Tag Archives: Paul

I Pray For You

It’s funny, after writing about not listening to music much the other day, Bill and I head down to Baltimore to watch a friend of his perform with the Baltimore Symphony Orchetrsa. It was more like a chance to watch an orchestra practice and during the practice, in the second half they have musicians that are good enough to play in orchestras but live in the Muggle world for their bread and butter. A gent named Paul lived on the same floor as Bill and went to the same high school (the Fame school) now lives in DC with his wife and kids.

Bill reconnected via Facebook and decided that we were going. I of course had nothing else to do and haven’t left Hoboken since October. I wasn’t sure how much the world has changed outside the mile square city and I was game. We were going to take a train down there and I was fine with that. But trains are pretty expensive and Bill figured it would be cheaper to rent a car. I wasn’t going to argue, it did seem like a good idea. We would not be beholden to schedules which makes a difference.

The plan was to leave around 2:00 but around 11:30 the plan had changed and we would be going at 12:30. That made moving things up a little faster but like I wrote, I had nothing else to do. We were soon on the road, driving down rainy Hoboken streets to the turnpike. My job was to pick the tunes. Only one channel was playing though, the left speakers were OK, my side, the right side was muted. No way around that. As we went further south, crossing into Delaware the weather had cleared up.

On the way down the New Jersey Turnpike we passed a number of utility trucks from Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia and Florida all returning after helping out the victims of Hurricane Sandy.

As we entered Baltimore I made it a point to play the soundtrack to Hairspray, the 1988 John Waters movie. I also played Hello Stranger by Barbara Lewis. The first time I heard that song was on Homicide: Life on the Street which took place in Baltimore.

Thanks to Bill’s GPS we found the symphony hall. We were crazy early though and after walking around in the dusk we found a spot to sit and have a beer beforehand. I guess it was a microbrewery since all the beer was made there. We had what was called an Ozzy, which was a dry Belgian like beer. And to my surprise, Hello Stranger by Barbara Lewis was playing when we got there.

We were hoping to find a cigar lounge but despite the neighborhood looking like it needed one, they came up short. There was a cigar lounge around the block from the hall, but there was a sign on the door saying they were out looking for supplies and would be back around 6:30.

The show was going to start at 6:45 so waiting around for that would not work for us. We made it into the hall and saw Paul who was nervous. We reassured him he would be fine, or rather Bill did since I did not know him. I merely told him to break a leg. The first half came on and I was at first jolted by the sound of a live orchestra but soon found myself nodding off to the sweet strings thanks to the Ozzy I had had about an hour earlier.

At the intermission I had two cups of coffee which did the trick and I was wide awake for the Anvil Chorus. It was all a few selections of Verdi’s music and the Anvil Chorus is the one that I remembered out of five or six pieces. Full orchestra and chorus and Paul sat next to the first chair under the baton of Marin Alsop. It was a wonderful excuse to get out of town and I wish we had more time to spend in Baltimore since we do have friends down there.

The ride back was exhausting. It seemed to take forever. Bill was feeling tired and so I wound up playing some house music to get him going. Then it was Girl Talk mostly. Bill never really heard Girl Talk before, even though I had played it often enough. He liked it a lot yesterday. We were back in Hoboken a little after midnight, Bill went to bed and I stayed up for a little while longer, before joining him in slumber.

with Paul and Bill

When I’m Sixty-Four

Last night I downloaded a remix of ‘Situation’ by Yaz. Despite the fact that I sometimes try to communicate with Bill vis a vis music, I was not trying to tell Bill something with the ‘move out’ refrain. Just wanted to clear the air. It was a decent remix, nothing to write home about, but disconcerting with that playing and Bill sitting a foot or two behind me. And I don’t want him to move out.

Yesterday morning Bill mentioned going to Arthur’s Steakhouse for dinner. Sounded like a good idea. Then he went off and did what he did, came home and crashed. I came home from cycling and found him asleep in the bed. He woke up around 9:00 and didn’t say anything about dinner. I brought it up, asking if he said something about going out to Arthur’s. He said he did, and then he didn’t say much else. Now it was 9:30, and I was hungry.

Finally as I mentioned that I was going out to get some food, he mentioned that we could go. I reckoned that by the time we get there, wait for a table, and sit down and eat it would be too late. So I went out and got some chicken from the Chicken and Rib Crib. Came home, and me being a nice guy offered him some of my dinner. He ate as we watched some telly, not really taking about anything. I did mention that I might not be able to make it to next Friday’s session since I had something to do with work. Something like going to Coney Island on an office outing. I have to call Phillip to reschedule. Either that, or its week number three without going to our couples counseling.

Today was a day at the beach. Julio, Stine and I all talked about it briefly last night and there we were, on the sand before noon. We were joined by Julio’s sister Maria and her fiancé, Paul. Bill was driving somewhere, and he knows that if the weather is permitting a trip to the beach is usually in order. Bill has his passion, which is driving buses. Mine is being at the beach with good friends.

I was very happy that the iPod adapter I got Julio for his car is working phenomenally well. I love playing the DJ.

It was very windy and the water was cold. Too cold to go in, 60-65 degrees with a way too cool breeze. We didn’t go to Sandy Hook, we didn’t go to Monmouth beach, we went to Sea Bright, which left Julio and I aghast with the amount of people. Stine and Maria preferred public facilities, Julio, Paul and myself, being men could pee anywhere. Rather than risk Sandy Hook being overcrowded, we heeded Paul’s suggestion and wound up in Sea Bright.

As the hours passed it was getting more and more crowded. We guessed that Sandy Hook had reached capacity and Sea Bright being the next public beach, was soon filled with people on line, headed out to the street about 100 yards in the sun waiting to pay seven dollars a head to get in.

The beach was definitely family oriented so jazz cigarettes were not to be enjoyed. That was a drag, or rather it wasn’t. We had a few beers and watched umbrellas fly down the shoreline due to the fact that they weren’t anchored properly. The flying umbrella could be a dangerous thing if you’re not paying attention.

We wound up leaving earlier than we usually do. We left at 3:00. Julio couldn’t deal with the crowds and they kept straggling in. We got back to Hoboken around 4:30 and went our separate ways. I jumped in the shower and decided to head into the city to Folsom East. It was crazy hot in the city as I walked the Chelsea border of 23rd street.

I ran into Tony, someone I knew (not biblically) in the nineties. Similar interests you see. He’s had a hard time the past few months and today was his first outing since his partner died in October. Alas he was heading back to Jersey City and I was headed to a bunch of leather queens. I wandered around, looking good I must say, but not seeing anyone I knew. Still awfully hard to met men, even if they are wearing a leather harness and a leather jackass, erm, jock strap.

I had a La Gloria Cubana and strolled around, excusing myself if I had to brush past some hairy back. It went unheard, courtesy and politeness just aren’t done at leather functions. It was humorous to see some men dressed totally from head to toe in leather and it’s in the nineties, the sun beaming and no breeze or flying umbrellas in sight. I saw a few online contacts that are not much bigger than their thumbnail photographs or otherwise way too tall and creepy in real life.

I walked back to the Path train and was home at 8:00. All in all a pretty good day.

It didn’t start out that way though. At some point last night as I was turning over in my sleep I elbowed Bill right on the nose. I woke up instantly as I heard Bill say, ‘Ouch! That hurt!’ Immediately I said, ‘Sorry Dad!’ I guess I was dreaming about my father.

It was Father’s Day after all.

and now, a turtle crossing the street in Rumson.