URGENT. Can someone PLEASE tell the programming folks at Air France that "If I Were a Rich Man?" from Fiddler on the Roof is not really classical music, per se ... though I hate to be a stickler about labels. But once the tune got into my head, sneaking in by a combination of headphone and misnomer, I was humming it all the way through customs, analyzing its phrase structure, etcetera. It was horrible. I will spare you my revelations.
MAGNIFICENT. I have been boinging around Europe with Josh (I realize I have narrowly missed a less felicitous but more suggestive turn of phrase), and in each city and country various items could be slated as gains or losses. For example, Air Iberia lost our bags for four days while we concertized in Mallorca/Menorca, and as I surveyed the baggage office in a cold sweat, I began to lose my faith in humanity's ability to combat chaos and disorder; and at that moment, I had too much of a stake in my bag to embrace the chaos as a liberating principle. In Menorca, this loss was translated into a last-minute pre-concert shopping trip for yours truly, where a loss of cash metamorphosed into the gain of some really outrageous ties. Which were totally, blissfully, unnecessary as Josh and I don't wear ties. Hah, so there, chaos. In the (tentative) gain column, somewhere around the Rhine, Josh and I picked up several bottles of wine and let me just suggest now and forever that bottles, packed in a heavy wooden box, are not precisely the ideal gift for a musician in the midst of a tour. But Josh and I were loath to part with all of them, as they promised to be delicious summery Rieslings, and off we carted them in shopping bags, hauling them onto puddlejumpers and into taxis and always carefully distinguishing them from each others', though they were identical. I enjoyed that part the most. The more airport security lanes we carried them through, the more our resentment began to grow, like a terrible Gifthorse Virus. The handles of the bags would eat unpleasantly into my fingers, and I would begin to feel numb in one or the other, and wonder how I might play that evening's gig without the index finger, for instance. We began to curse under our breaths, and over our breaths, and the phrases "that &*()#$# wine!" and "I hate the (&(#@#&*$() wine!" came like a refrain in a rondo, again and again, amusing and inevitable. Only the future promise of drinking the delicious wine, at home with friends or lovers, by candlelight, could redeem the endless misery of this recurring burden. So that when, two days before my return flight home, I began to hear reports of increased security, and it began to dawn that the wine would never be carried on the plane by me, I could only laugh and marvel and bow before fate's delicious ingenuity. At 5:07 AM, bleary and delirious, I stared at the sign at the check-in counter in Florence (not having slept since the 9 PM concert the evening barely before), a sign which read "NO LIQUIDS," and loved that it was specifically liquids that were forbidden, the ONE THING which Josh and I had persisted in carrying, and I just laughed and laughed, my inner wry laugh which can be confused by the outside observer for utter despair. I handed my bag of wine to Enzo, my very sweet driver with hilarious English (including the wonderful "keephouser"), and said "for you." And he said why? But I did not tell him why and I hope he is enjoying my Riesling right now on a Monday afternoon, before surveying yet another beautiful Tuscan sunset. Losses and gains spreading through the universe like tentacles.
Oh my I must stop, I have to run to the Hamptons. Steven Spielberg has some crisis or other that I have to deal with.