On Saturday morning, I took a train back to NYC to sing in a wedding at Gramercy Park. I had to. When JC told the bride and groom that I would be unavailable, they said that they wouldn’t hire the band without me. JC didn’t have to twist my arm for long. it was great money -- but that 6 hour train ride would be bloody torture. And as if a round-trip rough ride weren’t enough to look forward to, my head was filled with springtime allergy-related snot and mucus. Auburn was freezing and in bloom. I could hardly breathe. My portable medicine chest came in handy but every night as I went to bed, I felt as though I was only holding something at bay for the moment. if I didn’t find something to knock it out completely, it would knock my voice out. Needless to say, I have no understudy. We rehearse for 12 days. It’s only a two week run.
I don’t have anything that strong in my arsenal. Fortunately, Shell White did. And because she’s such a California hippie, it’s all natural – Buried Treasure ACF. She said their daughter Tigerlily woke up coughing like she had tuberculosis a few weeks ago. They gave her some of this stuff and a few days later, she was fine. They sent it to her teacher at her day school when she had the same symptoms. Same results. I was desperate enough to try anything short of a booster shot and steroids from my voice doctor – that’s always a last (but sometimes necessary) resort. JC gave me a little package at the gig – the bottle of stuff, some herbal tea, some zinc lozenges. I took a dose immediately and again at bedtime as directed. The next morning had me practically vomiting up phlegm. Now that’s what I call results.
But that’s the end of the story.
First of all, I was exhausted. The train station was in Syracuse, more than 30 minutes away. Someone was to pick me up at 8:30am but I was afraid that I’d oversleep so I asked my friend to call me when he got home from work at the crack of ass. He decided to call me while he was still there, for some strange reason – then he puts Scotty the Blue Bunny on the phone. After an introductory “wake up!” that was loud enough to make a dead man roll over, he launches into “There’s Got To Be A Morning After” at the top of his lungs, after which he goes into this long winding rant about how wrong it is that this ditty isn’t in the Poseidon remake. When my friend got back on the phone, he actually wondered why I was, in his words, “a little crabby.” I was wondering why he was, in my words, a little clueless. Am I in trouble, he said in a tiny voice. How could he be? He did what told him to do. All that was left to do is sieze the day. The Y opened at 5am. I always figure that the best way to fight sickness is to exercise. So I put in about an hour on an exercise machine and I lifted weights. Oy.
I ended up getting to the train station in time to watch the 8:30am to Penn Station leave, then finding out I should have caught it because my 9:20am would be arriving at 10:50am. Nice. All I could think was, if I knew how to drive, this would have taken 4 hours...
Once I got to the gig, everything smoothed itself out. They got married at the arts club which is an absolutely gorgeous place to tie the knot. In no time at all, guests started to arrive, the open bar began to flow and delicious things began to flow from out of the kitchen. To be completely honest, I’m still thinking about the lobster rolls. The food was spectacular. A nice touch: towards the end of the evening, the groom went to each band member, thanked them for a wonderful performance and tipped them fifty bucks. The bride let me take a bouquet home to my friend, who complained sweetly that his little place is starting to smell like a blooming greenhouse, thanks to last week’s private gala.
You’re living the life of a superstar, he remarked, jet-setting all over new york state. You’d better get used to it.
Hmm, I thought. In a way, he’s right. That benefit we did on Monday in Brooklyn garnered an invitation to play a private party at The Pierre Hotel this Wednesday. They didn't want the band without me (is this a running theme or what?) so they agreed to pay my travel expenses to make sure that i wouldn't say no. it'll be over before 10pm. i wonder what they'll serve? I’m already rethinking the way I pack things in general and the ideal piece of carry-on luggage.
this time, i'm flying in. thank Jesus.