Scene4 Magazine: Claudine Jones
Claudine Jones
Watching Elbows
Scene4 Magazine-inView

August 2011

With neither hope for parts (you know who you are, blast your pre-casting butts to perdition) nor ambition to alter my role as Nammie-to-Grandson, I recently began the pleasurable pastime of reading whole books out loud to my partner. For our in-home books-on-voice sessions, I especially have loved The Elegance of the Hedgehog.  I'd actually already read it, and as a result, coming up to the last was really daunting. In a movie context, kind of like when you've seen Unbearable Lightness of Being before and your friend sitting next to you in the darkness has no idea how it's going to end...except you didn't actually produce the film or anything.  A pain-sharing thing.

Of course I've always read out loud to the old man: how many articles, sides from auditions, funny bits out of the newspaper (mostly online now). And long ago he began reading me Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man & got me hooked on Joyce. Also put me to sleep—in a nice way, naturally. Joyce is music.  

At present we're into Born to Run about the Tarahumara ultra-runners.

I'm not an organized athlete, not since I went six days a week to ballet classes. That's as intense as it got. I did belong to the Y once; there I went around the indoor track like an automaton, going over & over lyrics in my head.  It was not fun.  Even with the added benefit of a steam room, I didn't sustain.

Then I got a useless treadmill; my oldest son talked me into it about the same time he said he'd join the health club if I would rejoin. That was the spring before 9/11, as I recall; I  enrolled in an exercise/dance NIA class that I was particularly enjoying & then came out of class one day & the world had changed.  Once again, I lost my focus.

Now my mom has the damn treadmill. She wanted one for indoor exercise at night when she can't go out. Even so, she swears it is going slightly uphill, which causes her the leg-pains she is hoping to avoid by doing the exercising. I brought my level and showed her the bubble: only 1/8" off at a setting of 0.00. The only thing for it would be to call someone to come fix it.  That was a month or two ago. I hesitate to bring the subject up but then cannot resist. 'O, I think your brother could put a little something underneath it,' she says. We leave it at that.

So what's with this running? I've never done marathons, unless you count walking 7.2 miles from Ocean Beach to downtown Bush Street at age 19. I don't 'train' or any such fandangle. This past winter, on one of our nightly walks I had on my Nike Free's and I just felt like it, so I took off in the middle of the street. It goes up a generous amount, I'd say maybe 10% grade or so, and I was winded at the end of the block.  Embarrassing. On the straight-away yet, I was feeling pretty frisky.

That felt good.  I'd experienced something similar a while back when I'd just finished having an hour-long, extremely intense & painful reflexology treatment at a hotel where I was staying; my old ass left the clinic & spontaneously went flying barefoot down the hallway carpet like I was a fucking deer.

Sad to say, they do not make Nike Free's the same as the two pair I own anymore. And mine are beginning to show their age. I originally got them as a direct result of another book Pain-Free with the Egoscue Method, which I espoused vigorously following my bout with frozen shoulder. (O god ! Try waltzing at an audition with one arm glued to your side. Trust me, that will cure you of any attraction to A Little Night Music.)

Mainly concerned with one's posture insofar as it relates to various dysfunctions of age like inability to frolic as would a child, which the author maintains is imminently doable, this book got me to buy or do somethings I regret a bit, actually—that huge stupid block of foam-rubber I now use for an ottoman.  Or when I spoke to a friend about this whole Re-posturing thing, hoping to help her with her pain (fibromyalgia?), but I'm not her doctor.  Plus I wouldn't lend her my copy & I knew she was feeling very paranoid about spending money on anything except essentials. It was very awkward. 

But not the shoes. They're great, even though they're Nike's; everybody notices them 'cause they do look kinda cool.  And they are truly my friends.  

Well, this running book—I'd heard of it on NPR and it struck me funny—not ha-ha, but resonantly—so before I could chicken out, I got the instant Nook version of it, and that's been our daily read this go-round.  And I think 'well, this rates out there with the many things the West does to be like the East, I'll learn how to run like the wind, etc., etc.', discounting for a moment that these are Indians located in Mexico.   

Now I'm dashing up that hill at the end of the street without even thinking.  

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©2011 Claudine Jones
©2011 Publication Scene4 Magazine

Like an orthopedic soprano, Actor/Singer/Dancer Claudine Jones has worked steadily in Bay Area joints for a number of decades. With her co-conspirator Jaz Bonhooley, she also has developed unique sound designs for local venues. She's also a Senior Writer and columnist for Scene4.
For more of her commentary and articles, check the Archives


Scene4 Magazine - Arts and Media

August 2011

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