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Veronica Varlow
  -  Things I Think About Thursday   -  Things I Think About Thursday: Midnight Adventures and the Myths of Growing Up

My text binged late last night.

“Whatcha doing?”

My fingers were covered in purple wax drippings, my magic bottles sealed and corked in front of me.  The pretty chains to turn them into necklaces crafted next to them.

“15 minutes.  That’s it.  I swear.”

I opened my door and there she stood….

Kim Boekbinder.

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Her hair partially shaved, and the rest gorgeously wild in pinkish red hues.

She was armed with her phone, a light, and her new unreleased song “Animal”.

She grabbed my hand with her free hand and led me down the hallway she knows so well.  She turned on her lamp to light up the wall covered in vintage hand mirrors and hundred year old fortune telling books.  She turned on the song, and the sexy drum beats of “Animal” began.  And I did what I have been doing since I was 9 with my little friends when we made our music videos….  I started to dance, while Kim filmed.

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This is what I was doing in the wee hours of this morning -dancing in front of Kim’s camera.

But the only difference is…..this is real.  People all over the world are going to see this, not just my two little friends back in third grade.  Kim is an adventurer.  Kim brings the fun out of me and explodes it all over the room.  Moments before, I was about to pass out with exhaustion, and this midnight visit with Kim, decked out in a sequin dress the color of the night sky….changed everything.

In an instant, I was 9 again, rolling around on my couch and jumping on the floor to her song.  And when the take was over, Kim and I laughed good and hard.  You know, that real laughter that comes from letting go, from doing something unexpected, from breaking out and wildly living (or thrashing around on your couch as your friend films it on her iPhone).

Within moments, Kim and her dark blue sequined dress disappeared into the night.  She had a whole night ahead of her, a night of after midnight texts, a journey under ground through New York City’s tunnels, an adventure from apartment to apartment to film her friends…artists, storytellers, musicians, writers, aerialists, actors.  To give them that spark of life, to let loose and dance in their spaces to something beautiful that she created.

To have her art take us away from normal life for a moment, to transform us with her song.

As I was falling asleep last night, I thought of when I was 7 and I was dressed up for Halloween with the other kids in my school.  When I got to class that day, I was shocked that my teacher was wearing regular clothes.  I asked her why she wasn’t wearing a costume.  And she said,

“Because I’m a grown up.  Grown ups don’t wear costumes for Halloween.  That’s just for little kids.”

Something about the way she said it, made me realize at that very moment, that there is this wretched thing called time.  That things weren’t going to stay the same.  That there was nothing I could do to fight it.  That one day, against my will, I would have to be a grown up, too.

Would  I forget, one day, all the beauty of childhood and imagination?   Would time replace play and adventure for paychecks and responsibility?    Would I forget how fun it was to put on costumes and run around with my friends and just enjoy life?  Would I one day “outgrow” the child I was was, and have time bury her forever….forgotten?

“Why are you crying?”  my teacher asked.

“Because I don’t want to change who I am.  I don’t want to grow up.”

If only I could jump through time, and take my own little hand then, into my big one now, and let her know.…we never had to.

And the 9 year old is alive in me, just as much as she ever was.

Thanks to the beautiful friends and family that I surround myself with….I never will ever have to.

Thanks, Kim, for all the unexpected adventure of last night. I adore you.

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Tell me about the people in your life who bring out the adventure in you…I wanna meet them, too.

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