Weep not for me. Unless you really want to.

I’ve been having some black days, my friends. I don’t write about them because, honestly, my travails are so boring. I prefer to keep it light. Plus, feeling sorry for myself after reading some of Jimmy Bastard’s posts makes me feel like I’m missing a testicle. Or two. But suffering is relative and mine is very real to me.

Tonight, I took my sorry, troubled ass to Carnegie Hall for a piano recital. That probably sounds like a big bore fest to most of you, but it helps me. A lot. Schubert’s Sonata in B-flat and a piece by Brahms that was stolen from Handle. [Oh, excuse me, I mean Variations on a Theme. Yeah, right.] I’m a new man. It won’t last. It never does. But it’s a bridge to get me through to the next crisis. You do what you have to. It used to be weed, drunk driving and some unprotected sex. Now it’s piano recitals at Carnegie Hall. It sounds boring, but it isn’t.

If you live in New York City and don’t visit Carnegie Hall once or twice a year, you’re not taking advantage of something that’s unique about this old town. You can sit way up high for very little money (as I do). The acoustics are such that you can close your eyes and it sounds like your in the second row. And saying it’s a beautiful building is like saying water is wet.

I’ve never repeated a post before but this is one of my favorite New York stories and it all ties in. So this is for any readers I’ve picked up who might have missed it the first time.

* * *

In 1986, a renovation project was completed on Carnegie Hall. The acoustics of Carnegie Hall were something that musicologists and the city always took great pride in but, post-renovation, music purists insisted that the sound had somehow been compromised, particularly in the lower registers. There was a growing theory that a thin layer of concrete that hadn’t been there previously was installed under the stage floor. Officials involved with the renovation adamantly denied the existence of the concrete. They said the story was pure fiction and they dismissed the critics as conspiracy theorist crackpots.

Well, as usual, the crackpots were right. In 1996, Hall administrators announced that there WAS INDEED a heretofore unknown layer of concrete below the stage and it was removed. The reviews were unanimous. The Hall’s warm acoustics were returned to their original form.

Can you imagine!? I was amazed by that. At the end of a concert, someone turned to their date and said, “I enjoyed the adagio, but it sounds like they’ve mistakenly installed a thin layer of concrete under the stage.” I’ll never be that perceptive about anything.


12 thoughts on “Weep not for me. Unless you really want to.

  1. I’ve read it before (that one night where I real ALLLLL your posts) but I didn’t mind being fed recycled material if it meant you were back on blogger!I’m glad the Hall’s warm acoustics rejuvenated your soul even just for a little bit.And don’t worry about not being perceptive…I told you Ive been playing the flute since I was 9 (consistently until I was 22 and then off and on since then for the random wedding or just because…) even with all that I doubt I’d recognize if the violin player next to me keeled up and died during a piece.

  2. the last piano recital i went to was for my daughter… there was no Schubert involved… she was about 9 years old. i might have brought a flask…feed your soul. anyway you can….

  3. having some black days……my travails are so boring…That’s a curious paradox you’ve admitted there UB. Troubles are all relative and being comparative really gets you nowhere and is of no use. It would be like me saying, when my first wife died, “Gee, I’m so fortunate because, at least my kids are grown, whereas look at that poor bastard over there. His wife died and he has 3 kids under age 12 at home.” It’s an asinine comparison, because both of our spouses died.I was once a very closed book but I found that in dealing with grief, it was very helpful to talk to others about it or write stuff down, either privately or publicly. I think the word “cathartic” is used to describe that feeling of liberation.Obviously, I have no idea what “black days” means in your case, and offering up cyber support can seem, at times, inadequate and empty.I know that, personally, I can easily fall into a funk. (It’s genetic) It takes a conscious effort to believe that situations and times can get better. And then it takes even more effort to figure how to make it better. And then, of course, there is the gargantuan effort to actually make it happen.Here’s to better days ahead UB.Take care.

  4. Just wanted to jump in and tell you that I am glad you found some measure of comfort in Carnegie Hall. Whatever helps.The older I get, the more frequently I have dark days myself, and it gets harder to find the light.Because of your wonderful blog, strangers like me think of you as a friend, and maybe it will help a little to know that there are people out here who are thinking of you and wishing you well.Very interesting about the concrete! Having that degree of perception can be a blessing and a curse. The coarseness of everyday life must be excruciating.

  5. i will raise a glass in y’all’s honor tonight, sugar, and send positive vibes across the continent! for 2 weeks i thought my life as i knew it might be over and kind words and support from our blogger pals helped me through it all. i wish the same for you, darling. glad the music helps in the meantime. xoxoxox(i’m out in cali on a 10 days holiday!)

  6. I know people like this – my partner is one, but I love him anyway. It’s not “sensitivity”, because they don’t listen to music, they listen to acoustics.Hope things brighten up for you.

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