Sunday, April 17, 2016
April 17, 2016
Drove to Statesville, to the high school auditorium, to hear Stephen M play with his touring band. Got there early. Stephen had left me a pass, and I drank Cheerwine and sat in the auditorium and ran The Winter’s Tale in my head. I’ve known Stephen since he was a child, when quite by accident I stayed at his family’s B and B. There was an attachment, immediate and difficult to define. Have kept in touch–much on my side and a little on theirs–ever since. The last time I heard him play was at a music festival in a tiny community center in Corofin God knows how many years ago, and there he was, a grown man in a high school auditorium on North Carolina, so warrior-handsome I didn’t know what to do with myself. The music was disappointing– heavily pop, trad standards prettified by wash after wash of Riverdance– but one must get the gig, and maybe being at the edge of a transforming warrior tradition, making the music new with each hard touch, was my dream rather than his. He dedicated a set to me, “to a family friend, if he’s in the audience.” I was. It was thrilling to hear my name spoken aloud in a far-off land. Went backstage afterward and we caught up inadequately. Had my picture taken with the band. Drove home, fighting drowsiness the whole way. Home before midnight. I miss him. With no rights in the matter.