Just out. (Portland, OR) 1983-2013, March 02, 1984, Page 14, Image 14

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B ee
vue motel
Life of Ryan
Seven miles south of Yachats
Have a unique experience — build a fire —
enjoy the sea In the style of Hemingway.
Antiques, plants, and always some of
Jacqueline's sourdough bread.
Patchwork Quin Suite available by the week for
summer vacation. Two free night» o ut o f seven.
Episode IV
bq Scott Seven tek
We put it into
wor ds...
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A brillilant resounding note razors the
crowd. Reaps their attention and recedes with
it as another note knifes sharp-edged; hum­
ming embedded in the senses. Onstage the
withered old man raises his mallet. The sun
bleeds its chroma in skeins before him. He
taps as the sun touches the hills and a last,
whole, note sings from the glass. Growing
from this final beat into rapid clusters of notes
— glass and pearl and crystal — so single
and judicious the bright eyes that select
them, the thin hand that measures them
against the setting sun; its light striking the
prisms hung vibrating at the end of an
electronic web pure amplified and paced by a
brain so familiar with sunsets and time that
the last intolerable bit of gold vanishes into
the last note and sunset runs bloody through
the humming prisms of the glass harmo­
nium. The old Dane nods to applause, lock­
ing secure the swing of crystals with a padded
bar. Rising to relinquish, slowly, the stage.
You grip his hand as he descends the stair.
Smile tight and helpless; grasping him even
when he is secure on the grass. He nods
smiling and pats your arm. You release him.
He sways; stopping himself with a hand to
your naked hip. He pats that too. Smiles
again and moves off. Mo English.
People mill about on the unlit stage setting
up their own instruments in the absence of a
crew. The second set is intended to be Rock
by eight people who’ve never practiced to­
gether. Whether it will be music is problem­
atic. The Blitz Blow-Out Band has a horn
section — two tubas and a trum pet Charlie
has promised the tubas will save themselves
for the final set of the evening. You settle
among your drums thinking about human
history and promises, check the snare release
and, when you lift your head from the drum;
Karl is there plugging in his Stratocaster. He
bends, tuning in painfully obvious absorption,
over the unamplified strings and, with this
mutual failure to acknowledge, another
promise breaches.
He steps forward. Mods to the darkening
meadow and light explodes around you. With
the first chord you're smashing into your kit
Kicking and reaching past tempo. Forcing
the beat. The rest of the band follows slug­
gishly. Karl glares at you . . . then you hit it.
Sweaty skin encases coolness on a hot
night Drops flying slow from your arms
gleam red. yellow and green in gelled light
The floodlit crowded meadow beyond your
threshing limbs resolves to distant individual
dramas. All silent In a sole folding chair close
by the stage sits the old Dane, leaning to hear.
The broad, blond son stands behind, winc­
ing. Wishing the old man had stayed in the
Old Country, had less annoying pastimes,
had not come as living reminder of better
glassworkers. His hand rises, grips the old
artisan on the shoulder near the throat A
small child pulls apart a cloud of cotton
candy; his arms vanished in fluffy pink. Face
in dismay, Cheryl squats beside him, unravel­
ing him, leaving the conversation of a young
couple to the women tending beer pumps.
The young man has a coarse red face and
laughs as the woman he talks to bends over
the beer counter offering Cheryl beer and
napkins to wash her child. The woman he is
with turns at his laugh. She shares his narrow
waist/broad shoulders — Kelly, the day guard
where you work. The redheaded woman be­
hind the counter reaches to her, drawing
back her attention, hand lingering. The
young man lifts his paper cup, throat working
up and down; draining.
. . . then you come down from it And it’s
like it usually is. And the music stops. And
you’re tired.
Stage lights dim. Hunched over examining
your kickpedal you ignore band members
muttering by; hear Karl’s boots stamp angry
behind and past Meither of you will talk.
When you look up, Chloe stands centerstage
silent among drums brought from Southern
Earth — her flesh and her drums same col­
ored under low spotlight You freeze behind
your bass drum; onstage past your time.
Watch her arms rise in wing curves, trailing
hands across drumheads sandy whispering,
mouthing gravel as palms press circling stut­
ter on taut parchment A quick hand pops a
high note off a tiny drum on a stand. Gravel
rolls into boulders — the little drum popping
bones between — all tumbling from arms
weaving polyrhythm. Darting to draw a
drum ’s voice. Coaxing one gradually from
distance into the moving pattern before her.
Shouts from the crowd mark human rhythm
wave of jut head to hip jerk tongue flipping at
each bounce. Encouraging, encouraging.
Then withers the fullness of expression.
Space gapes between notes as hands with­
draw. Sad questions arise in slow beating
hollows. Shouts die to waiting. Silence looms
massive beyond the two slowing hands in
their tiny puddles of sound. Light dims.
A note floats clear into tops of skulls, draws
sweet breath from the crowd. The drums
question it Another falls. The drums rise to
enfold it, then flowers in a shower of crystal­
line notes. A spotlight leaps and shatters on
the trembling bars of the old Dane’s music;
fingers deft and quick as Chloe’s striking
arms. They seem to sing, calling to each
other. And you are on your stool announcing
yourself, joyfully riding in on the ringing of
your cymbal. A solo for three. Your drums
interlocking with Chloe. Snare and cymbals
bridging to the notes of glass. Lights up and
faces lifted around you. Music nerves mesh
across stage. Agree. Contract. Conclude.
Raising sticks high into the cheering, you
smile; turning to your partners who dazzle
back at you. Friends call from the edge of the
stage. You stretch for your towel — dripping
with sweat A red face, not laughing now,
leans an arm over the stage, still clutching a
beer cup. Challenging, belligerent.
“You’re gay, right?”
He seems disconcerted by the laughing
you can’t stop.
end of episode IV
Just Out, March 2-March 16