25 March 2008

Can I Have Some More Of What You've Got?

She used to stand at the window of an office in the The Helmsley Building and watch the lights all change together at night down Park Avenue and down Park Avenue she swam like a dolphin in the simple synchronicity of this beautiful city. This beautiful city, tried and tested. The Dowager Queen of Terminal City. She walks barefoot among such imperial grandeur. Marble walls with bronze detail and with bronze detail she craves the Coney Island sand between her lavender toes. Her lavender toes scrunch in her shoes as she watches the floors inside the Chinese Red elevator doors open into cabs with crimson walls, mahogany moldings, gift domes, and painted cloudscapes she dreams in buckets, in gallons, in soft elegant strokes.

Some people watch paint dry. Some people watch bananas turn brown. Yeah, I knew a guy who did that. Put it as his job description. "Watching bananas turn brown", he wrote exactly that. Saw it myself. His boss needed a banana everyday and it was this man's job to make sure his boss got said banana. I don't think his boss ever even ate the yellow fruit, it just became a thing. It was the point, I guess. Kinda like Van Halen and the brown M&M's...

People assumed it was because Van Halen were a bunch of prima donnas – and surely they were but not because of the brown M&M's – the bowl of brown M&M's was actually to make sure concert promoters were paying attention to detail.

They added "a bowl of only brown M&M's" to their contract rider in the middle of several pages of serious and detailed lighting & sound specs for their show. So if there wasn't a bowl of dirt coloured M&M's waiting for them backstage the band would know the promoters hadn't paid attention to the other important info and glossed over their contract rider. It was brilliant, actually.

Some bands I know asked for socks and batteries. We asked for stamps sometimes–back in the old days when people still sent letters and postcards. I used to get a local paper. I loved reading a local paper backstage. I did it maybe once or twice.

Nowadays, to pass the time, I thread needles – sometimes with the lights on, sometimes with the lights off. I find it very relaxing. And plus I need to keep my eyesight sharp, y’know? My father used to get mad at me for reading in the dark. I think they call it “painting in a cave”. I don’t know.

I can't get “So give me coffee and tv…history” out of my head now. But anyway, I'll only thread navy thread through a needle. I don't work with any other colours. It's a great patience exercise without getting all Zen and ethereal.

I spent the weekend trying to calculate my severance pay. Been with this firm for fifteen years but I’ve always lived within my means so I’ll be all right. I’ve driven the same Subaru Forester for the past ten years. So I’ll be OK. Just need to get some new suits so I can go on some interviews. Something navy, pinstriped and bespoke.

"I haven't watered that plant in days", he said.

"I'm not too good with plants. I kill them", she said, laughing nervously but dejected.

My tailor, Leo, is actually a part of that Society for Creative Anachronism thing. Its a club, a cult that recreates pre-17th century Western European history and culture. Like those guys reenact the Civil War, these guys spend their weekends reenacting the breakup of the Carolingian empire. It's a real hoot but sometimes it gets in the way, to be totally honest.

Sometimes it's Tuesday afternoon and I have a dinner meeting and I've got a hole in my trousers and Leo's in Ontario reenacting the Crusades and reading from the Toggenburg Bible by the light of a flickering torch. Yeah, I know what you are thinking, and yes, I do need to find a new tailor.


Anonymous said...

Hey man: You have it a bit wrong...

The contract rider called for a bowl of M&M's with all of the brown ones removed. If they found a brown M&M, the rider specifically stated that Van Halen had the legitimate right to cancel the show with full pay or trash the dressing room without consequence.

Gotham City Insider said...

O, ok. Thanks.

I'd thought it was red M&M's, too.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous Van Halen police,
that post seemed more like a work of fiction than a news story. Sometimes details are changed in fiction.