Sunday, July 18, 2010

I was Queen of the Maypole

A hundred years ago, I used to watch the Sid Caesar Show with my father. Once Imogen Coca (is that the correct spelling?) had a skit in which she was Queen of the Maypole, but the Maypole walked away from her. It was wonderfully funny in the way that she could be, wandering off by herself, looking around in surprise that no one had followed her, mugging slightly in bewilderment.

A week and I half ago, I went to the first Thursday night drumming session. There's the rock on which two men sat, drumming. Three of us sat on chairs, drumming. I had borrowed Don's drum since it was actually my first time -- if  you don't count the ten minutes that I tried and got enthusiastic about a new adventure during the Chelsea Art Walk. 

And it was quite wonderful. Don keeps time in a very clear way, quite easy to follow if you don't start thinking of anything else. It is definitely a test of staying in the moment. Hit the center with your palm, the sides with your fingers. The two hours went quickly as the water turned to silver, the sky grew dark. There were no mosquitoes. 

I went back this week, somewhat reluctantly because it's been enervatingly hot. But no one was there. Maybe next week.

For the past two nights I've gone for a walk with Chris and the dogs, the first time in four months that I've gone back to that nice area near Starbucks. Tulip (who should be called Turnip) chases the subway as it races along the track behind a fence. As soon as she sees it, she takes off.

Bogie likes to swim as an excuse for drinking water, paddling around a bit with his mouth open, swallowing. 

Happy, whose portrait is not here, chases squirrels, staring up into the tree in wonderment that it yet again got away from her.

I'm exhausted after the walks, take aspirin and wonder why my body hurts so much. But it's either noodling around in the water (too hard to park near Revere on weekends) or the new adventure of going back to old walks. Onward....

looking for the Maypole.


  1. Sforza! And easy does it too.

    Love from another fan of Imogen Coca and her cuckoo whimsical persona, and Sid Caesar of the famous line, "Don't crush my banana."

  2. How precious your memories are! Even to those of us who can't (re)live them either due to geographical distance or age. Still, I love your reminiscing. Many thanks. That was a wonderful tale. I hope you find the Maypole. :-)

    Greetings from London.

  3. 堅持是為著某種目的或目標,而持續不斷朝向既定方向努力的一種意念。..................................................

  4. Dear Melissa, how good it always is to read your stories. You cover so much ground, open doors onto the past and the present. I love the image of you drumming with the other four; two men on a rock and three more on chairs; palms at the center, fingers towards the edges... Are you playing a bongo? I love the bongo. (And have you seen the film "The Visitors"? ( I do hope that when you go back next week, everyone will be there, ready to play again.
    Tulip - Turnip. What a full and feisty character she must be!
    Look after yourself. Enjoy your walks. Take your time.
    Love, Claire

  5. When I was in primary school every May we danced around the maypole, Melissa. I hated it. I could never quite get my ribbons in place and invariably got tangled up with the other girls' ribbons.

    So now I imagine the dogs, their leashes entangled.

    This might not be the point of your post, but it's my first thought on reading it along with my commiserations to you, still struggling with that endless exhaustion.

    Soon may it pass.

  6. thanks, everyone, for your comments..
    I love digressions, Elisabeth...please feel free..
    turnip is perfectly terrible!