Monday, December 24, 2007
A very happy Christmas to everyone!
"I keep thinking we should include something in the Constitution in case the people elect a fucking moron."
When we last left Will, he was preparing to take Fritz out on a test drive to the local bank to see how he’d do with the skiboot air cast off and a comfortable moccasin on his right foot to operate the gas peddle, always keeping in mind that he had to brake with his left foot. Will had a thoroughly ulterior motive in mind that Fritz knew about—and wasn’t crazy for by a long shot. But Will is a resourceful and determined lad--how would our hero do?
The trip to and from the bank went off without a hitch. Will remembered in each and every instance to use his left foot and showed real control with it, having practiced for two days using his left foot on the control pedal of his sewing machine (sometimes it’s SO useful being gay). When they got back home and Will had parked in his characteristic fashion buy backing neatly into the space, he looked at Fritz and said, “I can do this—I’m good to go to New York.”
Whoa!—out of the hard cast and into the air cast just one day and he’s driving to NEW (about 250 miles) York (on the road-jammed weekend before Christmas) CITY (all by himself)? Yes, that was Will’s plan. How the bloody hell did he think up this one?
It all goes back to Will’s life-long obsession with opera as an art form, a vital part of his personal life and professional career. Will goes to literally dozens of performances a year, scheduling carefully to get as many performances into each trip down to New York as possible. When he broke his ankle and couldn’t drive, he lost one trip completely but looked carefully at his tickets and the doctor’s landmark dates to see what could be salvaged.
December 9 was out of the question for the new production at the Metropolitan Opera of Gluck’s Iphigenie en Tauride for which he had a matinee ticket, but the last performance in the run was on Saturday night the 22nd—and Will’s cast was scheduled to come off on the morning of the 21st. An eternal optimist, Will is a very confident and energetic man, who’s sometimes just plain pig-headedly stubborn--a combination that’s allowed him to accomplish a lot in life.
Our Will called up the MET Ticket Service and got a nice young man who was bright as a new penny, almost certainly gay, and eager to help. Will said he knew the official policy was that tickets, once purchased, couldn’t be refunded or exchanged but . . . . The bright young man looked at Will’s account and said, hey you’ve been buying tickets and coming here on your own since you were like three and a half [OK, I was eleven], you’re a subscriber, AND you wrote a letter to the director saying how great we’ve all been helping you all these years. You can have anything you want.
For one giddy moment, Will contemplated asking if he could have Nathan Gunn for a day, but figured the MET wasn’t into that sort of thing. However the bright young man who was almost certainly gay sounded like he was dying to become Will’s enabler (which is really part of his job when you think about it, but still) and he quickly arranged the whole thing.
Everything was in place. It just depended on whether or not Will could drive safely, and the drive to the bank had proved that. The trip down went well on a day filled with traffic jams around any highway exit anywhere near a mall. What should have been a four hour fifteen minute trip took six but as Will told a seriously relieved told Fritz when he got back, no pedestrians, personal property or vehicles were harmed in any way on this trip to New York. Fritz gave will lots and lots of kisses to welcome him home.
The performance was superb with memorable work by the great Susan Graham, six feet tall, with a voice like molten honey and great intelligence as Iphegenie. The ageless Placido Domingo, now 66 and still sounding like men half his age in their prime, played her brother Oreste.
The production, set in a claustrophobic temple to the goddedss Diana (Artemis) explored some of the complex psychology of the tormented House of Atrius via flashbacks of its violent past that were mimed as characters sang of half-remembered events or recurring nightmares. In theatrical terms it was compelling.
In personal terms it was a liberating experience. Will's back!
Thank you all for your supportive and encouraging comments on my injury and the recent improvement that's allowed me to reclaim a lot of my mobility. With luck and sufficient new bone growth, I'll be close to or at normal (that is my bones will--I'm not personally seeking to be normal on any level) by mid-January. It's great to have so many of you leaving comments, and in regard to that, welcome to Emma from London!
I wish you all a very happy Christmas wherever you are and whatever you have planned.
I'm glad to hear that the trip went well. Were you listening to opera on CD on the drive down? In six hours, you could have gotten through at least an act of a Wagner opera.