I went to a concert in this cafe in Cambridge last night, contemporary music for flute and piano. It was great. Very informal. 9 people in the audience. They served beer. Even though I do not drink beer, I appreciated the gesture. Actually it sometimes does bother me that people drink beer because oftentimes they act like beer drinkers. But last night, I did not mind at all.
Although sometimes I am wondering if I make people who are drinking alcohol or getting stoned out of their minds uncomfortable when I am not joining in. Whether they see that as anti-social or snobbish or as if I am trying to make a statement. I did not think of this until now. And now I wonder how many scores of people I may have alienated when I am not partaking with them. I wonder if my ambivalence about alcohol is seen as ambivalence towards the people who are drinking alcohol. And maybe that explains the failure of several relationships. And maybe that explains why so many of my relationships have failed. Something to think about.
And people can just as easily judge me for drinking a bottle of ginger kombucha. But they don’t. They are very forgiving.
After the concert, I wandered into this coffee place next door, and this couple who sat next to me at the concert were there and they started talking to me about the music. They liked the first and the last pieces, but they did not like the second, third, fourth, fifth or sixth. But then they felt embarrassed because they thought I might be one of the composers, or I might be friends with the musicians. I guess I must look like a composer. I must look serious. And I had to tell them that I am a composer, but I don’t know how to read music or play an actual instrument. I think they got it.
They invited me to sit down with them, which of course was quite a surprise. And they asked me more questions about myself and when I told them I had just moved to Boston 112 days ago, they told me that people were really unfriendly here. This is what I keep hearing ever since I arrived. The people of Boston are really going out of their way to tell me how unfriendly they are. I guess this must be rooted in fears of intimacy. “You really are not going to like us,” they seem to be saying, “and if you do like us, we will probably not like you.”
Although, it turns out, neither of them are from Boston. She was from Windsor and he was from Virginia. And what they said was almost verbatim identical to I what I was told by the woman who cut my hair a couple of weeks ago. They, too, told me that it took them about 3 years to adjust, and now they are really happy here.
This means that I must wait 983 more days until I feel some measure of happiness in this city. Were I -3 years old, this might be more tolerable. But right now, that seems like an insurmountable block of time. Waiting time. More waiting. I guess less waiting than 3 weeks ago when I had my haircut. But I still have a ways to go.
The couple last night offered to introduce me to a performer friend, and they seemed really interested in my work and they asked for my email address and said they would take a look at my videos. The only thing they did not do was invite me to the birthday party they were going to afterwards. Which was fine, because I had not bought a gift.