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Day 14 of the cleanse and going strong. On Saturday, I really wanted to beat last weekend’s long run of 11.25 miles. Winds weren’t close to 25 mph so I figured I had a shot. I even dressed myself sort of correctly! These transition weeks are always hard for me clothing-wise. I usually overdress and in turn overheat. A few miles in I relented, balled up my outer layer and pretended I was running with a football for some reason.

After about 10 miles, I had this epiphany: running is hard. Running more than 10 miles sometimes feels like a tug of war between will and body. The body pulls back, slows down, eyes benches and seriously considers swiping that beautiful iced coffee out of a sleepy woman’s hand. Maybe it was grape juice, my eyes are jerks. Whatever she was drinking looked so good it might’ve been a mirage.

On Saturday, my will won and I kept going one more mile until I knew I’d ran at least more than the previous Saturday. After 12.6 miles, I walked home hungry, thirsty and extremely excited for a night at home. This isn’t me getting old, I’ve always preferred staying in on weekend nights.

Not 20 minutes after getting home, my phone rings. I didn’t want to answer it because it wasn’t one of my sisters. Lazy me knows if I don’t answer the phone nothing can disturb my me time and me time is the best. But obsessive me can’t not answer the phone because people don’t leave messages and then all night I’m wondering.

So I answered the phone and was rewarded with an invite to Carnegie Hall THAT NIGHT. When Carnegie calls you can’t decline. The show was starting at 7, leaving me with a whopping half hour to get ready. Have I ever mentioned how much I detest shopping? Buying things in general I don’t like, buy clothes shopping is the worst and so I don’t really do it, unless you count running clothes. As a result, picking out what to wear was like solving a puzzle with the wrong pieces. I just didn’t want to look like a ragamuffin.

What do you wear to Carnegie Hall? I haven’t been in years and the only guideline in my head was no jeans. It was chilly and windy and I wasn’t in a skirt or dress kind of mood so black slacks – that was the easy part. Every top I put on had something wrong with it. I definitely over-thought the clothes desperately wishing I had one of my sister’s closets to mine. I blame having siblings on my complete lack of fashion sense. Growing up, I always had their clothes to work with. On my own I am lost. I don’t look at size or try things on. The last time I had to get pants, I came home very relieved for only spending 10 minutes in the store. Unfortunately the pants were 4 sizes too big.

Dressing for Carnegie Hall might’ve torn me apart if I wasn’t so excited to hear live music. I met my friend before doors opened and counted dozens of people in jeans and sweaters. Most people in line to pick up tickets wore long coats like me so I didn’t get too many fashion tips for next time, assuming I’ll answer my phone next time, too. Men, in khakis and sweaters, were dressed way more casual than women, lots of tight skirts on younger gals and heavy beaded blouses on older women, in general.

Once inside, you don’t care what you’re wearing. Carnegie Hall is one of the most beautiful venues in New York City, right up there with Radio City. The interior feels like the inside of a candle flame. The walls are soft gold. The seats are lush red velvet. When the lights dim, what looks like gold leaf trim reflects glow like a flame. I’ve heard acoustics sound best at the top level. I didn’t care where we sat and was surprised when we took our seats on the Parquet. This night kept getting better and better even though I felt a little discombobulated and tired from the run and hungry.

The Orpheus Chamber Orchestra played Wagner, Mozart, Fazil Say and Haydn. Guest Artist Fazil Say led an original composition that I had to close my eyes for. I learned to close my eyes to hear instrumental music better a few years ago at a Zakir Hussain show. I loved his tabla playing, but it kept getting away from me. My mind would wander to the backs of people’s heads, where they parted their hair and whether or not they were on dates. People are a big distraction. Close your eyes and it’s all music.

When I closed my eyes for Fazil Say, the music put me in space floating around. At one point there was a pink ball drifting between stars and darkness. Dramatic tension sent a few asteroids our way. My friend heard this as almost Hitchcockian, definitely cinematic, eerie, grand and lovely.

The last few Haydn songs felt like water, rain, storms, dance and play. I didn’t close my eyes for the entire performance because Carnegie Hall is pretty and I wanted to appreciate being there. One time I opened them and caught my stranger neighbor staring at me. Maybe she thought I was sleeping or knocked out by the vat of perfume she’d soaked herself in. Why do people wear so much perfume and cologne to sit in a confined space? The temperature was pretty comfortable, but this stranger neighbor kept fanning herself and me. She could’ve taken off her enormous fur coat, but then what would I have shared half my seat with?

That’s my thumb and Carnegie Hall

Because the tickets were offered short notice, I didn’t really eat much between the run and rushing to the show. I felt a little self conscious bringing a baggie of nuts with me, but better that than stealing the show with a roaring stomach. I wasn’t the only one who didn’t have time to eat, apparently. As soon as the first number began, somebody broke out a hot panini. The scent must have been absorbed by the AC and blown back into the theater a dozen times. I think they had fries too. Fries! My friend insists it was a toasted sesame bagel with butter. Either way, this bready feast scented the entire first half. Nobody else seemed to notice and I never actually saw the food so maybe it was a phantom.

Orpheus is now off to Italy, German, Austria and other faraway places. If you have the chance to see them do, but take time to eat instead of worrying about what to wear.

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