Tuesday, September 26, 2006

9.26.06, New York's All Right, If You Like Saxophones...

Friday evening I arrive at JFK, meet the Disenchanted Princess, and am off to Long Island. There is the strange phenomenon of actually being able to sleep on planes now, and that’s the only unusual thing about my flight. Normal, sleepy, a single jump from Washington to New York.

As it turns out, this weekend was enchanted and surprises were in store. Saturday was to be a nice quiet night, just K and I going to dinner in the city and then to Birdland for Joe Lovano’s commemorative show on Coltrane’s 80th. K’s place is just an hour outside the city so we would probably just drive in, find one good parking spot, then use that as our HQ. Then K started asking how I’d feel about some additional plans for the city earlier on Sat, friends of hers, we could hang out, then change clothes there, go to dinner straightaway, about 6:30, etc., but lugging clothes, meeting new people (yes me being selfish about new people — candidly, it tires me out more that almost any other activity now), putting on my game face for so long, then the two of us having our night out, it began to swirl in advance. I knew I’d be too drained. And had been so looking forward to this show, and heading back to this restaurant, the Shark Bar.

Finally she ‘fessed up: we had a room at the Iriqouis, on 44th two doors down from the Algonquian. Great! Actually less stress, now time to stroll parts of the city, have a coffee in Bryant Park by the big public library branch. Ahh. Ms. K, however, continued to act strange, still, having said something to the bell boy under her breath, and that she wouldn’t relay to me! Sneaky, sneaky, sneaky. Going to our room, next, the bell boy opened the wrong room, some woman is lying in bed in there — now mortified! “Where the hell is our room? What is up, man?!” is what’s going through my head. This place seemed really nice, I didn’t get it, why the screw ups. Finally we’re in our room, but he’s got keys for the blond-in-her-bed’s room, so we’re out of luck. “I’ll be right back up with your room keys,” he says, still taking the tip that’s begrudgingly slipping from my hand, a question mark still in my eye.

Ten minutes later. There is a knock, they keys of course, so I go over and open the door. Holy shit! Who do I see but St. Francis, the blond from the bed, and some guy who's a cross between Frank O'Hara/James Bond pulling up the rear (turns out to be an old childhood friend of Frank’s, A.C. — just like in the O.J. chase). The hallways spins. What’s happening? The secret mumblings from K should’ve been the give away, but I didn’t want to be a schmuck and pry or demand to know a non-event. Then the knock from Frank killed me, he and 34DD giggling like kids, me stunned stupid and speechless, and all of it accentuated by A.C. since we’d never met before, & I’m in my shirtsleeves, as they say, etc. The dials on are the Franky Scale began to spin confusedly, reading out a series of “6” “4” “7” and “8” then “1’s” and “10’s” randomly. That is a pretty damn good surprise to pull off 3500 miles from home.

So it began. We talked, hung out a bit, took a fiver, got dressed, prepped a bit more in our rooms — then off! The Lovano show was excellent, and I think I’ll include a quick show review later for the music nerds out there. Lovano’s totally solid on the tenor, seems to work at channeling Coltrane, in his own way, and does succeed in recreating some of the same moves, transitions, and little licks. The double bass play, though, was incredible.

With that kind of night how could your Franky Scale be lower than an 8?

One realization struck me during the show, something I tried to pass on to everyone that night, but there seemed to be something untimely about it. At a few points in the show Lovano let the basses loose and the senior player Henry Grimes would let off into a game of follow the leader, so each instrument was in part echoing the other, throwing back to it additional riffs, turns, and interpretations. It’s hard to explain, but a phenomenal moment. And what I thought to myself was that such a musical moment is a place you could intentionally get lost, a place where all concern could fade away, a place to find yourself at the last and lonely instance. Despite its reality, that last instance isn’t popular parlor talk, so in our rooms after the show we kept it light, discussed the relative effectiveness of creating ichthyological metaphors to explain human uniqueness and beauty. Keep that word “relative” in mind.

* * *
P.S. — I don't know if I posted this info before but I upped my NCPB procedure date to the 29th, in the morning. It had been Oct. 2 but this way it'll be done right before moving, I'll have better company, and possibly the pain relief will come a few days sooner. So, Sept. 29, another endoscopic ultrasound procedure.


Slarry said...

Kudo''s Kudo's Kudo's
to Ms. K , Mr. Frankly and 34DD.

How COOL !!!!! what fun and what good secret keepers you are.

The whole blog posted by Mr. J. just made
my heart jump up and down with glee!!!
I almost wet my pants with happiness and joy!!!

Ah, good friends, my brother. Lefty and I are so
happy for you and that your time in New York
couldn't sound more perfect.
Makes me want to meet the princess even more.
And everyone knows the fondnest and
love I've always held for Mr. Frank.
Hey-- what about introductions to 34dd ?? too.

Safe flight, more happy days
and drink your fluids.

For the love of cheebus I hope you
took pictures. : )

Big Love from your Big ( literally ) Sister--


mme x said...

Oh my god, I love the disenchanted princess.

welcome back to the other city.

Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree with Mme X more. Looking forward to seeing you two, and moving some boxes.


tossing salads said...

my comment i think was eaten last night. what i posted briefly was. thank you princess for what you are bringing my great brother. what a surprise that must have been. for that and all you do thank you again. scott, going to one of your most fav spots on the planet today. moab. never been so this should be cool. it would be a awesome experience if i could see it through your eyes also. if today is chemo day, cant remember. whether or not, my thoughts are with you as always.