Wednesday, February 17, 2010

An Interruption to the Love Story

I just found a quarter of a moldy, rotting cheeseburger. And I did not find it in the refrigerator, where it should have been. But where I found it is far less interesting than why I found it. So let me interrupt myself interrupting myself and ask you something: have you heard of Fanny Mendelssohn? No? I hadn't either.

Last Thursday, I spent an evening at Cornelia St Cafe listening to her 19th-century piano compositions. This might interest few of you, until you understand who Fanny was, and why Fanny wasn't. The sister of the uber-famous Felix Mendelssohn, Fanny was arguably as gifted as her brother, but nobody knew this until it was too late. That is, until she was dead.

As a young woman, Fanny displayed a lot of talent for writing music. However, where Dad supported brother Felix, he told sister Fanny that, for her, publishing music was a man's game, and that for her, music was to be nothing but an "ornament" in her social calendar. Without her father's support, and without even her husband's, Fanny had to rely on playing music for houseguests. How dull. Anyway, one particular night, while she was performing for her guests, Fanny got a hand cramp, and died suddenly. She was 41, and her musical publishing career was over before it had begun.

But what does this have to do with finding a rotting cheeseburger?

While at author Robin Hirsch's Cornelia St Cafe, listening to Victoria Sirota explain the life of Fanny, and Joanne Polk perform Fanny's dizzying finger-fluttering compositions, my fire re-ignited itself. The same fire to which I referred last week, the temporarily extinguished one that has all but eluded me for the past month.

Suddenly, everything seemed worth writing about - dinner, the wine I paired with it, and any number of otherwise-pointless thoughts I had between bites. Of course, my apartment's hygiene suffered terribly, as did my cuticles. Both were a mess: I wrote until my cuticles bled, and ate only to sustain myself, leaving pizza boxes, soda containers, coffee cups, and even a quarter of a moldy cheeseburger...anywhere I dropped any of them. With dragon-claw toenails (come on, don't act like it hasn't happened to you), I wrote until I finished, and then I drank one glass of the finest Spanish red I could get my bleeding-cuticle paws on.

As they say, 'There's something about Fanny,' and whatever it was in her musical recipes, she struck a chord. Whether she's struck for me the direction of destiny, or the destiny of direction, I don't know. But I'm happy to be on fire.

Sidebar: If anyone wants to know where I found this glass of wine, and what it was, let me know. It's a showstopper of its own.

(Updates coming soon to the rest of the Boy Meets Girl; Girl Meets Boy story)


fingers said...

Good God...can you really die from a hand cramp ??
Do you know how many times I have cheated death over the years...

Anonymous said...

That's the first time I've laughed out loud at a blog comment - ever. Still laughing. Mendelssohn rolled over in her grave.