Monday, April 28, 2008
Last night I drove with my daughter to a club to hear a musician and singer whom I've long admired and whose visits to this country are few and far between. Though it was a bit of a drive — about an hour north — I had never seen perform him live and didn't want to pass up the chance, not knowing whether the opportunity would be repeated since neither of us is getting any younger.
As it turned out, the show itself was a bit of a letdown, thoroughly professional as one would expect but lacking fire. I had the feeling that he felt obliged to play but didn't really want to be there, didn't quite have his heart in it. It was particularly disappointing because he has always had a reputation for being a charismatic live performer. Too many years on the road, too much water under the bridge, I guess.
After we left I got lost and wound up taking a road home I had never been on before. It ran along the shoreline, and even at that hour there were people coming up from the beach, getting in their cars and heading home. The great suspension bridge soared out over the bay as we approached.
As I drove I became increasingly alarmed by the realization that I couldn't remember the latter part of the show. In fact I had no memory of the half-hour before we left the club at all. The time had simply vanished. Eventually I was able to recall getting up and leaving when it was all over; there had been a pancake buffet, on the house, but we had elected not to stay. Of the performer's encores and farewell I could remember nothing.
It's true that I'd been drinking, but only a single bottle of Guinness, surely not enough to cause me either to fall asleep or to black out a portion of an evening I had been anticipating for years. I wondered about the state of my mind, whether this was a harbinger of worse things to come.
It was only later, with great relief, that I realized that the entire sequence of events — the ride, the concert, the gap in time — had never taken place at all. I lay in bed, enjoying the sweetness of concern dispelled, for now.