Sunday, March 30, 2008

eight days a week

We've been working overtime and right through the weekends here at the Museum ever since little Banana Scrap pulled the Fireball Trick. We had to let the intern go last month when we realized he was entirely imaginary, so it's just been me and the cat holding down the fort, working like a pair of one-armed paper-hangers.

Weird thing about that last image is that when I was but a boy growing up in St. Louis, my folks actually hired a one-armed paper-hanger. Can't remember if it was Junior or Clarence or their father Pappy, but one of them had the hook. They were painters, plumbers, carpenters, electricians and yes, paper-hangers.

Not making a word of this up.

Nancy is strong up there on the 8th Floor. The unthinkable pain is gone (praise you Yawheh and the skilled hands of Dr. Palmer Bessey), but it's still far from being remotely Fun.

Tuesday they'll remove the Teapot Splint and take a look at the wound and then sometime in the next week they'll do the graft. Five days after that, she's back on the Lower East Side.

She's in pretty good spirits. Seeing people helps.

She's developed a strange attachment to my black hoody and insists that it stay with her in the hospital room. If you know me, you know my black hoody, as I usually wear it every day of my life, up until about a week ago when she wouldn't let me leave the room with it.

I love that hoody.

So, you see, we're all suffering through this in our own way.

Huge points to the Scamps, Jenny and Louise, for having the class and imagination to arrange for a bottle of 16 year old single-malt whiskey to be delivered to the hospital... for me.

I owe you a few rounds, ladies. And we'll enjoy them this summer with Nan.

I'm always looking for good band names, the hospital has given me a few:

Percocet. An obvious one for some speed-metal trio. Throw an umlat over the "o" in the middle, write it up in gothic script, you've got a T-shirt I'd wear.

The Greenberg Pavilion. That's where the Burn Unit is. I imagine the band to be some kind of folkie, acoustic, hippie collective led by Seth Greenberg, a fiddler or a master of the glockenspiel.

Thanks to Brian Parks for reminding me a few years ago how funny the word "glockenspiel" is. Say it out loud and you can't help but smile.

The Burn Unit. Right? Just thought of that while typing this, but it's great. How about an all-girl rock 'n roll combo, standing there all beautiful and fierce, laying down hooky, catchy three-minute riffs one after another in some roadhouse out in Jersey?

"We're The Burn Unit, thank you and good night!"

And my favorite,

Sabbath Elevator

A sabbath elevator is programmed to stop on every floor from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday, so that anyone of the Orthodox persuasion can enjoy the modern convenience of the elevator without operating machinery of any kind.

It just goes up and down, floor by floor, all on its own, all through the night.

I've been stuck on it twice, once last Friday and once yesterday morning. Maddening to lose those nine seconds. It's like God became a nine-year old kid and hit all the buttons as a prank.

But the band.

Sabbath Elevator.

The name is so good, I don't even know what they'd sound like. The songs would be really smart, great lyrics and surprising harmonies. They'd probably come out of the South, Austin-influenced but they'd have their own complete sound. They'd have their Brooding Genius Front Man, a la Michael Stipe or David Byrne, but they'd have an extraordinary rhythm section as well.

Sabbath Elevator, man. Turn it up and check out Track Three.

In art news, I found out this week that I've been awarded a commission from the Belfast Festival to write something for a political cabaret they're doing in October.

The Irish are intensely involved in American presidential politics, so the Tinderbox Theater in Belfast is doing something called "Swing State Cabaret" and me and three other writers are... writing something for it.

Or something.

Details are still sketchy to me, but they're asking how they can wire me money, so I'm keeping my mouth shut until the dollars are in the bank.

It's Sunday morning outside my window.

Quiet down here on Ridge Street, just the birds in the trees of the churchyard across the street. Sun coming through the blinds, cat asleep on the bed behind me. Coffee brewed and waiting, all dark and strong in the pot. Some German lady singing something Bach wrote a few centuries ago coming out of the speakers.

And no one here to share it with.

Ah, come on home, Nan.

Me and the cat can't do it without you.

The cat is, frankly, worthless when it comes to day-to-day administrative duties. Just doesn't seem to get it.

And I'm always better with an audience, as you all know.

1 comment:

John said...

Sheila Head pointed out that Sabbath Elevator is, of course, a klezmer band.

Klezmer ska punk, probably. From the South.