I love it when I know exactly what Ruggy is thinking.
The other night, we ventured out to Brooklyn (this is huge for a Manhattanite, like getting on a commuter flight to another state altogether). An African hair braiding salon was our signpost for an altogether different salon: an evening of classical music. We climbed the stairs to a warm studio, where Ethan Iverson and Matthew Guerrieri had decided to sight read Beethoven's Fifth Symphony in its entirety, four handed on a Steinway. Like you do. Ethan's partner in crime, the perfect Sarah of The Spiral Staircase, had whipped up a cocktail dubbed The Nutty Monk (I would rename it Heaven. As I sipped and tried my best not to dissect the author's other perfect cocktail, a mix of vixen/vintage/bombshell, I thought: POLKA DOTS AND CUTOUTS?! MY SEWING PEEPS WOULD DIE. )
The soft light in the studio, just enough for the musicians to play by, made us all feel instant friends (the chestnut infused cognac didn't hurt). In my mind, Ethan and Matthew were going to sit at separate pianos, sort of across from each other, dueling. Obviously I have never seen a fourhanded piece. Squeezed on one bench, twenty digits crossing and overlapping, they sent arpeggios back and forth like hot potatoes. As the gents played, Ruggy would turn to me every so often with a wide, slightly mischievous grin on his face. I knew exactly what he was thinking. This is so fucking cool. I was thinking it right back at him, verbatim.
Afterwards, Matthew read a passage from his book, The First Four Notes. Wait, let me rephrase that. Afterwards, Matthew DROPPED HIS MAGNIFICENT KNOWLEDGE ON THE ROOM LIKE A CHUCK NORRIS BEATDOWN. Seriously. I sat grinning, hoping some of the intelligence washing over me would stick. Did you know the opening notes of Beethoven's Fifth are morse code for V? As in V for Victory? Many fingers tapped on cocktail glasses when he dropped that little tidbit. And really, that fact was run of the mill when you compare it to the rest of the talk, it's just the one point that I can type out with certainty over morning coffee. There's also a dude, Furier? Forier? Who apparently was given permission to visit heaven and hell and chat up the residents there. I gotta know more about that.
I found myself wishing I'd heard the symphony after the cavernous talk, and luckily Ethan felt the same way, as we were treated to a reprise of the first movement. I'd like to try it again, you don't have to listen, Ethan offered to the room. Yeah, no, I'd really rather not be treated to more of that. I almost rabidly shouted out for the whole shebang again.
New york is, at times, too cool to be real.