It was just one of those days, I guess.
At least it started out pretty good. I got to the Met Monday morning in time—10 a.m.—to meet the great Danny Fields. We were going to the dress rehearsal for Don Giovanni, but found out when we got there that instead of the usual 10:30 start, it was 11, likely because of the morning snowfall, probably because I just didn’t get the memo for the later start.
Anyway, that gave us an hour to kill, and Danny fatefully suggested Starbucks. I had a large with soy, and felt compelled to down the whole damn thing. Of course I hit the men’s room at the Met, and figured I’d be fine until the second act, that three-and-a-half hours duration there’d be two intermissions.
No, I didn’t check the program, not until an hour in when I knew I was in trouble of the prostate cancer kind. This had happened to me a couple years ago, shortly after the seed implants, when I had to walk out in the middle of an actual Met performance. Luckily I was near the aisle, but the ushers freaked out, rightly, but understood when I explained the problem. Now, again I was reaching the point of no return, so I leaned over to Danny and told him I had to go, then apologetically climbed over two people at the end of the row and made it to the can in the nick of time, this time without any interference from ushers. I took my phone, laptop and ticket stub—which you need to have to get back in.
Bathroom break achieved successfully, I figured I could sit in the lounge area across from the men’s room, and at least work on my Don Covay appreciation for examiner.com. I wasn’t alone, especially since they have a TV monitor on the wall showing the performance, but without the subtitles. At one point I heard a thud next to me. It was my phone falling into the crack between chairs.
At the end of the first act I was able to go into the auditorium without being seen and pick up my lunch bag, then met Danny downstairs and ate. Went back to the bathroom prior to Act II, drained it best I could and figured I’d had it made this time.
All this prostate shit, by the way, I’ve gone into in greater depth in this section, though newcomers be forewarned: It really isn’t all that funny.
I’m sure you know what’s coming. Halfway through Act II the discomfort commenced. Soon I was squirming around in my seat. I knew I’d have to make a run for it at curtain call, and began praying they didn’t have to redo anything.
They didn’t. I told Danny I’d talk to him later, made another mad dash to the can and got there again in the nick of time.
And then I realized my phone was missing.
I went back to the lounge, went through all my pants, sweatshirt, coat pockets two, three times. Took everything out of my gym/lunch bag. No phone.
Ran back to the auditorium, but I’d taken so long at the urinal that everyone was already out and it was locked. I caught up with an usher as she was leaving and she took me to the Lost & Found, gave me a slip with the phone number, and said I could call between 2 p.m and 4. It was getting close to 3.
I trudged home through the snow, all the while wondering if I had any friends and family members left to beg for money for a new phone. I didn’t.
I made it to the bathroom, again, in the nick of time. When I finally got to my desk it was 3:30—and I’d even lost the fucking Lost & Found phone number.
I had no recourse to call my friend at the Met who’d got me the tickets to the dress rehearsal—Lady A, we’ll call her, and we’ll go a step further and say that the “A” does not stand for “Antebellum.”
Lady A gave me the number, which I called and left a voicemail, as directed, with my name and number and missing item. It said they’d get back to me if they found anything, between 2 and 4. By now I was thinking of life without a cell phone, life in the Stone Age.
But Lady A said she’d also go down and look, and call back. She did.
“I have no good news,” she said. “I know you tore apart your bag and pockets and everything….”
I tried to reconstruct everything and now I wasn’t even sure I had my phone after Starbucks. Then I remembered how it had plopped into the crack between the chairs in the lounge. Lady A, being the saint that she is, offered to go down, again, and look.
She called back 10 minutes later.
“You are so lucky!” she said. “I’m a fucking asshole!” I replied.
“I didn’t mean that,” she said. “Just that I’m a great person.”
“You’re a great person because I’m a fucking asshole.”
Lady A had got down on her hands and knees, moved all the lounge chairs around—and found nothing. Then she found one of the auditorium guys who let her in, went to my row, got down on her hands and knees again and found the phone, a Samsung Note 3 in a black case, on the black floor in the darkened room.
“You’re so lucky!” she repeated. “I’m a fucking asshole!” I replied.
I think she laughed. Then again, I think everyone laughs.
I trudged back to the Met. Lady A handed me the phone through the cast iron Met gates, and I trudged back home, having wasted what was left of the afternoon.
Prostate made itself known once again, but at least I didn’t have to make any money-begging calls from the desk phone.
[This is a two-part post! Part Two can be found here at “Talking to Myself Out Loud.”]