After the rehearsals
New Haven is great. If I say "it's as beautiful as I always remember" most people who've seen it will be astonished, since it has the reputation of being a scungey place. Truly, though, I love the color and shapes of the stones in the buildings here. I like the way the light hits the sidewalk. It was the first thing I loved about Yale and probably the reason I decided it was the place for me.
It's been fun, the last four years while Melina has been here, having an excuse to revisit old haunts, like Naples (where the tables have an inch of sticky wax on them from generations of pizza and beer) and the gargoyled library.
Hannah lives in Lutheran House, a strange choice for a Jewish girl It's extremely quiet and its other denizens are lugubrious Lutherans. One cooks very odorous fish.
The Slavic Chorus reunion is being the best one ever. We had two long and loud and riotous rehearsals today, to our own great satisfaction. We will raise the roof tomorrow.
Somebody is doing a documentary and got us all in line according to the years we sang. My old singing buddies comprised the "old end," and then the newest one (a freshman who joined only a couple months ago) was all the way around the circle and next to us crones-in-the-making.
Then we could look around the circle and see our lives. Clockwise from that freshman girl were sophomores, juniors, then seniors who are just landing jobs for next year, then the new grads who have "stepped off the edge of the cliff" as the undergrads put it, and farther clockwise they are accumulating careers, husbands, children... that youngest freshman Slav is the daughter of a Slav - her mom was beaming at her across the circle just as I beam at Melina, who as the current conductor is cheerfully and smoothly dealing with everything that comes her way, from previous conductors (who in their day, of course, had the last say about everything) telling her she's doing things wrong, to a woman who bustled up to complain that she's losing her voice from too much singing, to people who have forgotten their embroidered blouses or need childcare or some other reasonable or eccentric thing.
Tomorrow night this will all be over and we will be collecting and throwing away dirty plates and napkins from the reception and picking up all the stuff women have left behind in their panic to catch their planes back to their real worlds. I'll be enjoying that Cinderella moment with Melina and then it's back to my own real world Monday morning.