Thursday, August 13, 2009
Living My Whole Life in One Night
I used to date a guy who worked in the financial industry and was frequently sent by his firm to various industry conferences. The conferences were hosted in nice locations – Arizona or Florida, say, in the wintertime – at well-appointed hotels, and he told me of having witnessed many colleagues who, at the close of a day of official conference business, tried valiantly -- perhaps even desperately -- “to live their whole lives in a single night.”
I had business out of town yesterday, and I put up for the night at a hotel in another city in another state. After checking in, I made my way to the bar, where a lone accoustic guitarist in a cowboy hat was playing Elton John covers for a small, almost completely unresponsive crowd. I took a seat near him out of sympathy, and, while I was able to fend off the advances of a traveling salesman who was unfazed by my mention of my husband and son, I soon found myself, glass in hand, sharing the mic with the guitarist in a rendition of “Sweet Baby James.” As the friend of a friend said to herself as she rode the city bus to the New York State Theater to make her début as Carmen at New York City Opera, “This is not as I had pictured it.”
Above: Bill Murray in his iconic turn as Nick the Lounge Singer on Saturday Night Live.