Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Daily Trials


Breaking our self imposed rule on not eating in restaurants, the wife and I met up for lunch at the Olive Garden near her office. We got a table within five minutes. Server came by, took the order, brought back salad and breadsticks. And then, nothing. We waited nearly 40 minutes without seeing hide nor hair of our server. With the lunch break draining into nothingness, I got the credit card ready and tried to flag down anyone I could find. A food runner arrived with our meal, which we asked to be immediately boxed. Our server magically appeared and asked if she could run the cedit card in my hand. No explanation. No apology. Nothing. She returned the card and receipt and simply walked off. I'm sorry, did I do something wrong? Is it taboo to get pissed about lunch taking 40 minutes? Perhaps an hour is the new industry standard. Oh well. Ugly service begets ugly tips, and for once I don't feel the slightest bit bad.

After lunch I had to hit the downtown post office to retrieve a package needing a signature. At the counter was an interesting specimen. Male. About 40 years old. Five foot five. Bleach blonde 80's metal mullet...with the back side having a triangle (yes, three sided polygon) of reddish brown hair in the middle. Grey pinstripe suit from Goodwill. Grey shoes from your grandfather's closet. Black gloves with the fingers cut off.

As I waited in line, this fine fellow spends 10 minutes reviewing every stamp for sale in the branch. After holding a few up at arms length, our philatelic friend finally opts for the biplanes. Thinking my time had come, I nearly started moving when the collector says "Now I've got to pick out something for Mother." What? Who goes out to the downtown post office at 3 o'clock in the afternoon on a fucking weekday to collect stamps for mother? This guy. That's who. This guy.

Please don't ask why I have time at 3pm on a weekday to go to the downtown post office. It is my local branch though. Whatever.

Today's must have track is Shadowlands by Bruce Hornsby. It can be found on the soundtrack for Spike Lee's Bamboozled. Shockingly beautiful song. The overall tone consistently makes me think of fall nights in the West Village of NY. I've never lived there, but the narrow tree lined streets always come to mind. Such is the power of music.

I suppose it has more to do with the power of art. The trailer for RENT came on the other night and I could feel the tears forming in my eyes. Why? I've seen the show several times and the movie will be a near exact production (as far as I can tell). Something about the music, the story, the overall feeling of hope always gets me in the soft spot. The story of Jonathan Larson is part of it. He devotes something like 8 years of his life to write this show and try to put it on. Finally successful in getting a major production, he dies less than 24 hours before opening night. An aneurysm hits while heating up some water on the stove. Dead on the kitchen floor. He never sees the critical and commercial smash hit that his show would become. I can't tell if that's the ultimate demonstration of the Buddhist belief that life is suffering, or if it's the perfect proof of fate and order in the universe. My head spins when trying to reason through that one. That's what I want though. To create something immortal; something that brings people to their knees with hope and appreciation for life. Jonathan Larson lives forever. On stage, every night.

1 comment:

conni said...

My initial comment was in regards to the missing server... where do they go? I'm lucky to escape to the loo for a minute. I can never hide. Ahh, but the Shadowlands & Rent comments... big ups to you. were I not tired, I would elaborate but I do love that song & the rent trailer gets me every time.