Susie Bright rocking her tiara in February 2009 at In The Flesh; photo by Stacie Joy
If this isn't a ringing endorsement from the one and only Susie Bright, I don't know what is!
I have not told Martha, or anything else, but her storytelling inspired me. I had a real New York moment that night, after I said goodbye to her and all the other authors.
The reading ended around midnight. I needed to get to the upper West Side from our bar in Chinatown. I was in a strapless evening gown, heels, a tiara. I stepped out onto Canal Street to get a cab, and the wind was howling. February, 20 degrees. Icy rain.
I could not get a cab to save my life. I motivated through sheer rage and flew into the first subway staircase I could find. I don't know the NYC subway system well. This was a "J." What the fuck. I had no idea where it went, but I was sure I could get uptown.
Once I was underground, I looked at the platform and realized... I was alone. I've never been alone on a City subway platform. It wasn't quiet, but it was soundless from "people noise." Incredible.
The train came. I knew I had to go one stop to Chambers, then transfer to a Green line. One Stop.
I was still quite alone— the only person in my J-car, speeding from Canal to Chambers. I became convinced that I could take off ALL my clothes and change into the jeans, sneakers, and t-shirt I had hidden in my tote bag.
After all, if Martha Garvey can describe getting handcuffed and fucked on a lonely Broadway night, surely I could have a brief moment of total nudity and clothes-struggling.
I did it! I was completely composed and dressed like a boring gym rat by the time I stepped off the train.
The car was warm and there was a moment when I wondered what would happen if I just sat there naked for the whole ride. Probably nothing. I took refuge in the thought that people would think I was simply a "crazy old lady." I'm not young enough to look like I'm doing it for commercial gain!
This is in response to the fabulous Martha Garvey, who was a reader at, I believe, the very first In The Flesh, reading from her story "Night Train" in Susie's gorgeous, strokeable (sp?), amazing Chronicle Books anthology X: The Erotic Treasury.