We got to the opera house with time to spare and spent the 45 minutes waiting for the show to start people watching and career guessing. Truly a menagerie of a crowd. Seemed like it was all ages. Well thankfully no babies, but it appeared we weren't the only teens attending this shin dig. We did seem to be the only ones not in tow of our parents though. The average age I'd hazard to guess was in the forties or early fifties. I'm guessing this singer had been around for a while. Fashion wise there were the spattering of suits and evening gowns. Probably season ticket holders. Predominantly it seemed there was a sea of black, complete with a cadre of old school Goths who looked old enough to have attended school with the rents. Kind of funny looking at forty something worker bees awash in white and black makeup framed by plush purple and black velvet and lace. One woman who caught my eye seemed to defy gravity what with heals that could have been a yard long. I was excited but no longer so nervous, my hand didn't even clamify when it felt Solange's soft hand grasp it.
The lights dimmed and with it the chatter of concert goers faded away like an ebbing tide. Up walked Diamanda. Striking in black with a sharp defiant face. She sat at the concert grand adjusted the microphone and stretched her fingers caressing the keys. Without a word of warning she lashed into the keys and began screaming, sending notes reverberating against the walls and skulls of concert goers such as Solange and myself. It was horrific, crazy, loud. It was wonderful. My mouth stretched wide in a gaping smile, my hand tenderly clenched Solange's and i began to feel tingly all over. I think I might have been shaking, perhaps with same vibration as the piano's strings. Solange was shaking too. I looked over at her to see her smiling in awe her eyes glistening with joy. I'd swear we were shaking as one. I had never felt physically moved by sounds before then. As the sound grew stronger, I began to feel funny and was afraid I'd fall asleep and miss the rest of the concert.
I didn't fall asleep. Or atleast don't think I did. Something greater happened. As I looked at Solange, she looked toward me and was about to say something when we both blinked.
Blinking to find ourselves, voila, elsewhere in what appeared to be a hospital, with Diamanda crouched over a bed where a man lay.
Solie gasped "Sacre Bleu! It's happened!" She spun around and swept me into her arms and kissed me. A true kiss, this wasn't the friendly kiss I'd been graced with before but rather a passionate kiss that filled my entire self lips to toe to head with warmth. You'd think that trigger a return to the present but no.
We remained in the hospital and I felt more physically there in the elsewhen than I had ever felt before.
Eureka, we had done it, Solange had followed me to another time and place and I was too ecstatic to speak.
Sunday, January 9, 2011
Solange had already been up and about when I awoke the next morning. Waking up was a pleasant experience, helped by the site of Solange's morning smile and the strong smelling red eye she offered along with the sourdough bread and brie Solange had packed for the trip. While she wasn't in any particular hurry, the concert wasn't for another thirteen hours or so and San Fran was only ninety minutes away, Solange hinted that she wanted to get a move on and hustled me towards the bathroom. So reluctantly I opted for gulping rather than savoring the French Roast and made do with a quick shower. Once clean and looking sharp in the black turtle neck, slacks and Doc Martins Solange told me to wear, we floored it to SF. Solie had planned much to my pleasant surprise on some more fun tourista stuff figuring it was about time i see present day San Francisco rather than the pasts I had had the opportunity to explore.
We walked on the Golden Gate bridge which was fabulous. Solange looked, well she looked like a sexy sprite with her hair blowing being framed by a blue and umber hilly coast line. We didn't cross the bridge, just walked about half way before turning back. When we stopped, Solange remained quiet and just gazed at the vista. I must admit I was staring more at Solange rather than the beautiful horizon. Anyway with the view and the smell of the sea air and the rythmic sound of cars passing I truly felt at peace then. Serene. Until I fell asleep and found myself still on the bridge watching someone stand precariously on the edge. I shouted "Don't Jump!" Thinking about it I probably should have kept my mouth shut, I startled the chap so much he lost his balance and toppled down into the Pacific. Wonder where the bodies end up. Funny how it doesn't seem like the papers report on plunging activities of the Golden Gate. 'California hear i come, right back where i started from, gonna plunge of yer golden gates.' When I came back to the present, I was ready to head back to the car.
The rest of the day we managed to hit North Beach, browsing books at City Lights and listening to Arias on the juke box while sipping lattes Trieste, two places as cool in present as the times I'd seen them in the past. Solange dived into Vesuvio's for a drink, but I didn't risk it not feeling I could pass for a twenty one year old. We both enjoyed a PBR across the street at Specs though. I think they'd serve anyone there, I swear I think one of the patrons was a lil corky dog. Loved the decor of the place and felt comfortable clinking glasses with a jovial Solange who seemed to get more excited about the concert awaiting us as the day rolled by at a pleasant pace.
We also went to Golden Gate Park and Haight and Ashbury. Loved the park, but could have done without gawking at the Haight, seemed like a puposefully dirty and stinky mecca of a mall geared exclusively toward the gawking tourists who tromped around there. Hate to rant but just have to say i believe picculi is the foulest scent ever to be warn by a human being. I'll take body odor any day over that putrid aroma.
We spent the rest of the day wandering the Fillmore area, and then eating around the civic center. I think i loved that area of the city the most what with all the old government buildings play houses bastions of wealth interspersed with the hordes of homeless asking for change, prostitutes turning tricks and junkies looking for a fix.
It was really a great day the best I ever had, and was still very jazzed when it was time to see Diamanda perform.