Time. It’s the fourth dimension, right? The other three I’ve got down pat–I can make an airplane loop, roll, spin, or drop any which way I want. But when it comes to time, I’m totally out of my element. Not in the sense of “being on time”, mind you–but rather in how strangely I judge it.
For example, I did some math recently. After subtracting 1994 from 1999 the magic number of five mysteriously came to me. As in, five years since I graduated from college. Wow. Where has the time gone? Obviously someone is messing with the fast-forward button of my life, and the rate at which it’s passing is only picking up speed. I really am afraid that I’m going to wake up in the morning, look in the mirror and see the face of a 70 year old who has nothing but wrinkles to show for his time on earth. It’s a waking nightmare: almost a full year since Pick Up Ax, since I got back into the cockpit of a plane. How can this be?
On the other hand, there are times when life passes so slowly that it’s almost painful. Traffic school. Ground school. Freeway traffic. Essentially anything utilizing the words “traffic” or “school”. Another thing that’s going by very slowly is this opera season. Madame Butterfly is only six months past, but it seems like an eternity. Today was the opening night performance of the final production of the 1998-99 season, La Fille du Regiment (Daughter of the Regiment). In five days it’ll be over, and though it’s been very enjoyable, I can’t say I’m sorry to see it go. To quote the song writing genius of Air Supply, “everybody needs a little time away.”
The 1999-2000 season looks like another great one for the chorus, but I’m debating if I should go back next year. Life is like a puzzle, and sometimes you end up with an odd piece that doesn’t seem to fit anywhere. Perhaps even the piece’s colors are wrong for the overall picture, so that you start to wonder if that piece didn’t come from another box. A freak piece is what it is. And more and more lately I feel like that puzzle piece at Opera Pacific. Everyone has their cozy place. They fit just fine there, even if this is only their first or second show. This is my tenth production, and if I don’t fit into the puzzle by now it just ain’t gonna happen.
Speaking of the opera, I received the nicest e-mail today Jason Daniel, a baritone and all-around great guy who sings at Opera Pacific. He dropped me a line to say that he was having a tough day–taxes, kids screaming, work, etc.–but as he was going through a box of receipts he found one of my cards. It containing the URL for the House of Rapp, so he visited the site and read the journal entry about Henri. Jason wrote that he hadn’t laughed that hard in a long time. You could almost read the smile in his e-mail, and it was so contagious that it brightened my day immeasurably as well. So score one for the computer nerds.
In other (soap) opera news, my friend Paul made his debut as the peasant in Daughter. It’s a small role, but he did a great job with it, even if the wardrobe department did go the extra mile to make sure he looked like a stunt double for Juan Valdez (he looked out of place without the donkey and a cup of rich Colombian coffee). It’s always amazing to me that people who are singing next to you in the chorus one second can be center stage singing a solo line in front of three thousand people the next. I would like to think I could do that kind of thing too, but something tells me it requires what Henri often refers to as “talent”.