the katherine series. part I. i passed her a note on the train.

I passed a note to her on the train: Who are you?

When I met her, I was 22. I lived in Fleetwood, in Westchester County. I would take the Metro down to the city and stay there all night, sometimes just wandering the streets until the Harlem line opened up again. The morning I met Katherine was after one of these all-nighters. I was sitting a few seats back from the front of one car, and I noticed this girl, in the front seat on the other side of the aisle. She was eating an orange. She was looking off into some place that a pre-conscious, pre-jungle, pre-Eden part of me recognized.

From where I sat, I could see her profile. She was sexy. A sly smile curled the corner of her lips. I could see the left side of her, and one lens of her bright eyes, and something was going on. I watched her eat the orange. The way she peeled it and took it in with her lips mesmerized me. It was erotic; it looked like the fucking thing tasted good. And it was more than that. What got me was this acute sense that the girl eating it was in on something. That there was something happening there, and what was happening was much more than a girl eating an orange on the train.

009 by you.

I wrote a note down on a piece of notebook paper. It read: Who are you?

I passed her the note.

For the rest of the ride north (she was only a stop or two after mine) we sat together. I instantly reverted back into young-guy-mode. I interacted using my persona, a gently wretched thing filled with insecurities and auric gaps. She was quick, friendly, and open. We became friends.

Some time later I watched her dance. Performance art. I remember a dark room and things billowing and her silhouette sweeping around; evanescent moments, shapes and auguries. I asked her to participate in a music video I was shooting in the east village for an unsigned band. We hung around some more and I moved away and she moved away. That was twelve years ago, and I’ve just recently found her again. And I’ve been reminded of the girl on the train, and the things that I recognized. How things begin is how they end.

I discovered this video on her facebook page. It was early in the morning, and I decided to check it out. I could’ve had no idea how it would strike me.

The thing with Katherine’s work/pleasure/art is this: It’s a direct skinny dip into the fucking sexual-amative ether. I’m telling you. If you watch, and listen, and slough off all of that nonsense you’ve been taught about rational deduction; if you can, for a moment, pin down the squirming worm of your brain just DYING to categorize, analyze and breakdown – if you can do this, you might find video (by Matt Feato) the way I found it: an oasis of the elusive obvious, where the elements of dance, light, and music line-up and hypnotize. There!- A silhouette passes in front of frame; the color has just rippled from gauzy pink to vermilion to cerulean. In just that spiderleg of a second, something entirely new is happening. Which is the dance, now? Which is the light? What is moving? What is experiencing?

Let this take you away. Give it a few seconds to get going, to lift you off, and then – you’re gone. Bye bye. Eat it, drink it, an extra side of trip-hop honey and finespun, immaculate dance. By two minutes in, I’m on the gangplank and tingling. By three minutes, I’m happily dying; when it all comes together for me at four, I’ve arrived in elysium, amid pounding breakbeat hooves, aerial and undone.

Katherine Kendall Video by Matt Feato. FLUID / ASIDES

004 by you.


  1. Katherine, here is one I wrote call the Note

    He said: If only the girl
    Sitting in the desk next to me
    Would notice me

    The only interaction
    I have with her
    Is when she passes me a note
    That I would fantasize was for me
    She wants me to pass it on
    To the boy on the other side of me

    The boy who sits next to me
    The one who the note is for
    Could clean the playground with me
    I don’t dare to not give him the note
    Or even think of reading it
    That would be suicidal

    She would look at me
    When she was giving me the note
    It was the only time she looked at me

    As she looked at me
    To give me the note
    I would take a long look

    He then said again
    I would take a long look

    He said I was tormented
    As I held her steamy note
    The loser in the middle

    I heard this story
    In a dimly lit bus station
    From a sheepish guy
    Who had one small suitcase
    And a Large bottle of cheap wine

    To cheer him up
    I told him the boy next to him
    Died from some sexual disease
    That the girl was a pole dancer
    In a strip club
    And she was single

    I said to him there was still hope
    He didn’t believe me

    And I don’t think you should either


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