Recently someone asked me what I was listening to on my iPod. I hesitated to answer because whatever it was they would jump to conclusions about me based on the music I was listening to – if I said The Beatles – I was living the past; if I said Lady Gaga – I was a real fag; if I said Coltrane – I was elitist pretentious; if I said – Chopin – I was was beyond comprehension.
There are some musicians or composers, who are always on my iPod. I think I have at least 10 days of listening without repeat on tap at any given time. Once a play list gets heard it gets replaced. Each play list, in general, is a mix of pop, jazz, classical.
Nearly always on one play list or the other is: The Beatles, The Stones, Van Morrison, Jacques Brel, Sinatra, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Keith Jarrett, Chopin, Beethoven, Haydn, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Mozart. Frequently: The Animals, Procol Harum, Lou Reed, McCoy Tyner, Gabor Szabo, Bach, Dvorak. There’s one play list of Latino/French,/World Music music that often includes Otto, Osibisa, Santana, Boyo Boys, Piaf, Pizzicato Five.
When I was asked what I was listening, I replied: “Guess.” Because what they thought I was listening would tell me what they thought of me. They said Arcade Fire (am I a hipster?) when the truth was Killdozer.
June 24-28 – attending – Rosemary Aubert’s Fiction Writer’s How To
July 11 – Thursday – attending - The Beautiful and Damned
July 14 – Sunday – attending Cabaret Noir
August 21 – Wednesday – attending – Blythe Spirit
August 22-25 – attending – FanExpo 2013
September 25 – Wednesday – attending – Measure For Measure
excerpt – 54
Yves stood in front of the web camera. It was weightless, too small, to convey anything. With it he would be able to transmit himself to Tom. Tom would do the same.
The picture flickered, wasn’t crisp, but he made himself out.
“How’s my resolution?” He spoke into the telephone.
“Good enough to eat. How do I look?”
Yves leaned closer to Tom’s image on the monitor. Every thirty or so seconds the image refreshed itself. Tom leaned closer to his monitor.
“Not like having you here.”
“I can sort of see your lips move when you talk.”
“The monitor doesn’t smell like you though.”
“Strike one. How does it taste?”
“Tom, I miss you but not enough to blow a monitor.”
“Oh yeah. How about this?”
The image tilted. Tom sat naked. His erection loomed over his keyboard.
“Come on. You think I talked you into this for your pretty face? Let’s see the appendage. Please.”
Yves stood and slipped his jeans to his knees.
“Oh yeah, baby. Love those white jockey shorts. So tight. Show me your ass.”
Yves felt foolish, but he turned around.
“Inch them down. Slow.”
He followed Tom’s instructions.
“Get a better camera or better lights.”
Yves faced the camera. It was Tom’s turn to obey. “That’s what I call meat, man. Oh yeah. Stroke it. Come on. You want to. Because I want you to.”
The stop motion of the web cam exchange meant that Yves heard Tom shoot before he saw it.
“Nice. But … ”
“What? Not going to shoot for me?”
“Too weird for me. You seem used to it though.”
“I miss you. That’s all.”
“Is it all set? You’ll be here in June.”
“You bet. It’s been ages since I left this burg for longer than a week. Don’t be surprised if I go through Prairie withdrawal syndrome. How’s life there?”
“I think we have the guys that firebombed Rainbow books.”
He filled Tom in on the encounter at Po’boys.
“His greed got him caught. If he hadn’t been there just then, you wouldn’t have spotted him.”
“Serves the fucker right. I gotta get a move on. I’ll tune in you in later.”
Steven lost to someone he had never heard of in a production he hadn’t heard about.
Evan picked up the award for original script. The show also won for best ensemble. One award remained. Best New Production.
Frank Donaldson, the presenter, walked stiffly to the stage, his wig slightly askew.
“Like Gladys Clark, for whom this award is named, I have been an outspoken critic of the Toronto theatre scene. I have always believed theatre should aim for excellence, and have supported and stood behind productions which exemplified that excellence. Each year I see the theatre community work to maintain and surpass expectations, and this year has been no exception.
“The nominees for Best New Production are: Baker’s Den for ‘Cream Winker;’ Miff and Batt for ‘Alice Clown;’ Quilt for ‘The Soul Delays;’ and Thicket for ‘Three-Quarter Time.’” He tore the envelope open. “And the award goes to Baker’s Den for ‘Cream Winker.’”
Karen Dado, the Artist Director for Baker’s Den, came to the stage. She was followed by Greg Hadly, the head of the Toronto Live Theatre Association.
Frank handed Karen the statuette.
“This comes as a surprise and a relief. All I can say is what everyone has said. I had a great text to work with, talented actors and … ”
“I will not.”
Frank and Greg were having a heated discussion at the side of the stage.
“Give me that.” Greg attempted to get the prize announcement card from him. “I know what it said and it … ”
“Trust me. It said Cream Winker.”
“What is it?” Karen looked to them.
“There was a slip-up. The winner of the Gladie is actually ‘Three-Quarter Time’.”
Frank stepped off the stage and up the aisle. “The fact that this artistic community would favor a mess like ‘Three-Quarter Time’ is no surprise to me. I never realized how far a company could ride on sympathy. Let me tell you Evan Daniels, they’re sorry for you.”
Greg presented Evan with the award. He got a standing ovation.
“Thank you. This isn’t how I expected to win, but I expected to win. So did all the others who were nominated. It’s a cliché, but a true one, that the other productions were creative, strong pieces. Some stronger than mine, but I am given to false displays of humility.
“After Mr. Donaldson’s performance piece, we have a new standard to live up to. I want to send a quick thank you to my great cast and crew. Monica, you are any director’s dream of a stage manager. Steven brought a quality to the play that made it sing for everyone who saw it. And David Walters brought a quality to my life that made it sing. …. Thank you.”
Kevin hadn’t seen Therese for several months. So when she had called he knew it wasn’t to talk over old times. He stood outside the subway to wait for her.
“How many months?”
“Six and counting.”
They walked the Danforth to a Java Squared.
“You’re looking good. We can’t get enough of you on TV, you know. Whenever one of your videos comes up, Mitch hauls everyone in. You have come a long way so fast.”
“You had it in you to make it. Your folks must be right proud. You talk to them?”
“Nearly every Sunday.”
“Hear from Deb?”
“She was some fond of you.”
“You didn’t call to talk about her, did you?”
“I found this in his jacket.” She put the envelope of money on the table, “I made him tell me. He wanted to take care of us. It won’t happen again.”
“He’s hit on me before. And got more out of TknoSonk. Some story he handed them about me molesting kids in the steam room. Sound familiar?”
“Crying won’t help.” Kevin wasn’t happy to see Therese fall apart.
“What do you know about anything? You come here free to get ahead. While Mitch has been here for year busting his ass to get a little ahead and stuck in the same rut. What can you tell me?”
“If he’s stuck, Therese, this isn’t the way out. It makes the rut deeper. That isn’t my fault.”
“It isn’t my fault either.”
“No one said it was.”
“What are you going to do about this?”
“It’s out of my hands.”
“What do you mean?”
“Remember that big fire around Christmas? Downtown.”
“Mitch and Hank were behind it.”
“No. No. you’re wrong. Mitch can’t be …. Gasoline. Oh God, he came home one day stinking of gas. Some spill down at the site, he said. No. What am I going to do?”
“Let the law take its course. Where’s he now?”
“Home. Told him I was off to Syl’s. I don’t know what to do. I have to warn him.”
“And what? Run away? To where?”
They walked in silence to the subway.
“Quite a to-do. I am glad I don’t own newspapers in Toronto or I would be shamed by that man.” Godwin looked at David’s Gladie. “It was like two cows colliding in a dark wood.”
David got into the limo after Godwin. Steven and Evan stood at the curb. Evan held a Gladie in each hand.
“Would you like a drive?” Godwin asked.
“No. I’m fine. Monica is getting us a taxi. Are you coming to the party at Lubba’s?”
“No. Perhaps David will. He has reason to celebrate.” Godwin closed the window.
“I’d like to celebrate, but not with a room full of people.”
“I hoped you would say that.” He spoke into the car intercom. “Home, please.”
The drive to Godwin’s house was brief. The house was huge, three floors, more bathrooms than he could count.
“Shall we have a small meal?”
David didn’t want to put the housekeeper to any trouble. He was a guest when he was at Godwin’s house, and to be waited on made him more uncomfortable.
“I have given Lukinda the night off. It would give me great pleasure to prepare a meal for you myself.”
“I can’t refuse that offer.”
“This is your home when you want it to be, David.”
“Too much dusting.”
“You would not have to dust.”
“I know, Godwin. I was joking.”
David made light of the Godwin’s invitations to move in with him. Not that the idea wasn’t attractive, but he enjoyed his own space. He’d lived on his own since he’d left home and he liked it.
“Why don’t you go up to the little salon while I prepare a treat for you?”
David went up the curved stairs to the second floor. The little salon was a large study between two bedrooms at the rear of the house. When he was at Godwin’s, this was where they spent most of their time. It had a large screen TV, stereo and one telephone. Godwin tried to confine business to an office on the first floor.
The low table in front of the sofa was set with plates and cutlery. A bottle of champaign sat in a cooler. David lit the candles and dimmed the lights.
He slipped his shoes off and relaxed on the couch.
“What? No music?” Godwin pushed a covered trolley into the room.
“I’m enjoying the silence.”
“The Nest buzzed too much?”
“I didn’t realize how much work it would take to get the Nest’s Fall show ready. How was your trip?”
“We are closer to signing the treaty. Once that is signed business can begin.”
“This smells good.” David lifted the cover.
“It will taste better than it smells.”
“A recipe you learned at your mother’s knee?”
David immediately regretted his remark. Godwin had lost most of his family in a political coup in Bhatuta. They had been hacked to pieces while he hid in a trench dug under the floor. Their blood had dripped down on him while he hid there for three days.
“No, and she would not have approved. Men in my tribe were not allowed to cook. Only to eat. You are the man in our tribe. My joy is to cook for you.”