Monday, March 5, 2012

David's Recital

I cannot find my kitchen.

So, instead of looking for it, I am writing on my blog. Go ahead. Judge me.

The recital was last night. It started at 8 p.m. and it was supposed to be over at 9, but it went nearly until 9:30. Those who love saxophone were happy. Those who may not love saxophone were gracious. As always, David played beautifully. He played really hard pieces, but he was kind to choose more melodic, accessible hard pieces than usual. For me?

I thought the program (programme?) was unusually lovely.

We've had a very mild winter, but yesterday was blustery, snowy and cold. The snow was off-and-on, but by late, it was mostly on, and the roads were a mess. My heart warmed delightfully at the support of our dear friends who braved the slush and the late hour on a Sunday evening to come. I was worried that the event would be poorly attended because we have no family in the area, but our friends really rallied for us, and I am so grateful. For many of them, it was--in one way or another--quite a sacrifice.

DJ played the soprano saxophone.

And he played his alto sax.

And he finished on his tenor.

I can't quite describe the emotive wellings in my heart... the blowzy blizzard outside, the clear sweet notes of soprano saxophone altissimo, the rippling piano parts like streams flowing over stones and driftwood, the serious faces listening in the dark, the yellow light spilling over my son in a double-breasted navy blue suit that reminds me of 1920's London, the blond piano accompanist from Norway who talks and looks like a Minnesotan (ha!), the smile on DJ's face as he hopped up the stairs with his tenor sax, ready to kill his last number, a transcribed Chris Potter jazz solo.

I wished I hadn't worn my white blazer. As I tried to listen, take photos, and organize the food, I didn't exactly blend into the background. Shawn sat in the balcony and videotaped.

The reception. Oh the reception. Oh my.

It is a high ceilinged room with lots of windows, sort of in a turret so the windows face all directions. David's was the third recital of the day, so the surfaces of things were a trifle iffy, but the previous people were taking out the garbage when we arrived. I had some white plastic table covers, for which I was truly grateful.

These concerts are free to the public, so homeless people come in and take as much food as they can load up, and I could never quite relax about where I had set my purse or my camera.

These bag ladies and bag men camp out in the building, wash up in the restrooms, come to the recital (they actually do attend the music!!) and then swarm the food afterwards. This rather sickened DJ and I don't think he ended up eating anything. It did not bother Jon, not too much, and at the end he felt good about having been able to share some good healthy food with the less fortunate. He said, "Surprisingly, they did not go much for the desserts, but one guy went over and got one of your homemade oatmeal-walnut-chocolate chip-coconut bars, and he sat down and ate it... and then he smiled."

I have to admit, I was gratified that last night the bag people were sucking down fresh strawberries, broccoli flowerettes and whole wheat crackers with red pepper hummus. For the most part, they tried to use the tongs, and they did not actually paw through the food, but at certain points they did give up and just start grabbing with fleshy fingers. At the end, I offered one bag lady the tail end of the cracker and cheese platter, and she took it. "Are you the mother?" she asked. "It was a lovely concert." Then she said, "There was something in those sandwiches that I don't usually get. My eyes are bad... I was wondering what it was?" I told her they were roast beef, turkey, ham and chicken salad. She said, "Oh, it must have been chicken salad. I thought it tasted kind of funny. I don't eat any meat or chicken. I eat tuna, though. I eat tuna salad." I just stood there wondering, "Did a bag lady just tell me to bring tuna salad for her next year?" Not likely going to happen. Just saying.

You know what is really hilarious? I had a bin there to collect the returnable bottles and cans, but at the end of the night, it was nearly empty. I thought perhaps we had not gone through many beverages. But we had! When I peeked in the cooler, they were nearly gone. So the homeless people must have gathered up the returnable containers as fast as they could and stashed them away. Or maybe they found the cooler and pilfered unopened containers before we had a chance to replenish the serving area. Maybe they did both. One disheveled fellow came over and asked me if I had an extra bag because his was ripping, so I gave him a bunch of my folded up Wegman's bags. I am such a soft touch. That man told Shawn, "The kid who played the saxophone today was really amazing." I suppose it is better for their souls that they listen to DJ play than that they watch cable.

Such juxtaposition: Intricate classical music, red velvet seats, white roses, a lavish spread of food, and learned professors. Scruffy people dressed in layers of filthy clothing, dragging around torn plastic bags stuffed with what looks like garbage but is treasure to them. Under her arm, one lady had a large, disposable (well, meant to be disposable) plastic salad bowl from Wegman's, with a lid, and she kept slipping things into it. All together in one room... people we know and love, friends of David's, respected professors, and a few strangers.

So now I need to rewash these leftover vegetables, because I am not rich enough to throw them away. I will probably make a lot of them into soup. Poor Jonathan. Jonathan doesn't like soup.

It was an amazing and memorable night. I couldn't fall asleep until well after 2 a.m., once I finally got to bed. There was so much to think about. My mind keeps replaying visions of huge snowflakes drifting through black sky outside the many windows of room 308.

But now, I suppose, I really need to go and try to find my kitchen.

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