Under a table at the North Beach Jazz Festival, my relationship with Captain Grammar goes kaput. Nothing sounds right, I think while hidden behind black cloth, crouched over spiky grass as I cuss into a cellphone. Nothing sounds right. I can only hiccup curses.
Fernanda parts the cloth and hands me beer, courtesy of our neighbors. For once, I am not mortified. I donít care if the entire festival hears me. I want to say everything, only my throat is clogged; the words are pinkie-thick, sticky, not even the beer can wash them free. Nothing sounds right.
Under my shirt, my heart thumps and thumps. Outside, I think, There is Washington Square. There is music. There are beautiful bodies sweating, their heads bobbing under the sun. And here, there is my voice and his silence and my heart going thump thump thump. Nothing else.
Later, despite the heartache, I am doing it again: pretending that nothing has happened, even if it was my heart breaking.
Anyways, you should check out No Mayo Records (for whom I tabled on Saturday, hooked up for some quick cash by Fernanda, Brazilian expatriate and lady extraordinaire with a million ideas fermenting in her talented head). It organizes a neat project called The Funky Precedent, putting out albums that help to fund music education in urban (predominantly non-white, minimally-funded) high schools. Compilation #3 should be out this Fall, 2002.