Friday, November 21, 2008

Prince Igor's Cape

Winter now has us firmly in its grip. I saw snow flakes yesterday morning. I will wear my longest, heaviest coat until spring.

That coat is a suit of armor against the elements. But it can also be a cocoon against the world. When I sit down on the bus, I get out my CDs and my headphones and I am safely burrowed into a den until I reach Manhattan

Then I stride down the aisle of the bus, my coat overflowing into the seats on both sides, cutting a wake that cannot be ignored. I climb the stairs to the second-floor store of Midtown Comics, down the block from The New York Times, and I fill the stairwell.

I feel like Borodin’s Prince Igor (I was just watching the late Martti Talvela in that role on YouTube, all 6’7’’ and 300-plus pounds), sweeping across the shadowed stage. And I think that wouldn’t be such a bad way for me to go through life (metaphorically). I don’t mean emphasizing physical weight or throwing metaphorical weight around, but one has a responsibility to leave a mark and make the world better.

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