February 14, 2012
Music Eve 1, Short, ME Newsletter, Vol. 5, Issue 7
Outside, beneath an umbrella in a light Irish drizzle, a wide variety of women trade versions of “no regrets,” holding these truisms in high regard:
Life’s too short for bad wine.
Life is too short for stale bread.
I quote my mother’s favorite: Life is short –eat dessert first!
And a final offering before we venture back inside trailing scents of smoke and fresh rain:
“When you’re dying,” she says, “You will never ever say, ‘I regret not spending more time at work’.”
On the now familiar wander back to the green room, a merchandise volunteer approaches me with a young man on her arm. He desperately wants access, and she asks if he can be my “boyfriend” for a few moments. I look him over and he seems harmless enough. His friend vouches for him, and I remember times long ago when all I needed was a quick in and drop - to make my presence known. Therefore, he is now my boyfriend, extending his arm in the gallant escort worthy manner. Walking arm in arm, we exchange names. In an extension of courtesy, he reaches for the door, opens it and steps back for me to pass through for me, and I begin to feel very… old. It’s a little disconcerting to be a safe, old American broad with a staff badge. As soon as we’re in, I pat his arm and release him. “Have fun,” I say. He thanks me with a wide grin and makes a beeline towards a small group of fashionably dressed young women.
We ladies continue to talk and observe and suddenly the young man is back, red-faced and agitated. Since we’d just decided to move on to the hotel pub, he leaves with us, and we soon learn that the woman he wished to impress looked down her nose at him. Like a gaggle of hens we tell him it’s better to find out early, and she’s not worth it. He doesn’t follow us into the now limited attendance bar. It’s closed to the public by now, only hotel guests and those remaining inside are allowed. No newcomers. A long time standing at the counter, leaves us time to talk. The bartender ignores us. I wonder if it’s because I’m only looking for a cola, again. “Is it that?” I ask, “Or is it because we’re unescorted women?” It seems the men are being attended to first, and the same thing happened earlier. My companion tells me it’s not and that they just take their time as they please.
Somehow, fueled by our lack of fuel-ish energy and a glass of wine or two, we wind down a little and end up in a place of joint confession. She has lost four people in five years; I have lost five in eight. We leak tears of compassion, understanding, and shared sorrow. Finally we are served, and even though I am put out at by the long wait, I leave a tip. It’s grabbed back quickly for me, and I am told there is no bartender tipping in Ireland. And that explains that – no need to hustle if it’s not worth more than your wage, right?
Somewhere around 2:00 AM, I become aware that I am only vaguely aware; I have closed my eyes to listen to as instruments are passed around, songs and partial riffs erupt, impromptu duets are formed, jokes and strains of laughter float by, and I must acknowledge that I am straining to stay upright, scared of sitting down, and thinking more and more about the merits of sleep. Radio press assembly begins at 6:00 AM tomorrow morning. As an event realist, I am counting on set-up, technical, and artist delays, and accordingly set my alarm for 6:15 and planning to make an appearance by 6:40 at the latest.
It’s been a long day one, and a longer first evening, all of which bring me around to coming a long way to come a long way; facing everything with some measure of aloneness, and coming away with reinforcement of what I’ve already figured out. This was a necessary excursion, everyone has a story to tell, music makes me happy, sleep is over-rated, and I will never, ever regret having not spent more time at work, especially not the relatively short time I have spent here.
Posted by jaselin at February 14, 2012 03:51 PM