My Date with Milwaukee's Symphony

This is a horrible three months late. I kept re-reading, trimming, and adding this entry. I wanted each sentence and idea to be significant and go on to add onto the main idea: Love. I still feel that I didn’t accomplish that, but I am growing weary of trying to perfect this entry. It is my first personal expose regarding love, and in the process, I think I learned a bit more about love; but I’ll write about that at a later time.

Valentine’s Day at Marquette meant two things to me: Roast beef and the Antonin Dvorak. The former was disappointing, but the latter was exquisite.

I attended dinner with a number of my friends. We had a lovely time, and we were all single. The roast beef at dinner was raw — literally, in the sense that it was raw red. It was hemorrhaging, and all you had to do was lay your fork on it. I ate my fill and let the rest of the meat bathe in its hemoglobin, restrained from falling over the edge of my plate by the steamed (and somewhat delectable) carrots. Excuse me for stating the obvious: No platelets were present.

At the conclusion of dinner, our party exited Schroeder Cafe and I parted my ways with the group. I walked to the library to check bus times, and then waited for the 30 bus outside of the library. The 14 came and I hopped on and got off at North Water Street. I then proceeded at what you might call an allegro, or a brisk, pace. I passed many couples on the way to the Marcus Amphitheater. As I passed each couple or person, I reveled in the thought of being at the performance before them.

Upon entering the doors, I was flushed with a feeling that I will call elegance because I don’t know how else to describe it. I attribute this flushed feeling to the bright lights in contrast with the dark February 14th night. There was no line for tickets, and this flushed the flushed feeling further, exceeding my emotional boundaries. I wanted to scream like a little girl at a/or: 1) Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus concert 2) Jonas Brothers concert 3) Me at a Michael Jackson concert. ((Michael is performing the entire month of July 2009 in London. I want to go and scream like a girl, but I will not be able to be in attendance.)) Furthermore, I was offered my choice of seat.

I told the ticketmaster that I would like a seat on the left side lodge. I would have picked those seats anyway, but I knew I was in for a treat that night: The soloist is always — at least to my knowledge and in respect to the perspective of the audience — placed to the right of the conductor. He gave me a seat in row E, furthest from the steps. Handing him my choice of payment and my school identification card for the $12 student discount, I began to salivate like I should have at dinner.

I was early. Dressed in a baby blue and striped American Eagle button-up with a clean pair of jeans, I dashed up the stairs to find that people were decked out in tuxedos and sultry night gowns, engaged in what I knew was a pre-concert talk. I felt out of place. I knew they were engaged in learning about the performance, and I wanted to show that I was like them too.

Then, a revelation: I was observing myself in alienation. I hate to use the word discrimination because of the negative connotation, but let me summarize my discrimination experience. ((It was hardly discriminating. It was moreso I just felt I was crashing the party. Even then, I don’t know what crashing a party would feel like.)) 1) I was alone on Valentines Day. I know this shouldn’t matter all that much, but for purposes of this investigation, allow me the liberty to take it into consideration. 2) I was dressed more liberally than the other patrons. 3) Everyone else was partaking in the pre-concert talk. 4) I was colored.

Noting this opportunity to study diversity in a real situation, I headed off to find my seat. A sign blocked the walkway to the amphitheater, notifying concert-goers that the doors would open some time — either 10 or 15 minutes — before the performance. I sulked to a bench to sit by myself, and proceeded to text Jimi Shaw about what I was experiencing.

The doors opened and I waited the customary-cool of 2 minutes; you never want to be obscenely early to events. The greeter/seater kindly welcomed me and guided me to my seat. She warned me to watch my step, but I didn’t. I half-stepped on a step and I fell forward, emitting a quiet grunt of which I’m sure she heard. She took me to row E and pointed to my seat, the furthest one in. I thanked her, and I could and would have hugged her if it were socially proper and had I not grunted. I swished and swoshed into my seat like Lorelai at Movie Night, making myself comfortable for the next 10 or so minutes.

I passed the time by reading the evening’s program. When my eyes graced Dvorak’s Concerto in B minor, I could not contain my smile, and I swear I would have blinded the rehearsing bassoonist if my teeth were pure light — traveling at 3.0×10^8 m/s. That uncontainable smile made me question: Was I in love?

Some time soon after, the musicians of the Milwaukee Symphony trickled in. My eyes took sight of a lovely woman caressing and carrying her cello to the right-most section of the orchestra. Yes, I knew that section of the orchestra well. Yes, a smile once again escaped me. Yes, I knew I was in love.

How do we ever know?! Am I justified in saying that I know I am in love with the cello? Is an uncontainable smile a small part of discovering love? I think it’s a part of it.

An uncontainable smile must mean something is eliciting your deepest joy. It’s a sign that you are experiencing something you love an awful lot. I often find myself creating these smiles when watching Gilmore Girls and playing the cello/listening to cello. But — even then! — I believe we must be careful about smiles. Smiles are often a reaction that signal agreeable pleasure — not agreeable pleasure manifested through human medium. And when I say agreeable pleasure, I mean the most agreeable thing — something you fall in love with.

How can we differentiate between these two smiles? I don’t know, and I know that sounds like rubbish. I don’t have any proof of what I’m asserting. I hate to speak in the absolute, especially when I can’t even begin to describe the absolute. So I say this with much apprehension: I love the cello, especially my cello. ((Named Rory.)) I love Dvorak’s Concerto for Cello in B minor, but I know that I may soon grow weary of it. Moderation is key, and it is also vital for love. Anything in excess will spoil richness.

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1 comment
  1. kris said:

    This was lovely. 🙂

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