I was dating this guy who considered himself musically cultured. He told me very few people understand or appreciate his taste in music. What a relief.
He wanted to take me to an outdoor concert. I was thrilled, thinking it would be the Samuel Barber/Bela Bartok at Tanglewood. He took me to the fucking Boston Pops. I asked him if he would be interested in an upcoming program at Tanglewood to which he replied “no. that’s not music. that’s noise.”. It was Stravinsky’s Symphony of Psalms.. Stravinsky. The maestro. My hero. I said I would like to take him as my guest. He asked me why it is that I like such composers as Bartok and Stravinsky – does it have anything to do with my being bipolar?
Under that theory, his interest in banal crap like the Boston Pops could have something to do with his small cock. I hadn’t yet seen it and maybe the Pops thing was a fluke and snobs don’t like Stravinsky because you can’t count it and I already learned to overlook his pompous, entitled rich guy attitude just as I hoped he would overlook my forthcoming histrionics on the cultural relevance of The Rite of Spring at cocktail parties. I shifted all this furniture around for one reason: he was ridiculously hot. Still, I lived in fear of a Kenny G concert.
SO I took him to a pretty hip joint in town to hear some jazz: people I knew well, great young players from NYC including a world renowned and award winning chick who really, really plays. She is amazing. He thought it was tolerable, didn’t like how the music just went all o ver the place for no reason but mostly he didn’t understand her popularity. “I don’t see why she would be invited to play at the White House. Maybe it’s a “black thing”. Oh if only my Jewish boyfriend had said “shvartzas”. What a post this would be.
I sucked my tooth back through the hole in my lip and, when we arrived at the “bistro” for fuck sake, I mean he called it a “bistro”, I was sort of mentally checking out and ready to just poke this whole thing with a stick. There were no prices on my menu so I took a stab at what would be the most expensive thing and didn’t eat it. I told him I couldn’t understand why he thought this place was 5 stars. I would give it “one spade”. He didn’t get my meaning. He’s cute, Dana, hold onto that. And well off. And he overlooks all of your…um…quirks. As we left he told me he would educate my palate with time. “But what about my Popeye’s chicken? I ain’t giving that up”, said I and he laughed because he liked sarcasm when it had nothing to do with him.
I kissed him goodnight- oh what thick hair and for his age barely any grey and he’s cute, he is cute and he dresses well and that hair….still not enough to get me into bed though. I was on the fence! What do you want?? I would need to be drunk for that and I have stopped drinking temporarily for physical reasons but when I start up again you can bet I’ll be guzzling Night Train out of a paper bag, dipping McNuggets in 3 different sauces while pitching pennies against the stone wall opposite me and listening to Coltrane’s nervous breakdown solo on “Straight No Chaser”. Even this scene, in my opinion, was more cultured than anything he could conjure. I was one-up culturing him in my mind. For a week.
Then he took me to the Met: Tosca.
I only know about 5 operas enough to wield an opinion and this was one of them. But when we stepped in and I saw the opulence of the place I felt overwhelmed with a sense of inferiority. I walked in small steps, shoulders down. I didn’t belong here. I started thinking about the McNuggets in the alley.
But from the orchestra’s first note, I leaned forward in awe and remained so for the entire 36 hours of the opera. Not really. Just 3. I cried twice. I didn’t look at him once. The opera has its boring moments. I mean imagine saying every mundane thing in a sing-song voice: can I borrow your sunglasses? I’ll have a Whopper with cheese no onion. Singing dialogue is the only downside of opera but the arias are breathtaking and the entire time I was thinking that I am a part of a dying art. Opera will be the first art form to become obsolete in our time. It was one of those 5 sense overwhelming moments. He smiled at me when it was over. It meant nothing to him. It did not move him. The opera is a requirement of his class like getting an Italian ice on the corner is for mine. He goes through the motions handed down to him probably wearing a butt plug. You know, to feel something like a punishment for some mistake at Yale and the word “mommy” probably works into this and I sensed then that holding off on the sex might have been wise. Though that whole thing does sound sort of kooky and fascinating like seeing a solar eclipse, you know because how often is THAT going to happen. Of course there would have to be Souza marches playing the whole time because the upper class can’t function in anything but 4/4 time. The nouveau riche go so far as 3/4 time and are consequently much better waltzers and faster at sex. This would all be funny if it were real but it’s nothing more than one of my run-on fantasy sentences.
When we got to the hotel I called rom service and asked in a hillbilly accent: “Do you have anything like maybe mozzarella sticks or how about hotdogs? Do you have hotdogs?”
At last he got it. There would be no romance. I was too wacky and full of unexploded mines in my past and it was all he could do to keep the butt plug a secret. I would be too much for him. And he would be a musical idiot to me and that’s usually my dealbreaker.
So, we argued over what news channel to watch before we fell asleep. Of course, he wanted Fox News. I let him have it.
I mean he took me to the friggin Met.