In the Name of Art
I’ve said before, I think February is the cruelest month, but today broke me.
First, it’s not even warm enough to be considered spring. It was eighteen degrees when I took my dog out this morning. It’s supposed to snow again tomorrow night. I wonder what T.S. Eliot would think of that.
The second blow happened at noon. It’s the first Saturday of the month. We’ve been silent all winter, but today, they tested our tornado siren to prepare for the windy season. Our old dog was a nervous little bugger, and he barked at the unfamiliar sound. We encouraged this, since we would like to know when a tornado is coming. New dog isn’t the least bit concerned with the sound. He consoled me through my tears, though.
The third blow is yet to come. I have a hard day of writing ahead. I’m going to write about the one Queen concert I can’t bring myself to watch: The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert. I avoid it as much as I can. Yes, I love the George Michael version of “Somebody to Love,” and the Elton John version of “The Show Must Go On.” As Vanilla Ice likes to say about the riff to “Ice, Ice Baby,” vs. “Under Pressure,” “It’s not the same.”
The extra ding, the one that feels like someone squeezing my heart? Freddie’s voice is there, inspiring the crowd to sing along, doing some warm-ups between sets while the roadies prepare for the second act, something Freddie used to do in real life. Except it’s a recording. It’s not him. And when Brian May sings the beginning to “Tie Your Mother Down,” it’s a harsh echo of Freddie’s version. And when George Michael is on stage, the one thing on his mind is his lover, dying of AIDS, the same disease that took Freddie.
So, yeah. I’ve avoided watching this concert, and now I have to write a scene for my characters, in the crowd, celebrating the life of my hero gone too soon. I’m going to break my own heart today, in the name of art.