My day yesterday began weirdly. I managed to get my shit together and arrive punctually for my first ballet class at 8:30 AM. The teacher looked at me funny and then said she had forgotten to call me to tell me I wasn’t needed. “That’s alright,” I said, wishing I had known that I didn’t need to push myself the day after church service. “Bill for it,” she suggested.
Sigh. I was thinking that when they do this, have me bill for their lack of foresight and not play, it actually raises the amount of money I’m paid per hour for playing. Right?
I’m not feeling very warm towards locals anyway. By the end of the day I couldn’t bring myself to face the scheduled AGO meeting. I know I would have benefited from listening to a discussion of hymn playing. But there was no way I could go to a local church and see a bunch of people with whom I have so little in common. Oddly, after three weeks without the love of my life (Eileen comes home tonight, yay!), I still need space from the local college and heavily influential Reformed church denomination.
I figured out that if I think about melody more, I can come up with much better improvisations when I’m feeling low. This worked yesterday in the two classes I actually played for.
After my last class, I drove to the mall area and looked for a microwave to replace our broken one. Disgustingly I found one for $49 at Walmart. I loathe Walmart but bought it anyway along with a few groceries.
Eileen has indicated I should save some apple crisp for her which of course I am doing. Unfortunately, it’s hard to heat stuff like that up without a handy dandy microwave. Plus I have been missing this feature myself anyway. Last night I used the new machine to heat up the last of my stir fry noodles. It’s not fancy or high power but it’s just what the doctor ordered.
As I write this, Eileen is in the air between Beijing and Chicago. It is a long tedious uncomfortable flight. The least I can do is have some warm apple crisp with vanilla ice cream ready for her when she returns (along with a drink and clean sheets).
This three weeks has a been a period of distress for me. I can see that. First I had to recover from jetlag. Then I realized how little I have in common with people here. I like doing church, but the theology and pathology doesn’t attract me. The prevalence here of common attitudes in the USA (weird preoccupation with money and Jesus and hatred and fear of the other) is unsettling sometimes. There are few people here who actually talk to me about ideas or tell me what they think about things. For me these are basic attributes of a human relationship. Thank god again for Eileen.
I have purchased a copy of They Don’t Kill You Because They’re Hungry, They Kill You Because They Are Full by Mark Bibbins. It arrived in the mail yesterday. I had finished reading the library copy but was so impressed with this man’s work that I ordered my own copy. I am now reading it for second time, savoring his use of language and the terrible beauty of so many of his poems.
Scary stuff. They quote my son-inlaw’s former teacher, Jerome Cohen.