Utopian Turtletop. Monsieur Croche's Bête Noire. Contact: turtletop [at] hotmail [dot] com

Thursday, May 19, 2005


I don’t remember ever having had the Test dream, where, omigod, you have a big test for school, and you didn’t even know about the class, you never even went to the class, and so you didn’t study, and here you are in the classroom . . . stresssssin’.

A variation of that dream has come to me about performing.

Once it was opening night of “Hamlet” and I showed up at the theater to find out I had the lead role. The cast and director had complete confidence in me, and I was about to go on, and I never had been to one rehearsal, never learned one line. Oh sure, a few scattered lines, everybody remembers some of those, but there I was, about to go on and . . . stressssssin’.

Last night, I was hanging out with some poor Mexican immigrants, and someone asked if I played bongoes, and I said, sure, a little bit (truth is, I can keep a beat, and that’s about it), and someone asked if I wanted to play a show, and I said, sure, why not. One of the men played trumpet, which he carried in a paper bag. I rented a set of bongoes and showed up at the gig, which was in a high-school gym-type room in the suburbs. It was a 2nd string local professional orchestra, and I was in the precussion section, never having been to a rehearsal. The players and conductor were happy to see me, having complete confidence in me, while I couldn’t make head or tail of the bar-line free score and noted with some alarm a bit on the 2nd page with my name on it, “Bongo solo, John Shaw.” Two nice guys I knew from childhood, whom I haven’t seen in decades, sang bass in the orchestra chorus. I was happy to see them. Will A., in real life 20 years ago not at all a kissy guy, gave me a kiss on each cheek, French style.

I woke up before the concert started.
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