I became insane with long intervals of horrible sanity.
Edgar Allen Poe
The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.
- H. L. Mencken
Many people would sooner die than think; In fact, they do so
What I have been telling you, from alpha to omega, what is the one great thing the sigil taught me — that everything in life is miraculous. For the sigil taught me that it rests within the power of each of us to awaken at will from a dragging nightmare of life made up of unimportant tasks and tedious useless little habits, to see life as it really is, and to rejoice in its exquisite wonderfulness. If the sigil were proved to be the top of a tomato-can, it would not alter that big fact, nor my fixed faith. No Harrowby, the common names we call things by do not matter — except to show how very dull we are ...
-James Branch Cabell
September 18, 2017 - 11:24 a.m.
This is one of those days when the Facebook interactions are coming fast and furious and keeping me from writing. I will not return to FB until I'm finished with this. One problem, I do have to return to my browser to get a link, I must avoid the temptation to look at Zuckerberg's monster.
Yesterday morning I checked my email and found one from Anna Dagmar saying that she had a free show at a church that day. I had no plans, Saint Peter's Church was right on the Lexington Ave line, the easy one for me, it was free, and it was Anna. There was no way I could not go. I didn't read the details, I thought it would be another string quartet show, that's what it was last time she played a church. Anna is a pianist but she can write string quartets because she can do pretty much anything when it comes to music.
The church was at 54th and Lex. I could have just stayed on the local to 51st street but I figured it would be faster to switch to the express and get off at 59th street. It means walking an extra two blocks but I should be able to make up more than the two minutes that would take. I got off at the train and started walking down Lex. There were police barricades up at 57th street. I couldn't cross. It was just 12 minutes before the show started. There was no way across. I asked the cop when I could get by, he said, "After the president passes." This is just a block from Trump Tower and he's in town for the UN. I had no idea how long this would take. It wasn't too long till the motorcade arrived. There was a long stream of cops on motorcycles and cars all with their lights flashing. We are not talking five or ten we are talking scores. Then came two limos; We assumed he was in one of them. I was glad I was wearing my "Impeach Both of Them" cap. I booed loudly but others cheered. What kind of New Yorkers were these? New Yorkers hated Trump before it became the national pastime. While we were waiting I started talking to the people around me especially one lovely woman. We commiserated together. I said, "Like I needed another reason to hate him."
After he passed came more cops and two ambulances. When you thought it was over more cops would come trailing behind. When we saw there was no more coming, my new friend said, "You can open the barriers now" to the cop. I told him that he should listen to her, she sounds trustworthy. They were actually pretty good about it and we didn't wait too long till they let us through. I let the woman know that I'd gladly have her switch places with Trump. She said that's true of anyone in the crowd.
I knew where the church was but it didn't hit me till I got there that it's the hypermodern church in the Citicorp Building. It looks like one of Doctor McCoy's medical instruments from Star Trek. I remember when they built the place. I used to use the subway station often. I liked the Citicorp building but I have never been in the church. I thought it was a bit small for a concert, more of a chapel than a church.
When I went in I saw that I was on a mezzanine level overlooking the sanctuary. The church was like a TARDIS, bigger on the inside than the outside. Either that or mainly below ground level. There didn't seem to be a way down. I still had a minute before the show started. I was glad it hadn't. I shouted down, "How do I get down there?" There was a door that looked like it wasn't for the public, but it was. I don't know why there was a door there at all. It led to a lobby with a beautiful open stairway. When I got to the bottom I was in what looked like a cafeteria. Anna was there. It was being used as the Green Room. She saw me and called me over. I gave her a hug and then she had to go on. I cut it close. I told her it would look bad if she came in with me. She followed close behind. I grabbed a seat up front, I had to walk through the area where the piano and string quartet was set up. I took my seat, and found out that this wasn't a concert. It was jazz vespers. I religious service. It was hot so I was wearing a t-shirt and shorts, not exactly my Sunday go to Meeting clothes. I wasn't the only one and I wasn't going to let that bother me. I had taken off my cap as I didn't want to offend anyone. I didn't need to worry about that.
Anna had four original songs integrated into the service. They were not religious in nature. She and the quartet played on the religious songs too. The music director sometimes joined in on bass. He went to college with Ms. Dagmar.
Ironically the sermon was largely a rebuke of Trump's immigration policies. This was another hippie Lutheran Church. I looked on Facebook last night and saw that Jared, the pastor, is friends with Mark the pastor at St. Johns, the church The Christopher Street Coffee House is held. I talked with him afterward, he does not always talk like a pastor. I'll leave it at that. I like him. When he talked politics it was great, when he brought in Jesus, not so much. I've sat through Catholic Mass so this was not an issue.
Anna's music was great. After a setting of the Lord's Prayer by the music director they went write into the quartet playing. I thought it was something classical, it was beautiful, then Anna started playing and singing. It was the intro to her song. That's what impressed me the most. I knew she's great on piano and I had heard her string quartet material before but now it's even better. She also writes musical theater. I want her to write a jazz opera.
When the service was over Anna was busy with other people and a gentleman in a white jacket came up to me. I immediately liked him as he was wearing white after Labor Day. He asked if he knew me from Ihor's. I said yes and he introduced himself, it was John, Anna's husband. Then it clicked and I pointed out that he knows me from his own house. I was there when they hosted a house concert by Julie Gold a week before they got married. I've only met him a few times but I do like John. He's a geek that works for Google. He's my people.
Anna was still busy so I went over to where Jared said the Kiddish was set up. Fine he didn't say "Kiddish" but that's what it is, after service snacks. The Christians stole more than the Old Testament from us. No, they didn't borrow as they didn't give it back and don't plan to. There were only two of the best cookies lest, the ones with chocolate, but I grabbed them, one other cookie, and coffee. That's when I talked to Jared.
The crowd around Anna had thinned a bit and I went over to talk to her. She introduced me to her father, a math professor! We talked shopped. Anna, clearly likes my people and my people like Anna.
Anna is one of the best people to talk music with. I brought up how much I loved the string intro to that one song and she went off on how writing for strings is different than writing for piano. She could keep it at a level I could understand while still giving details. Even if I didn't understand any of it I'd have bathed in her enthusiasm. That is the essence of Annanicity.
We made plans to make plans to celebrate my birthday. We and her daughter are going out for cupcakes. There's a bakery she wants to take me to.
My plan was to go shopping but I decided that there was nothing that I needed today so I didn't. That was a mistake. There are things I will need tomorrow and it's going to rain. This will not be fun.
Once again, I ate food that our neighbor brought us, chicken wings. I did roast potatoes to go with it. I love cooking but sometimes it's nice to just pop something in the microwave. It also puts on having to shop. One of the things I have to buy is chicken wings.
I'm not going to post the video I was contemplating and I have not edited or uploaded the pictures I took of Anna and the Church or the video I took of President Trump's motorcade. I'm ashamed of myself. I held the phone vertically when I took it. Videos should always be in portrait mode. There's a reason movie screens are wide and not high. I wasn't thinking as I switched from still to video an I had to hold it up over people's heads. Damn, I should have gone live. Why didn't you people remind me. You can't expect me to think of these things, I'm an idiot.
You'll get the title now that you read what happened.
Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
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