Monday, September 21, 2009

Singing Under the Influence

DISCLAIMER: I am sitting in front of the computer now, at 1 p.m., after a useless earlier attempt to write this week. I would like to say I woke up from my return to bed refreshed, but at least now I am somewhat coherent. Somewhat. I promise no more.

This weekend was Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. Clean house, new boots, fancy schmancy honey from virgin bees in the Amazon, and dinner with friends. And, oh yeah, services. Topped off by a Sunday afternoon doing a mitzvah--participating in Singing Out Against Hunger, raising money and supplying food for the needy in Rhode Island. All good things to start a great new year. And then I got sick.

Not surprising, really, because Small and Medium have been hacking up a lung for the last week. It was only a matter of time. When they are home from school, you can practically see the germs swarming around me, like a cloud of mosquitos. I felt absolutely fine until Saturday, when I had to go back to sleep for the second time, after being awake from a nap for an hour. I awoke with a 1,000 pound head and the inability to keep my eyes open. This was just as well, since I knew I would have to sing on Sunday, and this shut me up for an extended period of time. I have a tendency to talk too much (shocking, I know) and sleeping for 16 hours does protect the voice.  Sick or not, I was going to play on Sunday, no matter how much Sudafed it required.

It turned out to be quite a lot, with spectacular results. I do have experience with Sudafed. I am a constant allergy/sinus infection sufferer, and it is very effective. Usually it has the delightful affect of making me more spastic and hyper than I usually am. But what I found was, taking a bit more than the recommended dose had the effect of a weak dose of Valium. I felt no pain, and everything was just so very very pretty--the blue sky, the smiling people, everything! I know I was. Everything was happening a split second slow, like it was underwater. It was lovely. But I didn't know if I could sing in my dreamy state, because I  am not an indulger.This is not a personal philosophy (Drugs are BAD!) as much as a self-preservation instinct--I am one of those annoyingly sensitive people that will sleep for a day and a half from one Children's Benadryl, or have the lampshade on my head after half a drink. So aside from the occasional forays into Pepto-Bismol and Nyquil, I am generally drug-and-booze-free.  So it was brand new for me to experience a show as Janis Joplin.  

The performance was a challenge, but not because of me. As it often is outdoors (I am told) the sound was very bad and none of us could hear the other. Neither Danielito nor I could hear ourselves AT ALL, which is incredibly difficult and annoying when trying to sing. Rather than worry about it, which helped no one, I just sang and hoped to God I was somewhere close to on-key. It went both exceedingly fast and unbelievably slowly. I had to remind myself that I was singing and to stop being distracted by what people were eating at the table in front of us. And at one point, I got a pain in my left big toe that was so excruciating, I had to struggle to stay with the song and not collapse on the stage, weeping and clutching at it.  I saw people singing along to our 80's covers, mesmerized by their moving mouths. But I'm told we sounded great. I personally believe we rocked Rio harder in Danielito's living room, but money was raised and food items collected for the needy. And I have absolutely loved playing with these fabulous musicians the last few months, so it was fun, too. Danielito, Captain Ron, Knitting Natalie, Jamie the Giant, Joe Drummer and Lisa OurBiggestFan, you are all amazing. And so very very pretty.

And so, after the family had eaten obscene amounts of crab cakes, fried clams, clam cakes (or clunchkins, as the husband called them) and, of course, chicken fingers for Medium, and I said my good-byes, we headed back home. I was too wasted to drive, and that should tell you EVERYTHING you need to know. I am the worst passenger there is, pressing the invisible brake and gasping in anticipation of an accident every five feet, and thus, have done all the driving in our marriage. My children were shocked to see me climb in the passenger seat. I proceeded to stare out the window stupidly and serenely for the next hour and fifteen minutes. I thought for sure the pictures would tell the story, that my over-sudafedinizing would be obvious. It doesn't look that way to me, but maybe I'm wrong. The show must go on, and all that. And it did. I have the pictures to prove it.

1 comment:

  1. Well this is news to me. Sudafed just puts me out. But maybe I just don't take ENOUGH!!

    Glad the show rocked!