Here's a little treat for what is, at least here in Our Nation's Capital, a gray but rather pleasant summer Sunday. I can't think of a more refreshing way to spend eleven minutes or so, at least not in mixed company...
People do tell me the oddest things. This little treasure, you see, apparently ran yesterday on NPR's stalwart anthology hour Selected Shorts. "I heard 'Yma Dreams'," said my pal The Professor when we spoke in the evening, "and of course, I immediately thought of you."
I don't know if that means he associates me with nightmare parties, namedropping, or eccentric songbirds, but in any case, in one way or another I suppose I'm flattered, although now that I think of it, I do remember vaguely that at one point in our checkered career he and I went to a Manhattan party in some ways as dotty and very nearly as star-studded at this at which, in fact, someone as their party turn performed a variation on this clever tale. And haven't we all had dreams, if not about novelty stars who have "some kind of hold" over us, then at least of host-stress?
Miss Christine Baranski is of course quite wonderful (and when impersonating the Andean Nightingale, even more than that). The story itself, by Thomas Meehan, is, beyond its marvelous wit, a little miracle of construction - a long, steady, rhythmic build that explodes in a moment of sheer glee (you'll know it when it comes, if you don't already*), but then goes on for just that little bit longer, allowing the reader (and audience) to savor all that came before and enjoy a final fillip, a lovely little glow of satisfaction.
For those who've been wondering, I survived my first week back - part time, at least - at Golden Handcuffs. All I'll say about that generally lamentable subject is that sitting still brings on a whole different kind of soreness than my tidy, quiet domestic routine, and that I really do look forward to being retired. I almost equally strongly miss our faithful dog walker Zach, if not for his only middling millennial charms, then at least for his unfailing reliability in appearing at 6:45 a.m. each morning to carry out a task once again relegated to poor little me. It seems quite unfair that, having done one week's stint of this drudgery, it all has to start over again tomorrow.
Alas. At least we'll always have memories of those eventful nights in a flat on Charles Street...
* I'm guessing that many Café Regulars are practically already word-perfect in their own recitations of this minor classic; I pay that no never mind, though, given the joy that I've had re-hearing it. It made me laugh quite immoderately, which is still, to an extent, a fraught experience. As with so much else of late, I've survived.