I was just remembering, yesterday, a time I played piano for a bunch of singers at a Christmas concert in Brooklyn. With rehearsals and practice time I was involved with this production for about a month. Every step of the way through this reminded me why I never wanted to do it again.
I had not played a live concert in at least three years. That lapse, or that time spent away from something that no matter how often I did it had never quite become a routine for me, made the experience feel like heavy lifting.
It wasn’t just the three year lapse. In fact, I think I could have weathered this experience just fine had it not been for the circumstances of its entry into my life, and what I guess you’d call “backstage” demands.
The gig had been arranged by an ex-girlfriend, and further taken on by the then-current woman in my life. This exchange of connections between the ex and the current created its own mentally challenging dynamic.
But back to the title of this… I don’t remember what happened immediately after the concert, which took place about 5pm at a church in Brooklyn. We probably went to a bar or restaurant.
What I remember about the post-concert experience is that I went to bed at a normal time, probably 11pm or midnight, and slept until 5. 5PM. I don’t think I got up even once. The concert experience had been so exhausting for me that all I could do was sleep and sleep and sleep.
When I did wake up I thought it must be 5am. It was dark.
The first clue that something was off was the string of text messages from the girlfriend, who had woken up and got going at whatever her normal time was. In the texts she was talking about heading to a farmer’s market, maybe going to the beach. I thought “What the hell is she doing up at 5 in the morning?”
Then the sudden withdrawal of some force within me made itself arise, or rather fall into a vacuum. I had wasted a day, having slept off the month of rehearsals and final performance which stoked sometimes toxic anxiety that devoured my mental energies. My brain felt eaten.
Such a bad feeling, for me at least, waking up in the late afternoon. For a long period of time I did it regularly, and had no problem with it. It was part of my routine as a tech guy, where I would often make changes to web servers and such in the overnight hours, when there would be least impact on active users.
But that changed. Chasing daylight started to feel like a hopeless way to greet the day, and I no longer need to burn the midnight oil to keep things running anyway. It’s possible I never really did need to be a techie night owl, it’s just a macho thing I voluntarily inherited from past engagements.
Something about last night’s raucous sleep patterns had me wide awake at 1am. In the past I’d been unable or found it difficult to force myself back to sleep but that’s become easier. I did that, though the sleep sailed on what felt like a plank off which I might fall at any time.
Waking up at 6, in the dark, made me think I’d slept until 6pm. How would I re-arrange my days to come with this enormous change of circadians?
All is well. I think yesterday’s 9.7 mile trek took its toll on my routines. The sun felt good, the cemetery was beautiful, and I had some gratuitous thoughts on yesterday being the 31st anniversary of my move to New York. I really do not need to reminisce about that stuff anymore.
The unfinished story about funerary artisan hoaxsters has promise, though. Maybe it does not need to be so elaborate as creating full stones and placing them on unmarked graves. Just etching fresh, fictional names onto existing ones could stir up confusion and discord, and could probably be accomplished with minimal attention from groundskeepers if the artisans have adequately honed their skills, both logistical and social.
Time for another long walk, this time to the 181, where I might have money waiting for me. Hooray for money.