Sunday, 20 December 2009
Simon and Garfunkel AND Manhattan Transfer
The classroom I taught in had a large statue of St Lucy in it. It occupied a niche behind me, just to my left. Occasionally I had the uncanny feeling that she was looking at me, but that was impossible since she didn’t have eyes, at least not where they should have been. Hers were on a plaster plate and resembled a pair of dusty poached eggs.
She had an interesting death. When the guards came for her they found her so full of the Holy Spirit she was too heavy to carry. They still could not move her even with the aid of a team of oxen. Lucy was indomitable. Even with a dagger through her throat she prophesied against her persecutor. And when her eyes were gouged out she was still able to see without them.
She must have suffered greatly and whilst no doubt confident of salvation, I doubt the thought ever crossed her mind that she would also occupy a classroom in College Point two thousand years later.
Morning registration consisted of ten minutes in Form base, listening to a homily piped into every classroom, followed by an address by Sister Kathleen. It was quite Big Brother-ish. I’m sure Lucy thought so, too. But I wasn’t thinking of St Lucy that Friday, September 18th. My mind was on Nancy Dillon.
The following day we were going to see the Simon and Garfunkel concert in Central Park AND Manhattan Transfer in Radio City Music Hall. Yes, conflicting concerts on the same night. It wasn’t completely my fault. The tickets for Manhattan Transfer had been bought on September 8th but somehow Simon and Garfunkel found out and decided to make things difficult for me by picking that night for their surprise free concert.
Planning was clearly going to have to be meticulous, sacrifices made. Not on the scale of St Lucy, but sacrifices never the less.
That Saturday, two friends of Ron – John and Clare Sexton – called at 4pm and invited me to their house in Coram Long Island for October 23. As they left Nancy and her sister, Michelle arrived. It was like a scene from Frasier. The subway was crowded with Simon and Garfunkel fans, Central Park even more so. Michelle somehow located her boyfriend and split, and I looked at my watch. We could spare the super-stars an hour – two at a stretch – then the Algonquin for cocktails, followed by the concert I’d paid for!. Can’t remember much about the Algonquin, except it was very ‘woody’ and the cocktails quite pricy.
Then two hours of magic in Radio City. Manhattan Transfer took to the stage, and Cupid struck. I was in love – I just didn’t know who with: The willowy, red-haired Cheryl Bentyne or the shorter, more feisty Janis Siegel. And then there was Nancy.
All in all a magic night, and a day to recover before Monday and St Lucy – who I was not in love with, but greatly respected.