Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Summer People

It's like the dome of post-summer/autumn/back to school responsibility has been lowered over the city.

At 8 1/2, we walked into an empty restaurant, where just a few weeks ago, there would have been an eager crowd looking to score takeout before heading to the park for music. We ordered our hoagies, sat down at one of the empty tables and waited for my date's name to be called.

I'm not going to lie, it was a little bit eerie being in 8 1/2 on a beautiful Tuesday evening an hour before sunset and not encountering a mob scene. The oddness continued in the nearby park where exactly three people sat: a couple eating at a table and a woman on a bench alternating between a book and her phone.

Where were all the usual suspects?

My guess was that they all were laboring under the misconception that the live music ended at the same moment when white shoes and clothing became verboten: Labor Day. Because no one mentioned anything about the music stopping come September.

You know what they say about presuming.

We ate our hoagies, Italian and turkey, accompanied by Cherrier "Les Chailloux" Sancerre Rose on a bench, while singer/banjo/guitar player Kia Cavallaro got set up, a little girl in a smocked dress did interpretive dance and the wind picked up, causing the massive wind chimes on the power pole to commence ringing

For that matter, we bantered about how soul satisfying the sub rolls we were eating were. Neither of us could imagine being friends with anyone who didn't worship at the altar of these rolls.

When the flies arrived en massse (another stark difference to previous nights in the park), I saved the day by wiping mayonnaise dribbles from my sub with a wad of paper napkins and laying said wad on the ground for them to feast on.

In moments, the white napkins were covered in dozens of flies. Gross, certainly; effective, absolutely.

Once replete, the whole mess went in the Supercans and suddenly nary a fly had any interest in us or our Rose. Even so, we switched benches once the book/phone reader vacated hers, mainly for the better view it afforded.

Because tonight's crowd was small and because so many of them were tardy, the show kicked off late and only after organizer Patrick reminded everyone yet again the formula for when the show begins. If you can use your device for good - to research when the sun goes down - and count back 15 minutes, you can figure it out pretty easily.

We looked up from our fruit course of grapes and clementines to see friends with whom we'd been at the beach in July, so of course they spread their blanket next to our bench shortly before the set began.

Hearing a fretless banjo accompanying Kia's distinctive little girl voice would have been pleasure enough, but several of her songs were in French and I'm an absolute sucker for lyrics I can't understand.

Coupled with air that registered as Goldilocks just right (not too hot, not too cold) and a soft breeze, it was a glorious night for live music in a park. The thing is, there are weeks of outdoor music coming for those who haven't given up on life simply because Labor Day has come and gone.

That said, it was going on dark and a huge yellow moon was making its way up in the sky when we returned to the car after the show ended at 8:15. Shoot, it wasn't that long ago that the shows were starting at 8:15.

Every Summer has its own story and with mine still unfolding, I could put off Fall indefinitely. That, or accept that Summer is a state of mind.

But live under the dome of post-summer/autumn/back to school responsibility? Never.

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