...I was in Wildwood, surfing down at the rock pile, Johnny was there, he wasn't fat and old. Ed was there too. He wasn't dead and he was healthy. He was standing straight and tall. Chris was there. She wasn't a crack head living on the streets and she was just talking about a mile a minute, making us laugh hard. Sherri was sitting on a blanket drawing pictures. Shane was running around chasing seagulls. The waves were narly, with perfectly formed curls. I was sliding down a nice gentle smooth ride. Bobby was just paddling out, his curly blonde hair boinging around his smiling face......


8:37 am

The music teacher will be here in 10 minutes. I was terribly reluctant to leave my dream world. It was one of those that you just want to go right back to sleep to keep living in. Thinking about the Jockey Club and the twists and turns my life had taken since then had gotten me into a state of extreme nostalgic sadness. I had been mourning over the friends I lost all over again and beating myself up for being what I believe would be a disappointment to them. Even though I know that isn't true, I still believe it. So the dream was a relief.

I shoved my tired self out of bed, made a cup of coffee and threw on some clothes. Carlos and Angeline were at the door.

It was time for my daughter's Saturday morning music lesson. My nine year olds music teacher attends a high school for performing arts. He is an interesting and delightful combination of deep thought, profound playing ability, quiet shyness and regular big brother on a skateboard. His little sister is my daughter's friend from the school. The two girls are in the same class and share the very important job of student council representatives for their classroom.

I made breakfast for everyone as we usually do on these mornings while my Sweetie finished washing yesterday's crazy hair day out of her long hair and putting on her now customary biker t-shirt and jeans.

Yesterday had been a marathon day for us all. I woke up at 6:30 a.m. as usual, and did all the daily school day mom things, including designing an amazingly intricate multi-colored creation for "crazy hair day" which my darling Sweetie didn't like and told me so all the way to school in her very unmistakably straight forward, bone crushing, sweet little girl way.

I then composed myself and my hair somewhat and rushed off to a big meeting I had been building for all week (aka: worked my ass off), to get ..... um..... let me see if I can figure out how to say this nicely...... totally fucking screwed. I then went to my corporate office to get ..... let me see if I can figure out how to say this nicely ........ totally fucking screwed some more. As I was driving home on the freeway, wondering why I left my extra large jar of vaseline at home (don't sit there looking confused, you know what they use that for), the little out-of-gas light came on when I wasn't barely close to home. It again dawned on me that I didn't have any money as if it hadn't already dawned on me.

One of my supervisors called as I was barreling down the freeway to say a bunch of unbelievably ignorant stuff, so I politely told her that I would have to speak to her later because I didn't want to get into a car accident and even more politely disconnected the connection. She called back to leave an even more ignorant message because she needed to finish her totally useless and ignorant announcements, since the "call was dropped". I'll let her believe that.

I pulled into a gas station that didn't take credit cards and held my breath while I drove until I found one that did. While I was searching for a gas station, wondering what I would do if I ran out of gas on the road because my triple A card had just been canceled for you-can-probably-guess what, my Sweetie called, saying that she needed to be picked up, "right away". In the middle of all that, some guy I've been playing (music) with called and decided to sing and play a song he thought was cool to try and make things better for me. He did create a momentary rift in the stress which is probably why my brains didn't explode and decorate the whole inside of my car. Well, by some magic, I found a gas station. I whipped out the last credit card which was already at the very tippy top of the limit and used it anyway and that equally magical credit card worked one more time. My Sweetie called to ask if she could stay at school as long as possible because she was having lots of fun and she had the coolest looking hair at school that day and that she loved me.


Let me catch my breath for a minute. You see, mommy's been a bit distracted since Sweetie's little accident and still trying to catch up and be a good mom. Well, her enjoyment at school gave me some time to go home, listen to a big pile of checks bouncing against the walls of my harried brain and put on a happy face fit for a mommy picking up the kids at school. You see, I was supposed to get a nice little sum of buckeroos on Friday which would have been enough to set us on our feet and truthfully I was elated about that in the morning. As I was headed for the first meeting, everyone from every side and angle was assuring me, "it's a done deal" and I was a bright and shiny star. I didn't see any reason not to believe everyone in my stupidly naive brain which is overrun by too much music to function properly at times. So maybe you get the picture.........

So I thought fast as I arrived at home, my mind racing around anything else I could do as I prepared to crash and burn, be homeless, destitute, alone, my child adopted by someone else, me pushing a shopping cart, mumbling to myself with a dirty face, oozing sores and messy hair as I made my way to a cardboard box I had stashed in the bushes somewhere.

Upon careful hysterical consideration, I realized that there was not a thing I could do about all that at the moment so I decided to let all the spinning plates.....

............ fall

I straightened the house, planned my dinner menu, put on some pretty pink lipstick and went to pick up my Sweetie and two friends from school. We had a lovely dinner, us four girls, then we all got dressed as pretty as could be for Friday night synagogue. My Sweetie was singing in the choir and they were accompanying a musician from Ethiopia for an African Shabbat service. I was the assistant choir director and we had to be there early for one last rehearsal before the service. My Sweetie's friends wanted to come and hear her. Usually all her friends want to come with us on Shabbat so I always have an interesting assortment of children hanging on me, leaving some to wonder how many times I've been married and which ones are mine. It just so happens that the two girls we brought this night were the children of someone with a totally rockin' band so they are very musical as well.

Well the kids sat in their designated choir area and faithfully went back and forth, back and forth from their chairs to the pulpit, from their chairs to the pulpit as they were required to sing from the beginning to end of a very long service. They were brilliant. Finally, after the last song, the children exploded into running, playing and eating cookies as I fell to joking with the musicians while trying to forget my stressful day for a minute.

When I'm trying to forget, I get extra funny. So we had some extra funny fun for a while. The kids were playing so I guess we were all having fun.

While we were eating cookies, one of the little girls who had just turned 6 that day replied to my inquiry of how she liked the service, "It was soooooooo..... boring. They just kept talking and talking and talking, but the music was really good. That made me dance." Well, I could only agree to some of what she said, because I had fallen asleep for a bit myself. And the music was really good.

All kids went home and got tucked into their own little beds, I talked to one of my goofier friends for a while and passed out.

I bet you think I forgot about the music lesson. Well, I didn't. I was just painting you a picture to compliment the music lesson you're getting by reading this story. So... back to Carlos.

He always brings his sister so it is an interesting music lesson marathon/play date/breakfast party every time. This morning, I explained Antonio Carlos Jobim to Carlos and I pulled out some music which he played and I sang. Of course we did my favorite, Gingi. I played some of my compositions for him and then got to work in the kitchen. As I was cooking breakfast, he told me about the recital he was to play the very next day. He always plays something for me which is always utterly fabulously amazing. So today, he did something that I will save in my brain forever. My kitchen has a window into the living room. I was cooking on one side of the window and the piano is on the other side of the window. I was quietly banging around a bit, but when I realized what he was doing, I was compelled to be perfectly still and listen. Remember I said he was a "delightful combination of deep thought, profound playing ability, quiet shyness" et al?

Carlos began to tell me the story of the Frederick Chopin piece he was playing, Ballad No. 3 In A Flat Major. Picture a quiet gentle unassuming boyish voice that you have to pay close attention to hear...

"this is the story about Chopin's girlfriend that he lost. First they met...."

He began to play the gentle playful simple beginning of the piece. I could definitely see Fred strolling through the woods holding his girlfriend's hand. It all started with a smile from across the room. A young spontaneous love sprouted.

"Then she left. He (Chopin) was sad."

The music became sad but was still simple.

"Then he got really upset."

Carlos launched into a very complex, musically advanced section of the piece which he played with an intensity of emotion and passion that was completely unexpected for someone of his age, experience and demeanor. That is exactly when I began to pay complete attention. I was completely astounded.

"Then he calmed down a little and remembered the good times."

The music became simple and sweet again.

"Then he got upset again."

Again an unexpectedly passionate and complex wave of emotional sound.

"Then he calmed down again and got over it".

The music lightly pranced to a conclusion.

Then he played the Moonlight Sonata and explained how that was the time Beethoven fell in love with one of his music students. Beethoven lost her too because he was just a poor musician, even though he was really a Don Juan type, ladies man.

I had the best music lesson today.