hence. Pier 26 positioned as a premonitory promontory, had become a portal for a portentous photograph projecting a metaphorical morphic resonance field onto the unsuspecting Twin Towers.
Seemingly unrelated events are all pixels comprising an orchestrated larger picture…
On a sunny, beautiful, pre-autumn morning, September 11, 2001, 9-11, at 9:59 AM, the South Tower of the Twin Towers collapsed and disintegrated. Approximately 29 minutes later, exhibiting a dystopia demolition in similar manner, the North Tower collapsed and disintegrated at 10:28 AM. A day out of step, time stood still and the shocked world congregated, unbeknownst of the insidious grand illusion. Millions, billions, glued to TV screens lost all rationale to the obvious, hypnotized, falling under the spell of persuasive, recurring, surreal newsreel loops, sound bytes depicting a surreptitious, covert diabolical sleight of hand.
“Number 9, Number 9, Number 9”…
The two stalwart sentries that had once emblematically protected Battery Park, the historical arsenal of artillery batteries positioned there during the city’s early settlements, were leveled to Ground Zero by weapons of destruction they symbolically guarded.
1-1 resonated in a dream memory databank: an image distilled nine days earlier, left me with painful lingering, a relentless sensation, bereft of both legs upon which I stood in a former world.
WTC 2 Sept. 2001: JostFoto