Well I'm off to the retreat where we spend all day Saturday and most of Sunday hammering scores into our birdie-brains, in as musical a
way as possible, with the end goal of achieving a level of comfort, off-book-ness, familiarity with this monstrous oeuvre, that when the orchestra finally shows up, we
won't embarrass ourselves. What is it they say? There are musicians and then there are singers.
Since I have an electric car that won't quite get me there & back, and even if it probably could, would I leave the old man at home
without a vehicle? (Where's he going to go on a week-end without me? Nowhere. But that's besides the point.) I need a ride.
I'm a newby; around the room are the many who have performed together, some for years, and I spy a couple of potentials. One lives three
blocks from me, but going only for one day. One lady has emailed openness to carpooling on Mondays when we regularly rehearse; she's also right around the corner.
I've got no problem at all with her except she wants to leave at 7am. She digs being early, which I like, too...but...I favor one above the rest & she's not
responding to my glances.
Boom. I'm back in high school.
How is it that some people seem to like everybody & everybody likes them & they can spend 5 minutes of quality time with you...before the next disciple cuts in. It's just like the fucking pope: you can't possibly be mad at the pope, yet s(he) just doesn't have the bandwidth. You gotta take what you can get.
I'm not saying this person is the pope, I'm just wondering how it is that in the Game of Life, some of us are photogenic, likeable,
empathetic, talented and desired. Not for sex, ferhevvinsake. Although, shoot, in the high school atmosphere of the 60s, sex was so temptingly out of reach it was the
ultimate vexation: everywhere & nowhere. Not as bad as the 50s, of course, but in a way that's even worse; we could see on the horizon that there were great changes
coming. They just hadn't got here yet.
Nah, just some person you want to be friends with who doesn't have the time. I get that, I do. What I don't get is the
navigational aspect; I've never gotten that. Maybe I've sublimated over much of that pent-up affection into being onstage with absolute permission to be a total ass-hat as
somebody else. No harm, no foul.
When our high school drama teacher died last year, many of us (on FB, of course) howled with dismay: No, this can't be true! He was
supposed to live forever! But he didn't.
In all the years that had evaporated in the mist since high school, Mr. G. never made an appearance. He led a full life, far away, but it
didn't include us. Or did it? Now that the event has become yesterday's news, it doesn't seem (except for this column) to be important enough to dig too deeply into.
No, the only thing I know, or that I care to know, is that in point of fact, he did make a return trip. And how did I find out? Fucking FB, once again. Post-mortem,
people are fondly referring to a goddamn picnic 5 years ago not a hundred miles from most of us who were in the inner sanctum & are still kickin'.
Who attended that BBQ? 3 guesses. Yes, it was The Ones. They somehow baited their hooks with pheromone bugs & hauled Mr. G. to the West
Coast. They kept him for themselves: no notice, nothing.
A look backwards & it seems plotted. It could have been spontaneous, or serendipitous or perhaps kind: an old geezer who could only
handle four people in a group. A guy so fragile that all those wild New Orleans parties featured on his FB page were actually photoshopped for his amusement.
I think not.
I think that some of us are liked...but not well liked.