On the phone with my grandfather late in the evening on my birthday.
K: Hi Dad-dad.
DD: Hey! How ya doin'?
K: OK. How're you?
K: I'm calling so that you can wish me a happy birthday.
DD (laughing): Well Happy Birthday!
K (laughing): Thanks!
DD: Did you have a good day?
K: I did, though I had to work.
DD: You just getting home?
K: Yeah. We went to dinner and got steaks. Then to a free outdoor jazz concert in the town next door.
DD: Uh huh.
K: Yeah. There was a keyboardist, a bass player and drummer with a vocalist. They were actually quite good.
DD: This was at your office.
K: What? No.
DD: I thought you said you just got home from work.
K: No, I said we just got home. Mom and I. We went to dinner and then to a jazz concert.
DD: Oh. I see.
K: The concert was really good. A keyboardist, bass player, drummer, and a vocalist. They had some really interesting arrangements and rather clever transitions.
DD: Uh huh. They were Japanese?
K (confused): What?
DD: Didn't you say you went to a Japanese concert?
K: I said it was jazz. A jazz concert.
DD: Oh! Jazz. I thought you'd said Japanese.
K: No. They were actually quite good. Mostly a mix of Irving Berlin, Johnny Mercer, that sort of stuff. And the vocalist sang a few pieces her husband had written in the same vein and they were quite lovely.
DD: Did she sing in Japanese?
K (with exaggerated patience): No, Dad-dad. It was jazz.
DD: It wasn't a Japanese jazz concert?
K: It was part of an outdoor summer concert thing that the next town over presents each summer. Right near the hospital Mom was in, actually.
DD: Doesn't it bother the patients?
DD: The patients. I'd think the music would bother them.
K: No - what? - it's - the park's a good 1/2 mile from the hospital.
DD: Oh. So it doesn't bother them?
K: I'd be surprised if they could even hear it. The half shell keeps the noise pretty enclosed. I mean, there's speakers so that the audience can hear the music, of course. But I think it's fairly well contained. (growing frustrated) I dunno! I'm not a sound engineer. I'd think the patients are more bothered by sirens than anything else.
DD: I bet it bothers them.
K (sighing resignedly): Well, I enjoyed it. I'd gone there last week to a Broadway review put on by a few choir friends of mine from church who are Broadway vets.
DD: Wow. That's nice.
K: Yeah. So I got a flyer that night, saw tonight's concert listed, and thought it'd be a nice way to round out my birthday.
D: And it was.
K: Yep. Full moon, nice breeze, good music, great night.
DD: Sounds good. And you understood the Japanese.
K (sighing wearily): Yes. Absolutely. I understood every word of Japanese.
DD (pausing to regroup): I thought you said it was jazz.
K: You've managed to convince me otherwise. Even though I was the one who was actually, you know, there.
DD: Did you drive your new car tonight?
K: My Honda?
DD: Isn't that what you have now?
K (warily): Yeah.
K: Of course I drove it tonight. How else was I supposed to get there?
DD: Well, that talks in Japanese, right?
K: Absolutely. It greets me every morning when I turn on the radio. Remember? It said Konichiwa when you were in it last month.
DD: It did?
DD: Okay. You enjoyed the concert?
K: Very much. We got home about 20 minutes ago and now I'm waiting for Mom to get off the other phone so we can have cake.
DD: What kind of cake?
K: Chocolate truffle cake. And before you ask, no, it's not Japanese.
DD (laughing): No, huh?
K: Nope. OK, she's off. I'm gonna go eat cake.
DD: Well, Happy, Happy Birthday, Hon.
K (grinning): Thank you.
DD: And don't go over 75 on the highway on-ramps.
K: Never. I always keep it to 70 on on-ramps. 75's for the exit ramps.
DD (laughing): OK. Good.
K (laughing): Love you lots, Dad-dad. See you soon.
DD: Bye Hon.