Pensive


On Thursday night four of us headed out to the Quarter Moon Coffee House. This is an open stage forum held in the Bloomfield Town Hall on alternate Thursdays nights during the summer. It attracts a wide range of both professional and amateur performers. Each bravely stepping up to the microphone to show their chops, their only restriction is a two song limit.

We arrived just before the 7:30 start. The old building was filled to capacity with an appreciative audience. It was a hot and steamy night and the hall doors were kept open encouraging any fresh breeze to drift through. There weren’t enough empty seats left for us to sit together. We selected two empty seats in the last row and two directly in front of them. Shuffle, shuffle, excuse me. We settled in.

It didn’t take long to notice. There was an unmistakable underground-parking-garage-stairwell smell. AAAuhhhhhhhhhh Old urine. For the next few performances I sat obsessing about the horrible odour. Gag! I tried turning my head slightly to the left and placing my hand casually beside my noise. It didn’t help. A few musical sets later someone further down our row left and we reshuffled our seats – three in the back row, only one in front. It was a slight improvement.

I focused back on the show. It seemed that many of the performers knew each other well. The atmosphere was boisterous and fun. Singers with guitars were the standard however we were also entertained with banjo, mandolin, and harmonicas. Their musical choices were varied and ranged in skill. We heard renditions of Robert Johnson blues, old gospel choices such as Hank Williams “I saw the Light” tackled cappella style, lots of old folk tunes and a current Taylor Swift pop song. It was fun to watch the faces of some older people as this performer belted out that “she would never, ever, ever get back together”.

I enjoyed how everyone supported each other. This was a real community event. It was common to have someone with a guitar quietly slip behind the soloist and provide background vocal harmonies and instrumental accompaniment. Most were relaxed and having fun but my heart went out to the obviously terrified new comers. You could feel their fear. I give them credit though. It takes guts to stand up in front of a 150 strong audiences. You could hear the waver in their shaking voices.

I was a long way back from the stage and I spent my time studying the back of heads and the people around me. The underground-parking-garage- stairwell “source” turned out to be a white-haired gentleman. He didn’t look dirty or unkempt. The whole evening he sat slumped in his chair with his head down. One might assume he was asleep but his eyes stayed open staring at the floor. I think he suffered from scoliosis or curvature of the spine. He was very old. Beside him sat a pretty white-haired older woman. I assume she was his wife. She appeared to be in much better physical condition. Her feet often tapped and at times she swayed to the musical beat. Darned if this couple haven’t been on my mind all week.

Ever since Thursday night been feeling kind of pensive; kind of blue. I’m not depressed, just reflective. I keep mulling over that imagine of the old couple. What must their life be like now? I imagine he suffers from urinary incontinence and persistent pain from osteoporosis. I feel so badly that I was quick to judge him and I made a fuss about the smell. I want to know more about this couple: their life now and their past. Did they have a good marriage? Has music played a huge role in their life together? What are his medical needs now and how much longer can she manage looking after him? Does she have any support with this responsibility?

And finally, I started thinking of my own future. How many more years do Warren and I have before our worlds are restricted due to our health. You don’t always appreciate youth and feeling good until it is gone. We are blessed with good health right now.  We want for nothing. What does our future hold? If I am the caregiver will I be patient, kind and generous?  Will we still leave the house and attend open mikes when we are in that condition?

                            For better or for worse till death do us part

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About westlakemusings

In 2013 my husband and I retired. We bought an old pre-confederation house out in the country. This blog is about our new world in the country as we explore all of life's possibilities.
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2 Responses to Pensive

  1. I can understand that. I work in a health care organisation that deals with helping the elderly and sick stay at home and was recently offered by my own neurologist to have a consult made to my workplace. 🙂 Odd, to say the least. While I am reasonably healthy and still reasonably mobile and able to work, we are at the stage of making things a little more safe in our house – grab bars in the bathroom, taller loos, a cane for distance walking. It does make you wonder what the future will bring. Hopefully, in all cases, more good times and the ability to roll with any changes to come.

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