May 02, 2005

Adam’s Visit
What a great weekend! It was difficult at times, but…

I will report on it in episodes as I have time to write.

Friday evening, April 29, 2005

Adam got in later than expected, around 9:30 P.M. I gave him a dry bourbon Manhattan (dry vermouth), his favorite. We talked as Mahler’s Second Symphony played in the background until we got to the last part, “Mit Aufschwung, Aber Nicht Eilen.” We both stopped talking as the music slowly began to crescendo. Adam asked me to turn it up and I cranked it as loud as I dared in my apartment. Tillie, my next door neighbor is a young 79. She sees and hears everything. Sometimes I think she stands with her ear stuck to the other side of my wall like one of those suction cups you spit on with hooks attached to hang things on. Anyway, I knew I’d hear about it Saturday if we turned the Mahler up too loud. That last portion of the symphony has always reminded me of spring with life exploding into being, after the dead of winter. Of course, there is always that obfuscated sense of loss that stays with Mahler, even at his most triumphant. He must have felt as though death is a partner who lives with us every moment of this dream we call life - so romantic, yet with Mahler it isn’t necessarily transcendent. When the last sonorous blast of orchestra and brass had finished echoing about the stereophonic concert hall, I told Adam that I had to get some sleep. He, however, stayed up and watched television for a time. It was a wonderful and relaxing evening, and did not presage any of what was to come.

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