Somewhere amidst all the noise, I heard music.
I was sitting in my dentist’s chair last week with my head cranked back and my mouth wide open while Dr. Cohen went about cleaning the old ivories.
No cavities, thank God, and in just a few minutes I would be out in the world enjoying the gorgeous summer weather.
But above all the whirling and sloshing I could hear someone singing. Was I imagining things or had my dentist been working on a ventriloquist act in his spare time?
“I have often walked down the street before but the pavement always stayed between my feet before…”
Wait a minute. That’s “On the Street Where You Live,” a lovely song from My Fair Lady. It seems my dentist has music playing in his office, but he keeps it so low—and I am apparently so clueless—that I had never heard it before.
And I like this tune so much that I was tempted to ask Dr. Cohen to hold up his noble work until it was over. But I kept my mouth shut--even though it was open.
“Tomorrow” from Annie was next and while I’m sure many people are sick of this tune, I still enjoy its positive message and rousing delivery.
We were just wrapping up when “Put On A Happy Face” from Bye-Bye Birdie came on. The timing was excellent and I was more than happy to oblige seeing as how my chompers were sparkling clean.
Dr. Cohen told me to come back in six months, better known as the dead of winter, and I wished him well as I headed for the door. It seemed like such a long time off…
On the way out I ran into an elderly couple coming in for their appointment. The woman was using a walker and her husband was struggling to climb up the front steps.
Stick Out That Noble Chin
This poor man’s legs were so terribly twisted that I have no idea how he made it up the stoop to the front door. I offered to help him, but the nurse assured me that she had it under control.
Later that day I was sitting in Shore Road Park, soaking up the sunshine and trying to decide what I wanted to do that night.
No fixed plans…nobody seemed to be doing anything…maybe I’ll just stay in and watch some tube. I could feel myself slipping into the comfort zone once again.
And then I thought of that elderly couple at my dentist’s office. They were once young and active before time and illness had done their relentless work.
I jumped on the computer and looked around for things to do. There was a concert and film showing in Prospect Park after which I could have dinner at a nearby Colombian restaurant that I had been meaning to try.
Screw the tube; I was going to have a night filled with music. Gypsy guitarist Stephane Wrembel was the opening act, followed by the Alloy Orchestra providing the music for a showing of the Lon Chaney silent film He Who Gets Slapped.
Then I was off to Colombia in Park Slope on 5th Avenue, where I enjoyed my dinner to the sounds of Edwin Vazquez.
I was feeling good. Yes, I was alone, but I wasn’t lonely. I felt like I was part of something. Just listening to that great guitar music and enjoying this fabulous food—it was a perfect summer night.
There’s not much we can do about encroaching winter or growing old. We just have to get out there, enjoy life, and put on a happy face.