Sid Lawry is sixty-two and has been a waiter at Falcon, a most excellent restaurant in Lambertville, New Jersey for the last fourteen years. He has lived in Lambertville since he was twelve, having moved here from Queens with his mother Ruth and younger sister Lynette shortly after his parents divorced.
That same year, Sid’s father Ben moved to Los Angeles with Francesca, the woman he’d been having an affair with for several years, to pursue a career as a writer in the movie and television business. Ben sent birthday cards to Sid and Lynette for the first five years he was in Los Angeles, and then stopped sending birthday cards and did not communicate with them again for thirty-seven years, until a few months before he died. He called each of them to beg their forgiveness for being such a bad father, and they both forgave him.
Sid is five-foot-eight with a wiry build, his wavy brown hair going gray, his default expression a sleepy smile. Charming and eloquent, he is a superb waiter and was so from the moment he switched to that line of work at the age of forty-seven. Sid’s emergence as a star waiter at Falcon came as a huge surprise to his wife Elaine, who for several years prior to Sid’s success, believed he would forever be a person who boasted of unproven talent, never kept a job for long, and was often severely depressed.
Elaine is five-foot-two, petite, with long brown hair she wears in a bun from the time she gets up in morning until the supper dishes are done, after which she lets her hair down. She has been an archivist at the Princeton University Art Museum for nearly forty years, Princeton just up the road from Lambertville.
Her doctoral thesis The Inevitable Arrival of Impressionism was published as a sumptuously-illustrated coffee table book by a university press, and Elaine surely would have become a professor of Art had she not suffered from debilitating migraine headaches and ferocious anxiety whenever she agreed to give lectures to large groups of students and make presentations to her fellow academics. And so shortly after gaining her PhD, she found her niche far from the public eye in the quiet backrooms of the art museum and has worked there ever since.
Sid and Elaine have been married for thirty-five years and have two children, Jeffrey, thirty-four, who resembles his father to a striking degree, and Katy, thirty-two, who is seven inches taller than her mother and wears her auburn hair in a long braid.
When Jeffrey turned twelve, he stopped talking to Sid; and they did not reconcile until Jeffrey was twenty-three. Now they are good buddies and go to several basketball games together every year at Madison Square Garden, Jeffrey a commercial artist and set designer living in Manhattan.
Katy is a community college English teacher in nearby Bucks County. She has unceasingly adored Sid since the day she was born, and has never stopped believing her father is the great writer he claimed to be when she was a girl, despite his never having written anything in her lifetime.
Save for those trips into New York City to attend basketball games with Jeffrey, and to go to plays with Elaine, comp tickets courtesy of Jeffrey, Sid rarely leaves Lambertville, though he and Elaine have recently begun planning a trip to Europe for when Elaine retires three years from now. Elaine wants to visit museums and places where some of her favorite paintings were made, and Sid wants to go to plays and bookstores and wander around looking for appealing cafés.
On a Saturday in early November, Jeffrey and his fiancé Nina make the trek by bus from Manhattan to Lambertville, and Katy and her husband Phil drive over from Bucks County to celebrate Sid and Elaine’s thirty-fifth wedding anniversary. Jeffrey and Nina will spend the night with Sid and Elaine in the house where Jeffrey and Katy grew up, and Phil and Katy will drive back to their apartment in Bucks County after supper and dessert.
They dine at Falcon where the staff fawns over them, Sid beloved by everyone who works at the restaurant, the glorious feast a gift from the owners. For dessert, however, they return to Sid and Elaine’s house to enjoy Elaine’s renowned pumpkin pie and sit by the fire in the living room and talk without having to shout over the clatter and din of the restaurant.
Nina, who is thirty-two and Portuguese, is new to the family constellation, she and Jeffrey having met a year ago, a spring wedding in the works, and she is most curious to learn how Sid and Elaine met.
“You go first, honey,” says Elaine, calling from the kitchen that adjoins the living room. “And then I’ll correct your errors.”
“Let us not call the details of my version errors,” says Sid, standing in front of the fireplace with his back to the fire and smiling at his children and their partners. “Let us call them variations on a theme, the original theme lost to the vagaries of time.”
“Can you agree about where you met?” asks Nina, vivacious and pretty with long black hair, a talent agent at United Creativity, her Portuguese accent catnip to Jeffrey.
“Where is not in doubt,” says Sid, looking at Elaine. “But when is. She says we met in Ninth Grade at Hunterdon High, I say Eighth. In either case, we liked each other from the get go, and though we each had multiple sweethearts in high school, we were an item for the whole of our Senior year before she cruelly dumped me to clear her calendar as prelude to matriculating at Yale.”
“I would argue that he had the multiple sweethearts in high school,” says Elaine, looking up from making coffee to smile at Nina. “Sid was a notorious playboy in high school, whereas I was faithful to Ron Durant for the two years before Sid and I became the aforementioned item. But all in all, he has the gist of our getting together right.”
“So you did the dumping,” says Phil, a big gregarious Systems Analyst, thirty-nine, with carrot-red hair and many freckles. “Not Sid.”
“Amazing but true,” says Elaine, smiling sweetly at Sid. “He was staying in Lambertville and not looking very hard for a job, while I was an ambitious academic who thought I would probably marry another of my kind.”
“Which she almost did,” says Sid, nodding. “And she probably would have had not our tenth high school reunion intervened.”
“Also true,” says Elaine, coming into the living room and standing beside Sid. “I arrived at the reunion after many weeks of ambivalence, and there he was in all his twenty-eight-year-old glory. And I was a goner.”
“Love,” says Sid, putting his arm around Elaine. “The unsolvable mystery.”
“Were you a waiter in those days, Sid?” asks Nina, who can’t quite recall the specifics of Jeffrey’s synopsis of his parents’ lives.
“No. At the time of our tenth reunion I was a shoe salesman,” says Sid, chuckling at memories of those two years in the trenches at Landmark Shoes. “After that, before I became a waiter, I had many other jobs. Bartender, UPS delivery person, grocery store clerk, landscaper, and Elaine’s favorite, night watchman at the municipal dump. To name but a few.”
A silence falls, which often happens after Sid reels off some of the jobs he had before he hit rock bottom the year Katy left for college and he got fired for the umpteenth time and Elaine moved out and got an apartment in Princeton. With his job resume a guarantee no one would hire him, Sid begged an old high school friend for a job bussing tables in the ritzy café Mon Cher, and when a flu epidemic knocked out most of the wait staff, Sid was pressed into service and proved to be such an outstanding waiter, the café manager could not imagine demoting Sid when the epidemic ended.
A year later, the owner of Falcon offered Sid a job, Sid jumped at the chance, and six months later Elaine came home to stay.
“Jeffrey tells me you write poetry, Sid,” says Nina, feeling the need to break the silence.
“I didn’t say he wrote poetry,” says Jeffrey, shaking his head. “I said he wanted to write poetry.”
Elaine returns to the kitchen to cut the pie and pour the coffee.
“Both things are true,” says Sid, smiling wistfully at Nina. “Before Jeffrey and Katy were born, I wrote poems and plays and screenplays and two novels. But after the kids were born, all I did was talk about writing and how great I could be if only… something. That was before I found my way and got well. And now that I am well, I claim only to be a waiter at Falcon, husband to my marvelous wife, and devoted father to my glorious children.”
“But if you ever do write anything, I know it will be great,” says Katy, nodding assuredly.
“Why do you say that?” asks Elaine, pained by her daughter’s blind allegiance to Sid’s old unfounded boasts.
“Because it’s what I believe,” says Katy, gazing steadfastly at her mother. “I think he’s a genius with words. I think the stories he told us when we were kids are the best stories never written down, and I think the spontaneous poems he makes up for us on our birthdays and at Christmas are the best poems I’ve ever heard. And I know it bothers you I believe in him the way I do, but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with thinking Pop is brilliant.” She shrugs defiantly. “So there.”
When Katy and Phil have gone home to Bucks County, and Sid and Elaine have gone to bed, Nina and Jeffrey sit on either side of the queen-sized bed in the guest room that used to be Katy’s bedroom, responding to business-related emails on their laptop computers.
“Done,” says Jeffrey, closing his laptop. “No more hysterical clients until we get back to the city.”
“I just have one more little bit to write,” says Nina, typing fast. “Kulu is coming to New York with his wife next week and they want to take us to dinner. You up for that?”
“Yeah, that could be fun,” says Jeffrey, undressing. “What’s his wife like?”
“She’s… oh what’s the word when a woman has very large breasts?”
“Buxom,” says Jeffrey, yawning.
“Yes. She’s buxom and loud and bossy. You and I won’t be saying much.” Nina sends off the email and closes her laptop. “I’m touched Kulu wants to celebrate our engagement with us.”
“He’s quite the upcoming star, isn’t he?” says Jeffrey, crawling under the covers.
“Everything depends on his next album,” says Nina, taking off her dress and hanging it in the closet. “He’s got the most beautiful voice and his melodies are wonderful, but his lyrics… well, he’s so young.” She climbs into bed. “You’re not mad at me, are you? For asking your father if he wrote poetry?”
“No, no,” says Jeffrey, opening his arms to her. “I’m not mad. Pop didn’t mind. It’s Mom who doesn’t like talking about the hard times before Pop found his way.”
“I think Katy is right,” says Nina, settling into Jeffrey’s embrace. “There’s something remarkable about your father. I love his energy. And his talk is full of poetry. I have a very strong feeling about his talent, even if he doesn’t use it.”
“Well you certainly have a knack for discovering talent,” says Jeffrey, no longer angered by the subject of his father’s unrealized potential. “But it’s kind of a moot point. He hasn’t written anything in thirty-five years.”
“Would you mind if I asked him if he’d like to write some lyrics for Kulu?”
Jeffrey ponders her question for a moment and says, “I would bet all the money I have that he’s never heard of Kulu.”
“Probably not, but I would give him Kulu’s album,” says Nina, excited by the prospect of Sid writing something for Kulu to consider. “Or do you think asking him would awaken old demons?”
“I think he would politely decline,” says Jeffrey, smiling sadly. “But Mom would be upset. She… yeah, that’s a real hot button for her.”
“Then I won’t,” says Nina, letting go of the idea. “The last thing I want to do is upset your mother.”
A week later, in her swank office on the twenty-seventh floor of a seventy-story building a few blocks from Times Square, Nina is meeting with Kulu and his wife Sara. Kulu is twenty-one, his black hair in a ponytail, his mother Turkish, his father British. Sara is twenty-five, a blonde from Brooklyn, brash, and ferociously possessive of her talented husband.
“We were talking to Jason Royal,” says Sara, who likes Nina but wishes she wasn’t quite so attractive, “and he said he knows for a fact that movie people are interested in Kulu. Not just for his music, but as an actor. You heard anything about that?”
“As you know, we’ve gotten several inquiries from people who may want to use his music in their movies,” says Nina, nodding. “But as far as Kulu being in a movie, we haven’t had any solid offers. We could produce an acting demo if that’s a direction you want to go, but I really think focusing on making his second album fantastic should be our number one priority.”
“Definitely,” says Kulu, his accent a mix of British and Turkish. “I’m all about the music, you know, but the words just aren’t coming to me these days. I’m too crazy busy making videos. I’ve got endless music in my head, but… yeah, the words. I need some time away from all the noise. You know? I mean… those first twelve songs took me years to write. I wrote Cats In the Alley when I was sixteen.”
“Would you consider collaborating with a lyricist?” asks Nina, thinking of several songwriters she knows who would love to work with Kulu—and now Sid, her future father-in-law, comes to mind.
“Sure, if I like the lyrics,” says Kulu, nodding. “Love to.”
“Who are you thinking of?” asks Sara, frowning at Nina.
“A few people,” says Nina, directing her words at Kulu. “I’ll ask around. There’s no shortage of poets. The trick is finding the right one for you.”
With Jeffrey’s permission, and per Jeffrey’s suggestion, Nina sends a copy of Kulu’s first album to Sid at Falcon rather than to Sid and Elaine’s house.
Kulu is one of my favorite clients. I enclose his first album, Singing Dictionary, which was quite successful. He is currently looking for lyrics for his second album of songs. If his music inspires you to write something, I would love to show your words to him. I understand you may not be interested in pursuing this, but I wanted to see if my feeling about you might bear fruit. Looking forward to seeing you at Thanksgiving.
Driving home after a busy Friday night at Falcon, Sid slips Singing Dictionary into the CD player of his twenty-year old Camry, notes the time is 10:37, and is pleasantly surprised when a solo guitar begins to play and a man with a sweet high tenor sings a lovely melancholy song about growing up in London, the child of an Englishman and a Turkish woman, his childhood friends British, Turkish, African, and Indian—never imagining that the colors of their skin would figure so largely in how their lives unfolded.
Sid is enchanted by three of the five songs he listens to on his way home and as he sits in the car in front of his house. The two songs he doesn’t care for are rap songs that sound like ten thousand other such songs, none of which appeal to him, but even Kulu’s rap has touches of melody he finds appealing; and as he climbs the stairs to his front door, he thinks I would like to try to write something for Kulu, but I don’t know if I can.
Elaine is wearing her old-fashioned blue flannel nightgown, her hair down, as she sits on the living room sofa reading a murder mystery, her nightly habit, their calico cat Cezanne curled up in her lap, the fire in the hearth spluttering.
When Sid comes in she closes her book and asks, “You okay? You don’t usually sit in your car for so long. Listening to a basketball game?”
“No,” he says, sitting beside her. “I was listening to this.” He hands her Kulu’s Singing Dictionary. “Nina sent it. Here’s her note.”
Having turned these things over to Elaine, Sid gets up and goes into the kitchen to make cocoa as he always does on Friday and Saturday nights, their two late nights together because Elaine doesn’t have to get up early for the next two mornings to make the drive to Princeton.
Elaine reads the note from Nina and says, “Why would she do this?”
“I guess she thinks I can write,” says Sid, mixing milk and cocoa powder and a dollop of honey in a pot on the stove.
Elaine frowns at the cover of Singing Dictionary—Kulu dressed as a fairy-tale prince dancing with a human-sized dictionary (with a face and arms and legs) in a fairy-tale ballroom full of people of all ages and sizes and colors wearing fantastic costumes.
“Why would she think that?” asks Elaine, irate. “Because Katy persists in her fantasies about you being a great writer?”
Sid stirs the cocoa and says, “I can’t think why else.”
“How awkward,” says Elaine, grimacing. “Do you think Jeffrey knows she sent this?”
“He does,” says Sid, pouring the cocoa into two big white mugs. “I called him on my break tonight. He said Nina asked him if it would be okay, and he suggested she send the album to the restaurant rather than here so I would have the option of telling you or not, in case I wanted to spare you the…”
“The what?” she says angrily.
“Displeasure,” he says, bringing the cocoa into the living room, handing her a mug, and sitting beside her again.
“Jesus,” says Elaine, closing her eyes and gritting her teeth. “Now we’ll have all this hanging over us at Thanksgiving. Just what we didn’t need.”
“Sweetheart,” he says, gently. “It’s not a big deal. She’s a talent agent. This is what they do. They hunt for talent. They follow their hunches. They take chances. There’s nothing wrong with her asking. She’s just doing her job.”
“What are you going to say to her?” asks Elaine, distraught. “When you send it back?”
“That depends,” he says, sipping his cocoa.
“On what?” she says, glaring at him.
“On you,” he says, meeting her angry gaze.
“What are you talking about?” she says, startled by his reply.
“If you will give me permission to try to write some lyrics for this singer, I will.” Sid waits a moment before saying more. “But if you don’t want me to try, I won’t.”
“You want to?” asks Elaine, mortified.
“I do,” he says, nodding solemnly. “I think it would be good for me. To try. With no expectations of getting anything I like. Just a bit of trying.”
“I can’t stop you if that’s what you want to do,” she says tersely.
“Yes, you can,” he says kindly. “I will never again knowingly do anything that makes you unhappy. And if my doodling in a notebook, searching for words, makes you angry because of everything we went through for all those difficult years, I won’t do it. But if you can happily let me try, I will.”
“Happily?” she says, laughing despite her distress. “I have to be happy about it?”
“Yes,” he says, laughing with her. “You have to be happy about it. Not necessarily gleeful, but at least a little happy.”
“Why do I have to be happy?” she says, pouting. “Can’t I just be grudgingly accepting?”
“No, you have to be happy,” he says, taking a deep breath. “So I’ll know we’re free of the old shit.”
Now he sets his mug on the coffee table, takes her mug from her and sets it beside his, puts his arms around her and holds her close.
“Okay,” she says, relenting. “I’ll be happy. Probably not gleeful. But happy you want to try.”
“You know what I’ve discovered?” says Sid, talking to Frieda, his friend and fellow waiter at Falcon, Frieda tall with curly brown hair, the two of them checking the tables to make sure everything is in order for the first seating of the evening. “My father is with me when I’m writing. Or it would be truer to say, when I’m trying to write.”
“What do you mean ‘with you’?” asks Frieda, rolling her shoulders in anticipation of five hours of ceaseless labor.
“He’s sitting beside me, watching me,” says Sid, fascinated by the workings of his mind. “He’s young, the way I remember him from before he left us. When I was twelve. And I hear my mother saying, ‘I hope nobody wants anything that bastard writes… the way he treated me, the way he treated you and your sister.’”
“Was he abusive to you?” asks Frieda, giving Sid a worried look.
“No, he was always nice to me. When he was around. Which wasn’t often. And then he abandoned us. So I suppose if you consider abandonment abuse, then, yes, he was abusive. But when he was with us, I liked him. He was funny. Witty. Liked to wrestle with me on the living room rug. Always let me win in the end. I loved that. Took me to ball games and plays. And he knew everything about everybody in show biz, told the greatest stories about movie stars and Broadway stars and… a treasure trove of juicy gossip. My sister was crazy about him. She really took it hard when he ran off to Los Angeles. Cried for weeks. Months.”
“So do you think he’s getting in the way of your writing?” asks Frieda, continuing her warm-ups by twisting her torso to the right and left several times.
“Yeah, I think he is,” says Sid, folding his arms. “I think maybe he’s always been in the way, along with my mother’s bitterness about him leaving… and my unresolved sorrow.”
“Maybe you should see somebody about that,” says Frieda, smiling bravely at the first four patrons of the evening being led to a table in her section.
“You mean a therapist?” says Sid, frowning at the idea.
“No, an auto mechanic,” says Frieda, rolling he eyes. “Yes, a therapist. I go to a great guy. I’ll give you his number.”
“Sid,” says Olaf, fiftyish and a few inches taller than Sid, his head shaved, his red T-shirt and gray sweat pants and bare feet more suggestive of a yoga teacher than a psychotherapist. He is standing in the doorway of his office, looking out at Sid sitting in one of the two chairs in the small waiting room.
“I know you,” says Sid, rising from his chair. “I’ve seen you at Falcon, but I’ve never waited on you because Frieda always does.”
“She says you taught her everything she knows,” says Olaf, shaking Sid’s hand. “Welcome.”
Sid is surprised to see a massage table in the center of the room, no sofa, no desk, and two armless chairs facing each other by the one window.
“Now I’m confused,” says Sid, laughing nervously. “I thought you were a psychotherapist not a massage therapist.”
“I am a psychotherapist,” says Olaf, gesturing to the two chairs. “Have a seat and I’ll explain.”
Sid sits in one of the chairs, Olaf in the other.
“I am a licensed psychotherapist,” says Olaf, having made this speech many times, “and a licensed massage therapist, but I don’t give massages. I got the massage license so there would be no legal issues arising from my touching my clients. What I do is apply very light pressure to places on your body to facilitate the flow of your memories and feelings. The first session is complimentary. Some people don’t choose to come back after the first time, some people only come a few times, and some come many times. My goal is to help you get unstuck from whatever you’re stuck on. Sometimes that happens in the course of a session or two, sometimes it takes much longer. Any questions?”
“Do you think you’re psychic?” asks Sid, liking Olaf but feeling wary of him.
“I think we’re all psychic,” says Olaf, nodding. “And it seems the more emotionally unstuck we get, the more access we have to our intuitive power, which is what I think being psychic is. Uninhibited intuition.”
“Did you love your parents?” asks Sid, wanting to see how much Olaf will reveal about himself.
“Yes,” says Olaf, without hesitation. “My mother was very warm and available and easy to love, while my father related to me intellectually, but I knew he loved me, so I loved him, too.”
“Have you ever had a panic attack?” asks Sid, thinking of the many he had in the months after Elaine left him. “I’m talking about the sure-you’re-gonna-die-any-minute kind of panic attack.”
“No,” says Olaf, shaking his head. “Not yet.”
Sid laughs. “May you never have one.”
“Thank you,” says Olaf, smiling warmly at Sid. “So what brings you here today? What’s on your mind?”
“It’s a long story,” says Sid, feeling he might cry, not because he’s sad, but because he is already experiencing relief in knowing he will finally be able to tell his story, the whole story, to someone who will listen and understand and be sympathetic.
“We’ve got ninety minutes,” says Olaf, gesturing gallantly to the table. “Shall we?”
“The whole thing was amazing,” says Sid, describing his first session with Olaf to Elaine as they make supper together, this being one of his two nights off. “But the most amazing thing was when he took hold of my ankles, one in each hand, and applied a little bit of traction, and I felt myself come into my body so completely, I don’t think I’ve ever been all the way in my body until that moment.”
“What do you mean ‘in your body?’ You mean grounded or centered or…”
“I mean in,” says Sid, excitedly. “Not hovering outside of myself. My consciousness, my self-awareness, has always been barely connected to my body, connected by… I don’t know, tiny threads of floating neurons? But when I came into my body, oh my God, I felt so good, so clearheaded, so strong.”
“I want to go,” says Elaine, nodding emphatically. “Would you mind if I went to him, too?”
“Why would I mind?” says Sid, embracing her. “Imagine if we were both all the way in our bodies, and we were together.” He bounces his eyebrows. “Think of the sex, Elaine.”
“I was thinking of not being afraid of everything,” she says, laughing. “But I will think of the sex, too.”
Sid is lying on his back on Olaf’s table, his eyes closed, as Olaf stands at Sid’s head, using both of his hands to cradle Sid’s skull.
“I realize now,” says Sid, speaking quietly, “that when my father went away, my mother lost her desire to… I don’t know how to say this.”
“When your father went away,” says Olaf, slowly repeating Sid’s words, “your mother…”
“Stopped being tender,” says Sid, seeing his mother sitting at the kitchen table, staring into space, her supper untouched. “Stopped being interested in us. Stopped asking us about school, about our friends, about what we were thinking.”
“So what did you do?”
“I think I made an unconscious decision to try to take my father’s place, to become my father, so she wouldn’t miss him anymore, wouldn’t feel so alone. So she’d love us again. That’s when I started writing stories and one-act plays and poems, taking Drama classes and being in plays and singing in the choir, all in imitation of my father. But no matter what I did, she didn’t change back into the sweet woman she’d been before he left. She did soften over the years, and when I became a waiter, she would come to Falcon and I would wait on her, and she… she loved that. Loved the care I took with her.”
“When did she die?”
“Seven years ago,” says Sid, opening his eyes. “The year after my father died.”
“Were you with her when she died?” asks Olaf, moving to Sid’s right side and holding Sid’s hand while gently touching Sid’s sternum.
“No,” says Sid, tears welling up from deep inside him. “I got there an hour after she died. Late again.”
“What do you mean? Late again.”
“I mean… I was never good enough. Just like my father was never good enough.”
“But you were good enough, Sid. You were absolutely good enough. And so was your father. So was your mother. You and your father and your mother and your sister, and I, too, we all traveled through this world of sorrow and delight to the last moments of our lives, which for you and me is right now. And right now, as we’ve said again and again, we can stop telling ourselves those stories about not being good enough, about always being late, about always failing. We can tell new stories. True stories. About how skillful we are at what we do, how creative and inventive and loving we are. You help me so much, Sid, as I help you. That’s the story I like telling and hearing right now. That we are beacons of love for each other and for the world.”
“It’s very tender where you’re touching,” says Sid, his tears flowing as never before. “But I love how it hurts. Fills me with hope.”
“Wow,” says Sid, standing at the window in Nina’s office on the twenty-seventh floor of the skyscraper rising from the ordered chaos of Manhattan. “What a view. Who would want to be any higher than this?”
“Not I,” says Nina, sitting at her desk typing fast, answering an email. “I’d like to have my office in a beach house in Santa Barbara, and maybe someday I will.”
Sid sits down on the plush sofa. “You’re sure I’m dressed okay for where we’re going to lunch?”
“You’re perfect,” says Nina, glancing at him.
“You said I didn’t need to wear a tie, but everyone at Falcon says the place we’re going is off-the-charts fancy, so…”
“Sid,” says Nina, getting up and showing off her slinky red dress, her black hair piled on her head, huge gold hoop earrings dangling from her ears. “I’m dressed up. Okay? Kulu’s wife will be dressed up. But Kulu will be wearing jeans and a T-shirt or a basketball jersey or… who knows? Men can wear anything they want these days. That’s the new thing for men in show biz. Anything goes. I saw Greta Gerwig having lunch with a guy the other day in a super snazzy restaurant. She was wearing a five-thousand-dollar dress and looked like she was about to accept an Oscar, and the guy she was with was wearing dirty jeans and a faded old pajama top. Trust me. If anything, you’re overdressed.”
“I wish I’d known,” says Sid, glancing anxiously at the doorway. “I have a fabulous selection of faded old pajama tops.”
“Next time, darling,” says Nina, winking at him. “Ah, here they are.”
Sara and Kulu enter Nina’s office, both of them smiling rapturously. Sid jumps up, and Kulu takes Sid’s hand and says, “Sid, Sid, Sid, at last we meet in-person.”
“Kulu,” says Sid, the name catching in his throat. “I love those two songs you sent me. My wife and I listened to them again and again and again, and we danced to them, and then I wrote two more songs for you.” He blushes. “I brought them with me.”
“You’re amazing,” says Kulu, looking into Sid’s eyes. “I can’t wait to see them. You know what happens when I read your lyrics?”
“What?” asks Sid, breathlessly.
“The melodies are already there, flowing out of your words. This morning I wrote the tune for Heart Song. It’s so beautiful. You’re gonna love it.”
Here we are, you and I, growing older, standing by.
I propose a daring quest. You go east. I’ll go west.
We may never meet again in this dimension.
We may never meet again in this dimension.
What we’re seeking is what we’ll find
when we overcome the secret mind
they put inside us long ago
so we don’t remember what we really know.
There’s the crossroad. Here’s the dawn.
Say goodbye. We’ll both be gone.
Leap the boundaries. Break the rules.
Take no prisoners, don’t be cruel.
Sing your heart song. Sing your heart song.
We may never meet again in this dimension.
We may never meet again in this dimension.
Find the entrance. Run the course.
Change your heart song at its source.
Change the grammar. Change the text.
Change your thoughts of what comes next.
I tell you, my love, we will find a way to end
the reign of sorrow and fear and misunderstanding.
We may never meet again in this dimension.
But we will always hear our heart songs.