This lilac is trying to tell you something.
The choir has been part of our lives for over a decade, maybe closer to two. Tom and his college glee club friends joined ages ago to sing for a director they liked. Tom is a large man, but he sings in a high, clear tenor that could break your heart. Mom joined after a few years’ voice lessons, though she developed the confidence some time later to become the choir’s president and grant writer. The choir took them across Europe and to the Vatican and tonight to St. Thomas the Apostle Church in Old Bridge, NJ, where in an auditorium the choir is singing and in the next room, a boozy high school reunion makes liberal use of a PA system. Someone in scheduling has really fucked up.
This lilac ha got your number!
After the choir completed Foss’ Behold! I Build An House,
reunion celebrants began filing through a side door in the lobby to use restrooms. I sat in the lobby, directing. Periodically, and I mean that in its rhythmic sense, revelers fell through the door, shouting. I shushed them, speaking quietly myself. A monsignor and two women stood right next to me, gibbering loudly about the locked sacristy door. I asked them to please speak quietly. The monsignor asked why he should whisper. I said, “Choir concert,” and pointed to the auditorium behind him. He whined loudly, “I told them this door should be left unlocked for me.” One of the women produced a key just as I was considering how loudly he’d whine if I dragged him out the front doors, so I’m not under arrest. During Pärt’s Berliner Messe,
the trickle of peeing partiers steadily grew to a stream, and fewer of them cared whether they were disturbing anyone else. At intermission, Pete reappeared and we decided to hand over the t-shirt concession to one of the young ushers and leave the lobby without a bouncer for Faure’s Requiem.
Mom really wanted us to help out tonight. Chances seem excellent tomorrow she will be singing a different tune.