Fragile

It took almost two hours of rehearsal to get the three dance numbers in the first half of the set to the point that Josie, Linn, Mickey, and Ziggy were all satisfied with what they had. I discovered that when I needed to enforce a rest on my hand, the rest of the band and the dancers could carry on just fine while I stood there like dead weight–or acted like a bandleader. Me not playing on half the run-throughs actually gave me the chance to hear how the parts were meshing on the big stage.

They had rearranged the stage so the band was no longer on two separate islands separated by a sea of dancers. Thankfully. Now we were on a multi-riser section at stage right with each part of the band on their own tier, and a matching set of step risers at stage left was inhabited by the dancers at various points in their choreography.
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Bitter Tears

The only light in the apartment came from the streelights and the bluish glow of the numbers on the VCR. I could see no colors at all.

A few feet away, Ziggy slept in the grand centerpiece bed, under a snow white duvet, his closed, lined eyes and tousled dark hair like slashes of urgent calligraphy.

I didn’t want to wake him. But I knew I shouldn’t just stand there at the window having a downward spiral, either.
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The Dream Is Still Alive

By the time Linn was done, every member of the band and all the dancers had some electric blue in their hair. So did Mickey, the stage manager.

Mickey was one of those guys who was going both bald and gray but that didn’t stop him from putting his hair in a pony tail. One time back at the office I’d heard his response to the suggestion that he cut it: “What, I should look like some old guy?”
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Bring the Noise

Out in the main rehearsal area I found Jordan with another friend in tow.

“Trav.”

“D.”

We exchanged our complicated handshake and my hand didn’t even cramp up while doing it. Continue Reading »

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20th Century Boy

My hair consultation apparently wasn’t only with Bernard and Linn. Ziggy was standing there between them when I pushed open the restroom door and he looked me up and down critically. Well, all three of them sort of stared at me but it was Ziggy in particular I noticed. Not the most comfortable feeling.

“Hey guys,” I piped. “My turn, right?” Continue Reading »

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Safe From Harm

Two days later, Bernard came by the rehearsal space with Linn and set up a traveling hair salon in one of the restrooms. I decided I couldn’t worry about what was going on with costumes or hairstyles even though underneath I was anxious about it. At some point months ago Linn had taken my measurements so I knew something was in the works but we hadn’t talked about it in forever. So I pretended it wasn’t happening and concentrated on the music.
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It’s All Too Much

I debated whether to wear the brace for my hand to rehearsal. You know, have it on up until the last minute and then whip it off to actually play? I was debating whether it would be better to do that–and potentially have everyone treat me like glass, which might undermine my authority but might be better for my health–or to just leave it at home and try to pretend everything was normal.

Who was I kidding? The “pretend to be normal” thing never works out in the end, does it? Ever?
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Crazy

The stupidest things can cause trouble for me. Back at the apartment, Ziggy was out. I got out my notebook and looked for where I had written down my plan for our rehearsal schedule, couldn’t find it, then decided I only thought about writing it down but didn’t actually.

That wasn’t what caused the trouble. I’m getting to that. Continue Reading »

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I Have the Touch

I wanted to sleep for a week. Carynne and Ziggy let me have nine hours. That was pretty good.

I actually only got seven, though, because there were two hours in the middle of the night when I woke up thinking about all the work that had to be done before we’d be tour-ready and the only way I could convince my brain to go back to sleep was by slipping out of bed, cutting a Flexeril in half with a steak knife in the kitchen, and washing it down with water from the tap. The knife wasn’t really sharp enough to split a pill, actually, so I ended up with a half to swallow and the other half pulverized into nothing. Whatever. The sound didn’t wake Ziggy and I got back in bed and slept the rest of the night.

The medical followup wasn’t with my surgeon. It was with a physical therapy office off of Bowery. The place was like a small gym with exercise machines and yoga mats in the middle and the sides lined with cubicles with curtains for walls. Each cubicle had a flat exam table, a chair, and a stand with some diagnostic machinery on it. The therapists were dressed in polo shirts not doctor coats and they were mostly middle-aged women.
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Elevate My Mind

(Saturday post!!)
I woke up the next morning with Carynne knocking on the door. My head was still under a pile of pillows and so Ziggy got up first. He answered the door buck naked, which seemed overly Ziggy-like even for him, except maybe he knew who it was.

“Not to rush you but a shuttle’s taking us to the airport in a little over an hour,” she said.
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