This weekend was filled with ghosts. This is the ghost on our door. The sign, the sign mentioned in my last post that alerts kiddies and their parents that Trick-or-Treating is allowed. I dug into my big chest of arts and crafts materials (what? doesn’t everybody have one of those?) and pulled out some plaster cloth that’s been waiting for a purpose.
And the quinces from my rant about Martha? Yes, they are still sitting around, still pretty green, not yellow… Bitch. Anyway, I found a use for one of them. I needed a stand to hold the armature for my ghost. I took a quince, stuck five toothpicks in it to make it stable on the table and then I inserted one end of a shish-ka-bob skewer into it. Part way up (and I’m going in to all this should you find yourself with an errant green quince and a roll of plaster cloth, both of which have been taunting you with their inertia; now you can give them a purpose – I have saved the day), after fashioning it into a long triple loop to give it strength and also form at the ends, I wrapped some copper wire.
So far, we have a pentad-ed quince with a skewer protruding from its top with a copper armature one third of the way down, like a cross for some bizarre religion, worshipping… I have no idea. Grilling and electrical repair?
I needed a lovely, proportional head shape. And there in the refrigerator it was: a slightly shrivelled lime. Plop on the top of the skewer it went.
From there, it was simply a matter of wetting the plaster cloth and draping it spookily on the armature. Et voila! A lovely ghost, which stayed there drying over night.
Today, I carefully slid the lime and the copper armature off the skewer, then even more carefully pried the lime from under the plaster. It worked, the head did not nod forward: no one likes a sleepy ghost. I took a magnet from the fridge and stuck the little fella to the front door. So far, so good; it’s lasted the day.
But that was the least of the ghosts filling my weekend. Ghosts don’t need to be ethereal, sometimes people and places can be as haunting as any unnatural presence. Sometimes your past can be the ether you drift in to. And sometimes that’s not such a bad thing. Sometimes a walk through that mist is just what you need to clear your head.
After work on Friday, a particularly trying day, I met Jamie for dinner and a show. It had been quite some time since we had had a Midtown rendezvous, much too long.
We met at Le Madeleine, an excellent restaurant next to the Westside Theatre where I worked for many years before moving to my present job. As we sat at the bar, drinking and having dinner, we re-connected with old friends and acquintances from the nabe. I popped next door and ran into two of my former co-workers. It was nice to be there, in Midtown.
After dessert, before coffee, I went outside to, well, smoke. More about that later. But, as I stood there, under the Le Madeleine canopy as the rain fell, I realized that in the four years I’ve been in my present job, I’ve never felt at home; I’ve always felt as though I’m spending my time in some odd, foreign world, and that’s just the neighborhood. Now, there’s nothing strange about the Flatiron area, in fact, it’s quite lovely. It’s just never felt like, me.
So then we went to the show, The Farnsworth Invention written by Aaron Sorkin. I love his writing. Some people don’t. Some people think he is too wordy. I love his wordy-ness, as does Jamie. We loved the play. Briefly it’s the story of the battle between Philo T. Farnsworth and David Sarnoff. Between them, they created TV as we know it, the box, not the programming. A wonderfully written, powerful piece of theatre; I recommend it highly.
And there, another ghost, no not Allison Janney, although she was at the theatre, no, Kelly Martindale. There she was in the Playbill. A stage manager that I adore. She was the stage manager on Hedwig…. Beyond being a wonderful stage manager, she’s just a really, really nice person. The type of person who makes you smile no matter how crappy your day is; treasure those people. She deserves all the success she attains, cheers to her!
We had arranged to meet up after the show with a friend I hadn’t seen in ages. We worked together at the Westside. So there we sat, catching up and generally having a great time chewing the fat. It was lovely to see him, much too much time had passed.
After we said our goodnights to him, Jamie and I decided to pop down the block to the place where our friend Stephen hangs out. Sure enough, though close to closing time, there he was. And so we closed down that place and moved on with Stephen to close down another.
We wound up at Don’t Tell Mama, a piano bar where I spent way too much time many years ago. Again, saw many people I hadn’t seen in a long while. And being there always brings up memories of my late friend, Bob, who played piano there for many years. He’s been gone now for years and I still miss him. A lot. Some people leave this life much too early.
And last call came and went and then we said g’nite to Stephen and promised to not let so much time pass between get-togethers. It was quarter to four in the old AM and we cabbed home.
The people you value in your life shouldn’t become ghosts. Sometimes, as with Bob, they must; they can only live in our memorys and our hearts. But those people who are still here, still very accessible, we often let our lives drift apart, waving through the mist of “too busy” or “I should call sometime”; we shouldn’t let those connections go away, break. We need to recognize when the past is a good thing to let go of, and when letting go is losing something precious: friendship.
The ghosts of the weekend have been made flesh again. They’ve reminded me of a part of myself I had lost, or rather ignored. I think changes are in the wind.