Sunday, July 1, 2007

"It is a happy talent to know how to play."

Or so says my fortune cookie. It also told me how to say September: Jiu-yue. The other cookie that came with my meal (chicken with eggplant, string beans and brown rice, from the Lichee Nut) told me how to say pork (Zhu-ru) which is more useful.

I think I do know how to play, and it is indeed a happy talent.

We're having the summer sale at the shop and it's total mayhem. After things wound down yesterday I took a walk to Dumbo along Smith Street, and discovered both an ancient convent and a Romanesque firehouse. Also passed a crummy toy store and was thrilled by this miniature plastic farm set in the window. Studied it for a long time, and resolved to come back and buy it, before realizing that I already own it.

The concert we were seeing didn't start until 10:30, and Charlie and I had talked about getting some dinner beforehand. When I phoned him, though (10 times) he didn't pick up, then finally told me he was in New Jersey. I felt a bit lonely but mostly because I'd eaten nothing but a yogurt drink all day. Hated everyone and was near despair. Told myself firmly it was blood sugar. So, with an eye to comparing it to its Brooklyn competition, I went to the Australian meat pie place on 1st and 1st and got a plain beef pie. It was bigger than that at DUB; didn't care for the crust as well, but it filled me up very nicely, and I was soon back in good form.

Also felt well dressed, which never hurts. Sasha had planned my outfit, as we were going to see Baby Dayliner play and there was some strong feeling amongst my bosses at the store (Sasha and Dean) that I needed to snare BD as a boyfriend. While I was pretty sure this was beyond my powers (as I've never been one of those who knows everyone in the music scene, and dates them) I obligingly donned my 80s-style silk Deborah Sweeney dress with the birds on it, and boots. Looked very fine.

Much good it did me; sat on a bench with a junkie and two bums (one passed out) for the next hour and a half, reading the Village Voice by the light of an American Apparel sign.

Rendez-vous'd with Charlie and Bevin, who are the sorts of people who know folks in bands, at the venue. The place was absolutely packed! Went to get a drink and some gent, past his first youth, said, "I'd move for you, but I need to lean on the bar, for my lower back." A few moments later I heard him exclaim, "Japanese poetry? You arty motherfucker!"

Took refuge in a sort of alcove; was shoved from behind and who should I find myself regarding but Baby Dayliner himself! "Sorry," said he. Texted Sasha at once.

For some reason the crowd was exceedingly lame and I was quickly in a terrible mood and started muttering about how much I hate live shows, which in the moment I fully believed. Equal parts Murray Hill dbs and dorks who kept shouting asinine things at the opening band's members to prove they knew them. One loud and bouncing girl in front of me was so objectionable that I was considering covertly punching her, when her companion turned around, was someone I knew, hugged me, and introduced the one I wanted to punch as Rachel. Found this so galling that I abandoned Charlie and Bevin for the back of the room.

Was scowling and muttering my way across the room when I ran smack into my boss, Sasha, who'd been galvanizeed by my text and had dragged Dean out of bed. This put me in an altogether better mood and when Baby Dayliner came on, he was so terrific, the performance so virtuoso, that I didn't even mind when Charlie pulled one of his vague disappearing acts to rendez-vous with some friends at a bar a few blocks away. Fully restored my faith in live shows, largely because BD's recorded accompaniment left no room for banter whatsoever, and because we play his music so incessantly in the store that I had the rare luxury of knowing all the songs. Was very dashing and modest.

No doubt, it's an unusual show. Said one friend. "Is this a joke? No, jokes are funny, and this is awesome."

After the show, lots of silly girls surrounded BD and, while I did rather want to make him my boyfriend, if only for Sasha and Dean's sakes, I simply couldn't bring myself to join them.

"What if, as your boss, I order you to talk to him?" said Sasha excitedly. Finally, Charlie (who had materialized)and I approached him. I was shaking like a leaf, and could barely bring myself to shake his hand and mutter that I'd enjoyed the set. I did feel sure, however, that we shared a moment of intense eye contact, although more than likely he just possesses the happy skill of being able to look at omeone when he meets them.

There was some sort of party then at a nearby bar and, while I was terrified, it turned out to have a dancefloor and 60s music and some guy who kept coming over and saying "how about a dance?!" with whom I frugged and twisted a few times. When we left he was still dancing wildly, by himself.

Went home and dropped by the bar to return the umbrella. Had some semi-hostile banter with the bartender, which may or may not have involved my saying, "spare me your sordid cliches" andd his talking about Fassbinder.

When I got home, felt emboldened to email Baby Dayliner's myspace page - briefly, don't worry - to say that I couldn't remember enjoying a show more (true) and that I was "the gal in the big specs." Also true.

So get this: when I got home this evening there was a message in my inbox:

"I remember you. Thanks so much for coming to the show! Glad you enoyed it, bless yoru heart. BD."

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