A guitarist I know told me off more than twice for the faux pas I made in his direction. I rotary-dialed a call to his personal pocket phone - and he answered.
That was not his grievance.
It was the hour. "Sheila! It's 4 in the morning!" Party sounds were playing in his background. "Oh. Did I wake you?" "No, that's not the point!"
When I finally cornered him after a couple of in-person evasions, he re-iterated his complaint as though it were a law everybody knows like "you gotta have a bell on your bike": "You don't call people at 4 in the morning." Glenn Gould did. I didn't know the time, I just knew it was night.
No wonder I get ineffably depressed. Even the musicians round here are squares!
"Night life ain't no good life - but it's my life," they all sang running around Nashville when one night lasted two weeks long. With the exception of last Tuesday, the closest I get to wild nights is kissing Roger Miller's photo portrait at Honest Ed's.
"Squares make the world go round," sang Miller, knowing full well that squares are a drag on everything that wants to roll on through the night. Merle Haggard once looked out an airplane window, saw America going lights-out at 10 pm and bemoaned the loss of the precious nightlife that spawned all those priceless songs.
When I left school at 17, I had one ambition: never to get up early ever again - not the easiest promise to keep, considering the constant square-made pressure to push the boat out to pay the rent while awaiting one's incoming ship.
Staying up all night most every night comes naturally to me. It's just that knitting, washing socks, watching infomercials and reading fortunes till dawn with a deck of 53 (the joker) is not the nightlife I envisioned when I became a nocturnal animal.
But staying off the daytime is critical to being in a constant state of readiness, should opportunity hit.
Some rarefied rare times it does. This time the actress showed up only a year after she said she would. Years, months, days, nights, she doesn't see the point in fencing them off. I caught a bit of her whirlwind.
By lucky fluke, she coincided with The Singing Petunia blowing through town, and we traipsed along Bloor, jibber-jabbering all the way to the 24-hour Korean near Christie, where I searched in vain for vegetables amongst the bone, blood, marrow and intestine specialties.
It was safely light when I tucked Miss Actress in to leave her latest scent on the blankets. A lovely night.
But the next night, Tuesday, was full-fledged unalloyed sublime. One drop of Chartreuse shared three ways with Bigwig (costumed as a Spanish cowboy) and a veteran night flyer in full Joker-as-nurse drag with a quality wig and sensible Capezio heels.
We floated out past last call and down onto the rain-soaked stage in the bowl of Trinity Bellwoods.
Fog hung around the spiralling songs. Bigwig's careless stepping took me down on a spin. That dance was the end of the silver silk coat from France that had waited as many years as I for this night.
Maybe it was worn out from all that hanging and waiting. Its chance to shine just came too late. Timing is everything. The blissful fiesta had to break up before the daylight ate the fog.
In bright, hangover-punishing sunshine, I returned to the scene of the scene to find the Mexican earring I lost. Unbelievably, it was there, along with a sleeping guitar pick.
I took home these tangible proofs of an exquisitely sweet dream that came to life just long enough to leave me begging for it to recur.