Melinama - and Melina - visit Zed at Wesleyan; I report verbosely and with many run-on sentences
Sorry I've been incommunicado. The push to get "Rag Faire" finished left me jittery and exhausted, and then it was time to finish the album cover and then push off for Middletown, CT, where I am right now, visiting Zed, who's rounding the corner of first semester second year at Wesleyan.
I'm ecstatic to be holed up in my hotel room with internet access and an extra blanket. I've been so overstimulated lately, the best thing is to pull the sheet over my head as if I were a parrot in a cage. I also need to remember how to sleep at night.
The evening I got here, I was so exhausted I immediately locked the keys to my rental car in the ignition with the engine running. Luckily Campus Police sent a lovely redhead to help me out. He was cheerful even though he spends his whole day and night dealing with idiots. "You must be tired of spending all day and night with idiots," I said, and he tried to hide his smile as he said, dutifully, "Oh, no, ma'am." (Well he didn't say ma'am cause we're not in the south, but he could have.)
He had a few pounds of keys on his belt for getting kids back into their rooms when they lock themselves out. Melina later mused that she once had locked herself out wearing only a towel, and the Campus Policeman did not come swiftly, and when he arrived did not crack even a smile. I guess he sees lots of kids dressed only in towels.
Here at Wesleyan, the most expensive college in the universe, you'd think they'd be generous about these things, but they in fact charge a hefty fee for dorm lockouts. Zed's had a couple and they are going on his "stupid money" tab...
Things could be worse - Zed told us of a friend who had locked herself out ten times in one semester! So the eleventh time she asked the guy, "don't you have a Buy Ten Get One Free card?" and he cut her a break.
We picked Melina up in New Haven yesterday after her gig with Bosilek Bulgarian Folk Dance Ensemble at the NOMAD folk festival. The folkies (some of whom I remembered from the 1970s when I, too, sang Bulgarian music at NOMAD) are aging - the dancing is slowing down and the knees are wrapped, and you will recall my thought about we hippy folksingers and folkdancers slipping off into the West like the Elvish folk, and we will say no more about that. But Melina looked more than adorable in her Bulgarian garb of many colors, and there was a cute tapan player, and the dancers swished across the floor very quietly in their soft leather shoes (which reminded me of the Stan Freberg routine wherein the Native Americans - in the course of trying to sell Manhattan to Peter Stuyvesant - tap-dance in moccasins) and then the set was over and she got back into her NYC clothes - what a pity that the young urban girl these days must wear black when she looks so fetching in multi-colored Bulgarian garb - and her current urban caballero, who had taken a train and a taxi to come to the show too (it was far from his usual experiences but perhaps he will get the hang of appreciating a young urban girl, in multi-colored Bulgarian garb, singing ecstatically dissonant music very loudly), suggested we all walk down to Yale in search of the burrito guy who has been doling out excellent burritos since time immemorial (that means three years or so) ..
... and on the way towards burritos Melina was complaining that her grandparents and brother walk too slowly, so I started walking very very slowly, and she started to grow very very agitated at the pace, and then the urban caballero, who takes acting classes and hence practices this kind of thing, started walking even more slowly, and it was very impressive, except he could only keep it up for about fifteen or twenty seconds, because he, too, is a Type A multitasker, and sweat started to pop out on his brow due to the nanoseconds being squandered by our langorous pace...
... but despite our slow-pokiness we eventually did reach York Street and we choked down huge burritos and then we said goodbye to the urban caballero and drove back up here to Middletown, where we discussed the proper location for Melina's birthday dinner...
Zed wanted Vegan but I put my foot down, if I was going to pay a lot for dinner it was not going to be soybeans and barley no matter how artfully prepared, so he said, "Well there are a zillion Thai restaurants, we could try one of those," and I queried incredulously, "A zillion?" and Zed said, "Well, two," and so we went to one of those zillion Thai restaurants and it was very good...
That was yesterday. Today, since it's almost Melina's birthday, we made a pineapple upside-down cake in the kitchen at Zed's house. He lives in the Bayit, the Jewish house, and even though nobody in the joint is actually devoutly kosher, they, out of principle, run a sort-of kosher kitchen. That is to say, there are red dots on the meat flatware and blue dots on the dairy flatware, and two different drainers, and there are meat tablecloths and dairy tablecloths, however things get a bit jumbled together, and then there's the general sanitation level, which is to say, it's not your grandmother's kosher kitchen, which is to say, we saw a huge pot with cold, greasy water in it and Matter floating on top and the water was murky so we couldn't see what was in the bottom, and Ben said, "Oh, Avi koshered that pot, but he didn't wash it," and so we will say no more about that...
The pineapple upside-down cake was pretty good, and we carried it up to Ezra's room which smells like, well, the inhabitants are young men who don't do their laundry so very often, so we will say no more about that either, and we sat on the floor and cued up the Birthday Song by John McCutcheon on the computer, and we sang and danced expressively while sitting and eating cake, and that was more than satisfactory.
And then Melina, who really must work on her intensifyingly Type A behavior, started to get antsy because we had been doing only one thing at a time for, really, hours on end, and so I had to take her to the train so she could get back to Manhattan and multi-tasking.
One more day of adventure and Tuesday I'll fly home.
Respectfully submitted -
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