Saxophone Solos and Eggs
The saxophone player ruined my favorite song. He played his solo as if he were running from Godzilla dressed in a police uniform. It was a furious jumble, of sound. In fact all of his solos were like that. Frenetic and a bit desperate.
But this song, my favorite song, was a ballad. It wanted to be something sweet. It wanted to be something soulful.
It wanted to be love.
What he played was sex. Really fast sex, from an awkward nineteen year-old. The kind where you don't quite know what you're doing but you make up for it in frantic, energy. Fast moving arms, legs, hips, elbows and knees. (Everybody knows, elbows and knees don't really have a place in sex. If they're there, you're doing it wrong.)
Don’t get me wrong, there is a time and place for that kind of energy, but this wasn't it. This song should have approached slowly. Like sneaking up on a woman who is standing in front of a stove, making breakfast. The morning sun is leaking through the window slats, and has come to rest on the back of her neck. You slip your arms around her waist, embracing her and kissing the warm, sun on her skin. She sighs and you both sway, slowly side to side. You unravel, commenting on the wonderful smell of breakfast but your lips, on her neck, the place where both you and the sun came together to kiss her, gives her something to think about all day long.
The saxophone player ruined all that. He sneaked up behind her, smacked her on the back of the neck before running away shouting, “Neck respect fool!”
So I sat in my seat and secretly hated him. When everyone applauded, I did not.
In my mind, I was booing and throwing eggs at him. (I hate eggs too. Like the saxophonist, they are stupid, so he might as well have them. All over his face! That way two things I detest would be up on the stage where I could properly focus all of my hatred. Like a hate-laser.).
I glanced over at my wife. She sat expressionless with her hands folded in her lap. I noticed, she hadn't clapped either.
"Interesting", I thought.
Everyone converged into a narrow stairwell at the end of the concert, which, thanks to the vocalist, ended up being quite good. He made up for the saxophonist, who if the universe were good and just, would have been dripping in egg yolk. But we all know, the universe is way too busy for things like "justice". It is perfectly content to let people who ruin favorite songs, receive applause and then walk around thinking they are awesome, when clearly they are not.
In the slow-moving throng of the staircase, a tall, grey-haired man said, "That saxophone player was amazing!" "Yeah he was!", someone else echoed. I glanced over at my wife just in time to see her eyes roll.
I imagined the sax player driving home with the now, dried, egg yolk stuck to his clothes, his pants sticking to the seat as he shifted uncomfortably. He would walk in the door and his wife would see his hair, spiky from egg-yolk and ask what happened. He would be forced to admit, “I played a horrible solo. Two people booed and egged me.”
I took my wife's hand. I realized, in a just and alternate Universe, she was the other person throwing eggs.
That made me happy. I smiled.