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Thursday, April 18, 2013

A direct relationship




4/16

Martin is first to greet me this morning.

Stephen is hard at work on the contract for the Pantha du Prince concert.

Out on the steps, Marty is sitting, staring out towards the street. He sees my gray shirt with the word New York arched across in blue felt letters. Yankees or Mets? He asks. Don’t tell me. It’s the font. It’s Yankees. It’s the font. My father, he wrote 12 books. He’d check the galleys. Send them back to reset the Linotype. It’s all about the font. Did you ever publish a book? Like in the 42nd street library?
No. Not exactly. Just some articles. Don’t think they’re in the library.
But in a book?
Mainly magazines. Journals. Dissertation. You know?
Ahhh. What about the font?
I shrug.
Well, have  a good day, Reverend. And he’s on his way.

Later in the day, Stephen walks in with the man in the cowboy hat. (Danielle tells me his name is Yonah.) This man has escorted me into your office. Tell him it’s OK for me to play for an hour or so. 
Well, actually it’s not. You did some serious damage to our sidewalk gates.
No, I  did not.
Danielle responds, Well actually two people saw you jumping up and down on them. That’s not respectful. 
I had to. Those gates are dangerous. It’s rotten iron. There was a man in a wheel chair. I had to save him. What if he rolls over them in a 600 pound wheel chair?I had to save him.
Don’t you think there might have been a better way to do that?
Danielle says, They were okay before. It’s going to cost us a lot of money to fix them.
I have been sent here to save you. I have done so much for you. And you don’t listen. Am I angry? You treat me like they treated Yeshua. He was angry. He cast out the moneychangers from the Temple. I cast out the smokers from the church. And not a word of thanks. But that’s the least of your problems...
You can’t be harassing people who rent from us, says Danielle. And you can’t be going through the church.
Yes, I went through the church. I’ve been sent to save you. I emptied the refrigerator. There was dead meat in there. Bad meat. Can you believe it? I found ham in there. Ham! Meat of the pig. And it says clearly in Leviticus 17:7 it is an abomination.
So he knows his Bible. I consider talking to him about Peter’s vision in Acts 10, but think better of it. 
People with logs in their eyes come to you to talk about the speck in my eye. They use my little imperfections to distract you from their big faults. I have tried to tell you but you just won’t listen...
I listened to you for an hour the other day...
You and I have different concepts of time. You have compassion but no wisdom. Yeshua told me what to do. If you will not receive my peace, then take this...and he shakes his pants cuffs and turns to walk out. Then looks back over his shoulder, directly at me. You need to know, there’s a direct relationship between what happened yesterday and my presence here today. Believe it. Then turns again and goes out the door. 

Stephen looks at me. He better not say that too loud in the wrong place...not today...

Danielle puts her head down a minute. Then looks back up. Sometimes I feel I can’t take anymore...it’s exhausting. Draining....takes it out of me....

In a funny way, he’s right. There is a direct relationship between what happened yesterday and his presence. When ever there’s a major incident like yesterday’s Boston Marathon bombing, it sends people on the border over the edge. They feel the disturbance in the universe. They don’t understand it, but it disturbs them deeply. Unsettles them. And they wind up here.

Christopher is acting stranger. He repeatedly walks rapidly onto the balcony, stops at a particular place, stares at it, then walk rapidly back out. Tells Stephen he's working on his memory. Jane's Diego Rivera is missing from the women's room. I fantasize that if Christopher has found it, and written all over it, as he is wont to do, we could probably sell it as outsider art. 

Frog & Peach is rehearsing in the balcony. Makes me feel good to see them there. Way back in '96, they excavated the theatre from years of neglect and accumulated detritus and restored it for use. The first step in recreating an arts and cultural presence here. In exchange for their work, we gave them space for years' worth of their free Shakespeare performances with some pretty amazing actors, Austin Pendleton among them. (One day, one of he congregation's children saw Austin coming in for rehearsal and said excitedly, Hey, Back to the Future!...) They're performing now in the cozy but nearly perfect theatre down the street at SPSA. But I'm glad just to have them here. Back in their old home. 

Nancy stops in. Wants to talk about apartments. Can we go to the B? The phone rings. Better wait until tomorrow. 


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