Monday, October 10, 2016

Budapest 5

October 10, 2016

Went to the Evangelical Church for services, because they were doing a Bach duet cantata, #49, I think. Boring in the most accomplished and elevated way.

Blog Review of The Birth of Color, which doesn’t mention me or Lucio:

Final performance of the show was likely the best. I’d had a light attack of phlebitis, and fever and antibiotics put me in a sleepy, receptive frame that was good for the viewing show. All is well here, a triumph. We are International Stars, on a tiny level. Reception afterwards, talk with some of the charming choristers. Big dinner at Callas with A and J at the end, too late for the kind of sleep I wanted, but, again, all is well. A small orchestra played classical hits while we drank our dessert Bailey’s..

Looked around the theater and thought, against my own will, “I am the only one who has not been paid a dime. The boys fiddling with microphones. . . the second altos. .  everyone but the poet.”  I must resent it because I think of it, but on the other hand doing it for free, when I thought everyone was volunteering, was fine. Trying not to resent what I really don’t care about. That much. D lamented that the show cost upward of $140,000. You’d think they could have found cabfare for me. Anyway. . . .

One of the longest days in my life of tourism, walking to Parliament, crossing the bridge into Buda, climbing all about there, staggering home. I note that I’m in comparatively good shape, better than for Amsterdam, or Rome, or the last time here. Bright, cool day. Messages and items of protest (little of which I understood) in front of the Soviet-era monuments; Ronald Reagan guarding the space between them and Parliament. Parliament itself is as grand as the photos suggest, with a red carpet rolled out for someone today (crookedly) and visitation therefore curtailed. Climbed up into Buda, where my camera battery died, and that was the end of the visual chronicle. But I wandered to Saint Matthias, which, like St Stephen’s in Vienna, is more beautiful outside than in, its decorations falling short of gaudy only by reason of mellowing age. People barked at us if we tried to peer over the railings at the sensational view of Pest, because they were filming a movie and didn’t want random heads in it. When it was time to leave, I started down a walk and a guard said “No down. Movie.” I said, “I have to get down. Where can I go–?”
“No down. Movie.”
“Tell me where I can get down and I’ll–“
”No down. Movie.”
This went on. After a while we were nose to nose, and I might actually have said, trusting his ignorance of English, “I’m about to get down through your colon,” but his colleague saved the situation by pointing to the alternate route, which is all I wanted.
The guy who had been photographing The Birth of Color and his Danish wife were also at the Castle. It was great to be in a strange city and run into people you know. He said, “I photographed you taking a bow, but what exactly was it you did with the show?”
“I wrote it.”

Ate goulash at a cafĂ©, where I stopped because of two beautiful boys (American boys, it turned out, when they spoke) staring at each other under the awning. They were oblivious to me, to the street, everything, drinking in each other’s beauty. When the food came, they ate it without taking their eyes from one another. I blessed them with a blessing that wished that moment might dwell in them forever. I have never been on the receiving end of such love, so it seems holy to me.

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