Cheerio, cheerios! (This is a pretty considerable term of endearment in my book, but you’ll know you’re really in good when I call you my little rice chex.) Terry wanted me to tell you he’s back in New York but without benefit of a working computer, which, logistically speaking, is making meeting his deadlines highly challenging and blogging highly improbable. He hopes to be back later this week, the less late the better.
A wonderful time was had by all during Terry’s visit to Chicago. We spent Saturday and Sunday running around and taking things in before kicking back Monday and doing whatever we felt like. This amounted to very little. We ran some of my errands, watched a video, planted ourselves in the living room to read our books, went out to dinner, and read some more. This to me is the lap of luxury: sitting around with a friend reading books, making as much or as little conversation as you like because you’ve been friends long enough and well enough to enjoy shared silence as much as chatter. I once planned an entire vacation in Maine around this very activity, with another friend, and ended up discovering the glorious Dalziel and Pascoe in the process. This weekend was, of course, the first time I’d seen Terry since before he was sick, and it seemed especially right to spend some time simply sitting in a room together, laughing at the cat’s delicate snoring and reading each other the occasional highlight from our books. Normally during these trips, we barely pause to tie our shoes.
But the high-gear part of the weekend was excellent too. It began with a blistering, Bach-graced double-mandolin concert at Chicago’s comfy, intimate Old Town School of Folk Music–where I’d see damn near anything–and included as well two utterly absorbing plays at two favorite Chicago theaters. First it was Much Ado About Nothing at Chicago Shakespeare, airy and wry with an endearingly clownish Benedick and an imperturbable Beatrice. We then traveled south to the Court Theatre, in my own backyard, for a production of August Wilson’s “Fences” that served as my introduction to the play. And an auspicious meeting it was–a meticulously crafted yet rawly powerful production that’s especially distinguished by electrifying performances from each and every cast member. I can’t speak for Terry (he’ll say his piece on both plays in an upcoming WSJ column), but here’s a great American play I took my sweet time getting around to seeing, and this was a production to make me glad I waited.
Thanks for being patient with us earlier this week. One or both of us will be back soon with more blogging. And I still owe a bunch of you email, which I promise soon.