Ktismatics

7 February 2010

First Super Bowl

Filed under: Reflections — ktismatics @ 7:54 am

I would have watched the game, but my parents took me to a classical concert instead. I don’t remember anything about the music. I do remember that there was a girl sitting near us who I’d never seen before but who was cute as could be. I was I guess thirteen years old, and my passion burned for weeks over this mystery girl.

Two years later, and now it’s the beginning of my second year of high school. I’m an oboist in the concert band; right behind me sit the bassoonists. There’s a new girl, a freshman. Is it? Yes: it’s the same girl. My passions had drifted elsewhere by then, but over the next three years I got to know this cute, scholarly and shy bassoonist a bit. Elizabeth.

I quit university after my third year, intending to see the world, perhaps become a novelist. For six months I worked in a book warehouse to finance my trip, living with my parents to save money. I hung around some with Cliff, one of my old high school buddies who was also living at home. He had a girlfriend; I didn’t. Why don’t you ask Elizabeth out? It turned out that she was an old family friend of Cliff’s. Elizabeth was studying music at the best of the several local universities and — wasn’t everyone? — living with her parents, who told Cliff’s parents that she was feeling lonely.  So I called her up. I’d love to go, said Elizabeth. I remember it was a double bill: Leo Kottke, the 12-string player with a rather mournful baritone; and Jesse Colin Young, former leader of the Youngbloods, a folk rock band whose cover of “Get Together” became a kind of hippie anthem. I bought four tickets — we would double-date with Cliff and his girlfriend. The night of the concert arrives and I drive to her house to pick her up. Oh I’m so sorry, her mom says, but Elizabeth and her boyfriend are still out of town and they won’t be back until next week. I don’t know how, since I can’t imagine that I ever actually laid eyes on the guy, but I still have a picture of the boyfriend in my head: a bit older, tall, bushy black hair, full beard, headband.

Soon afterward the US military called me in for my pre-draft physical, which hastened my departure for foreign shores. I never saw Elizabeth again. Or maybe we went out once, and she told me about college, and how things weren’t working out with her boyfriend, and she showed me his photo. I guess I don’t really remember that part.

I googled her yesterday. She teaches private bassoon lessons at our old high school.

Some may come and some may go
We shall surely pass
When the one that left us here
Returns for us at last
We are but a moment’s sunlight
fading in the grass

C’mon people now,
Smile on your brother
Everybody get together
Try to love one another right now

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4 Comments »

  1. Very nice-wistful, more ‘Summer of ’42’ than the following, but will be nice to write the occasional lyric for somebody besides the usual asshole I’ve been stuck with. This will get you into a more ‘Sophisticated Lady’ mood, if you get ready for that. Will you re-contact this woman? The story has that one weird part, though, because it can’t have been too long before her parents were telling the other parents that ‘she was feeling lonely’, and then you asked her to the concert, followed quickly on by how she and her boyfriend ‘are still out of town’ (it sounds like she was already living in sin with him within a week after being reported ‘lonely’…I mean, had they gone out for a pre-engagement honeymoon?

    “Soon afterward the US military called me in for my pre-draft physical, which hastened my departure for foreign shores. I never saw Elizabeth again. Or maybe we went out once, and she told me about college, and how things weren’t working out with her boyfriend, and she showed me his photo. I guess I don’t really remember that part.”

    Why, you senimental sap. This is so 50s Grace Metalious ‘Peyton Place’. Oh COME ON, I don’t believe this, you either remember it or you don’t. I mean, this does beat all of anything you’ve ever written. You ‘never saw Elizabeth again’, but I don’t know why she showed you the photo if things weren’t working out. Oh, don’t tell me, you are doing a ‘fiction experiment’ here. Gawd, John, you are funny.

    So did you go to the concert with ‘just the three of you’? Musically, it works nicely that Elizabeth and her family were so rude and didn’t even bother to call, because I don’t have to like that song that much, since you probably had tears running down your cheeks in the ‘smile on your brother’ part, didn’t you?

    This will sharpen you up, but gently. If it helps, I doubt that Elizabeth has used her high school teaching privileges to morph into Mary Kay Le Tourneaux…:

    In a mellow tone
    Feeling fancy free
    And I’m not alone
    I’ve got company

    Everything’s ok
    The live long day
    With this mellow song
    I can’t go wrong

    In a mellow tone
    That’s the way to live
    If you mope and groan
    Something’s gotta give

    Just go your way
    And laugh and play
    There’s joy unknown
    In a mellow tone

    (scat)
    In a mellow tone
    (bridge)

    In a mellow tone
    Feeling fancy free
    And I’m not alone
    I’ve got company

    Everything’s ok
    The live long day
    With this mellow song
    I can’t go wrong

    In a mellow tone
    That’s the way to live
    If you mope and groan
    Something’s gotta give

    Just go your way
    And laugh and play
    There’s joy unknown
    In a mellow tone
    In a mellow tone
    In a mellow tone

    Those songs like ‘Get Together’ were popular in the 60s if you were innocent enough for them. It’s sort of rousing because of the music, and better than the Rodney King version of ‘getting along’. Works nicely within your

    Like

    Comment by Quantity of Butchness — 7 February 2010 @ 10:36 am

  2. It’s a misty water-color memory of the way we were, Quantity, so some of the events are shrouded in enigma. I just listened to Ella and Duke performing the song, which does induce a welcome mood shift from my little soapy-hippie vignette.

    Like

    Comment by john doyle — 7 February 2010 @ 11:49 am

    • Aren’t they great? I liked your misty water-colout memory though, and tried hard not to mention Ms. La Tourneaux in it…but I failed, because, after all, they ended up happily married despite much jail time spent by the rapist.

      Like

      Comment by Quantity of Butchness — 7 February 2010 @ 11:53 am

  3. …working on the proper double-reed embouchure: tight lips, no teeth.

    Like

    Comment by john doyle — 7 February 2010 @ 12:00 pm


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