After last week’s flurry of activity, maybe just one post this week is good. Anyway, it’s been crazy as far as school goes, and this weekend, D. v., I’ll be at Lupercalia — so next week you’d get a lot of that, but still not the regular semi-schedule.
Class this morning was on Byzantium, and at the end we talked about the icon controversy. It was fun getting to use research I did for The Colour of Life, and a bit more theological than we usually get into. Well, just a bit. We did just finish Augustine.
The Monday rehearsal before Concerto da Camera, the high school students had been away and came in late, but they were dressed up. David was in black with a tie patterned with the keys of a piano.
“Nice tie, David,” Dr Rieppel told him during a pause.
“Thanks,” said he, fingering it. “But there’s a mistake, there should be another two black between the two and the three.”
“Ah,” said Dr Rieppel, “well. Whoever made it clearly wasn’t a pianist.”
“No,” David agreed.
“But they sold it to a cellist, so,” said Dr Rieppel, lifting his hands to give the signal to start playing again.
“Well,” said David, his head on one side, “actually they sold it to somebody who sold it to a thrift store who sold it to a little old lady at church, who gave it to us.” He added, “That first bit’s just a guess.”
“Yes,” said Dr Rieppel, “that’s very nice, David, but we’re going to play now.” Even David couldn’t help joining in the laughter at his own expense.
On Tuesday we had supper, all of us except Cole, which is only about the second time so far this semester that almost everyone has been in the same place at the same time. I came late because I’d been setting up and putting new music out, and found them watching a video about the twenty or so kinds of orchestra violinists, with much mirth.
After supper, when we gathered our things and set off toward FA, Kaila picked up a tall metal bottle off the table and asked, “Who’s is this?”
“David’s,” JP said. “David, you left your water-bottle.”
David, engaged in hopping about and trying to step on Joel’s feet, while assuring him that if he tried to dodge it wouldn’t hurt, didn’t hear.
“David,” Olivia added, “you left your water-bottle.” He still didn’t hear.
Kaila weighed it in her hand as she followed us, and said, “Throw it? I think I could get it as high as his head.”
“Kaila and Goliath!” JP laughed, and that finally got David’s attention, now that we were halfway down the hall.
After rehearsal, Anni and Olivia were talking on the way out, so I dropped behind them and found I fit into the corner between the end of the wall and the lockers. David was trailing up the hallway with his hands in his pockets, having left Joel behind. He saw me, looked behind him, and smiled a little, fitting into the corresponding space on the other side of the hall. Joel finally caught up, and I said, “Joel, look out!” But it was too late: David sprang out of his hiding place with his arms out, as if he were impersonating a spider pouncing. Joel curled up under David’s attack, so that for a moment it looked as if David were hugging him, except for his being petrified. Joel gasped a little and clutched his heart.
“Why do you have to be so mean all the time!” He took his violin case off his back and thrust it on Joel. “Hold that, peasant!”
David wrapped his long arms around it. “Why’s it so heavy?”
“Put it on your back,” Joel said, in the middle of putting his coat on. “One strap on each shoulder,” he directed, as David seemed unfamiliar with the process. “I bet it’s as heavy as your cello case.”
“No it’s not.”
Joel shrugged and rolled his eyes in my general direction. “Well, I wouldn’t know.”
“Why do you have so many cases?” David asked.
“There’s two, the cushy one and the hard one. That’s not too many.” He finished buttoning up his coat and sternly held out his hand. David looked at it and rubbed his face and said, “Why would I want your hand back?”
“Give me back my case, peasant! I can give you the flu if you don’t give it back!” Joel jumped forward and David jumped backward. Joel coughed into his sleeve and said, “Just kidding,” as he ran around behind David, who was pivoting to get away from him, to grab his case. David relented and let Joel take the case off his back.
“Would you mind if I wrote nonfiction about you?” I asked when things settled down a bit. “Is it just fiction that’s so creepy?”
David, for once, was at a loss for words. Joel said, “Sure, if it’s nothing too weird.”
“Well, if it’s nonfiction, it’s no weirder than anything you do,” I said. David seemed to think that was a legitimate threat.
“If it’s fiction I have to have a sword and be attacking him,” Joel said, pinning David against the outside wall of the Music Lounge with an imaginary sword. David scrunched up his shoulders and looked for a way of escape. Finding none, he said, “Why so mean, Joel?”
“You jumped out at me!”
I said, “I tried to warn you.”
Joel said, “You did, but that doesn’t make what he did any less bad.” I agreed. Joel triumphantly said, “See, David, you were in the wrong!” (The majority makes right, I guess.)
David said, “But I got her to distract you, so you’d be looking the other way.”
“I didn’t co-operate with him!” I said.
JP materialized behind us and said, “What’s going on here?”
“She wants to write a story about us,” Joel said.
“You can write fiction about me,” JP said, looming over all of us, even David, “as long as you recast me as a French Crusader.”
“A Crusader — why?” said Joel, and I said, “A Crusader I can understand, but why French?”
“Oh, I like French accents,and I’m too tall to be an Italian.”
“Oh, thanks,” I said.
“But France is racist and statist!” Joel objected. “Why would you want to be from there?”
“Medieval France was statist?” David enquired.
“Modern France is!”
“But it’s not modern France in the Crusades!”
“If it’s fiction,” Joel said, “I want to be like the guy who killed a bunch of guys with the same sword and then broke it on a rock.” This perplexed us all. By the time I asked, “Do you mean the Song of Roland?” the conversation had gone on to something else.
The boys moved off toward the water fountain and one of them stopped to get a drink. I said, “Because, I was noticing, there’s a lot of romances —“
Joel got very close to me and, as aggressively as he ever is (which isn’t much), said, “You are not putting me in a romance.”
“No!” I said, laughing. “No, don’t worry. I do not write romance.” He relaxed. “People are writing a lot of romances still, but it seems like all the good stories about friendships were written a long time ago, but look, there’s a good pair of friends right here,” and I gestured toward David and Joel, who were standing side by side.
“Why not write about all of us? Why not write about all of us?” David said. Having stood in one place longer than he could endure, he broke away from Joel to follow JP.
There’s no need to ask me twice.