Mikey Likes It

I feel like a kid again.  And that’s not necessarily a good thing.

I just spent ten days in Louisville, Kentucky, as a bi-annual residency requirement for the MFA in Creative Nonfiction I’m working toward.   This semester, to emphasize the program’s interest in how all the arts relate to one another, we were required to attend the symphony.

Yes, I groaned.   Not because I hate the symphony, though.  That would make me uncultured and a tiny bit uncouth.  I groaned when the head of the program, author Sena Jeter Naslund, gave us this assignment:  we were to listen to the Moscow State Orchestra’s performance and write one page on the structure of the pieces they played.

The last time I went to the symphony was during the last century.   And to let you know how old I was , my response to that show was “Boooooring!”  In other words, despite taking 10 years of piano lessons as a kid, I had no idea that the concept of structure even applied to a piece of music.  To add to that worry, this was a concert featuring Russian music played by a Russian orchestra.  And I don’t speak Russian.

Imagine my delight, then, after I listened to the first two pieces of the performance,  Tchaikovsky’s Capriccio Italien, Op. 45 and Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 16 by Edvard Grieg, and found myself enthralled by the music.   When the lights came up for the intermission, I didn’t even want to snarkily whisper to the student next to me in my best Julia Roberts voice, “That was so beautiful I almost peed my pants.”

I was thrilled that I loved the symphony.  It made me feel like I was a big girl.  I’d grown up.  So I turned to the old guy seated to my left and said, “That was spectacular.”

He nodded and said, “These pieces are all famously popular.  Even a kid would love this.”

The next morning, I got up early and jumped into the shower in my room at Louisville’s historic Brown Hotel.  When I was finished, I tried to turn the handle back to the “off” position and found that I couldn’t budge the thing.  I worked for a full ten minutes trying to get the shower turned off before giving up and calling down to the front desk and asking them to send someone up to turn off my shower.

I can only imagine the 6:30 a.m. conversation between the nice guy at the front desk and the maintenance man. I’m sure it went something like, “The people in room 605 can’t figure out how to turn the shower off.  If you get up there and find a child in the room alone, let me know.  I’ll have to call DFACS.”

It was stuck, I tell you.  The maintenance man who came up, a big hulking man probably in his late fifties,  had to give it a hearty shove before rotating the control around to the off position.  He cocked his head slightly before admitting, “Yep, it’s a little tight,” and promising to come turn off my shower every morning if I had trouble.

And if all that weren’t enough, yesterday when I landed back in Atlanta and took my daughter to Cracker Barrel, the fried chicken lunch I ordered arrived as — you guessed it — a nice plate of kids’ chicken tenders.

Silly Rabbit, Trix are for kids who think they’ve grown up.

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