(Spoilers ahead, if you haven’t watched all four seasons of “Mozart in the Jungle.”)
They play “with the blood.”
They drink, do drugs, and jump into bed with each other spontaneously, joyfully, seamlessly.
No fumbling around with condoms, no awkward conversations about past sexual and health history, no qualms, no jealousy, no regrets. Coitus with no consequences.
Artistic lives. Hollywood sex.
Passion unfettered with practical concerns.
Oh, except the first violinist/concert master with three daughters in college who tried to run an insurance scam by faking the theft of his priceless instrument.
By now, you will have figured out that I have been binge-watching “Mozart in the Jungle,” and getting a vicarious thrill out of the character’s lives in classical music. Who knew these longhairs (that’s what classical musicians were called when the cool kids were sporting crew cuts – before beatniks, before hippies, before I was born) were so lusty, so wanton, so drunk, so high?
They live with no boundaries, other than the demands of their art. Their hearts burn for music, for love. They play “with the blood.”
I finished season four last night.
Only then did I discover that the series has been cancelled.
Mozart disappeared. Rodrigo got fired and doesn’t know what’s next. Hai-lai (Hayley) seems to have taken over the symphony, based on Rodrigo’s faith in her, plus an unrealistically small amount of training and practice as a conductor and a second place finish in a major competition.
We’ll never know what happens next.
Bwaaaah! Curse you, Amazon! Why?
Back to the real world, where I impulsively signed up to go to the Midwest Writer’s Conference “agent fest” in early May (go for it, Annie! pursue your passion for writing! maybe you’ll meet someone! burn for love!) while worrying about spending the money on it (did I say money? I meant credit) and about how I’m going to manage care for my daughter for the one night I’ll be away.
What’s that pain in my chest?
The musicians in the show travel internationally on someone else’s dime and never seem to worry about who is taking care of the kids, if they have any.
Meanwhile back in heartburn land I watch my funds dwindle and frantically apply for jobs. Had two interviews, both went well, but I’m not hopeful. Even if I’m offered the weekend job I don’t think I can take it – two hour commute each way, on the weekends, when the trains and buses run slower and less frequently. The other is temp and part time, but it’s close to home and would bring in some funds, for a little while, anyway.
My redecorating has taken on an aura of set design – I seem to be creating spaces for an imaginary life. I set up my “boudoir:” the little fantasy I created in my bedroom, which should have had that very expensive art-deco-y mauve chaise, but instead has an oddly oversized, mid-century style, eggplant-colored fake velvet chair, and a weird little round Moroccan leather footstool that’s just a bit too low and a bit too blue, purchased from a warehouse full of unsold, unwanted items crammed in long dark aisles under a crumbling, water-stained ceiling. Together they cost a tenth of what the chaise alone would have cost.
Across from the chair is the TV with the Roku stick, connected to a network that has, oddly, gotten slower and weaker after the fraught installation of a new router, even with the signal booster.
There’s a chrome and glass bar cart, optimistically (who am I kidding, more like ludicrously) supplied with two champagne glasses, two cordial glasses, two cocktail glasses. I sit alone in the cheap purple fake velvet chair, next to the cheap (but really cute) glass and chrome side table, watching stories on the cheap TV of people who live brave, passionate, unfettered lives, with hearts aflame, mysteriously available funds and few regrets.
Passion! Music! Bubbly! Wealthy patrons! La vie en rose!
In between job applications and query letters, I’ll keep writing, imagining that before I die I will add the words “author of….” after my name on Linkedin (in lieu of “non-profit/higher education administrator” and “certified forklift/electric pallet jack operator.”)
I’ll go to that “agent fest” I can’t really afford, pitch my book and dream of a deal, but happily settle for some good advice.
As the money dwindles, I’ll wear a name tag and clean toilets if I have to.
But I’m damned if I’ll drive a forklift again.
Pinballing between dreams and reality, with heart occasionally aflame but mostly just with heartburn, I remain,
Your occasionally optimistic, frequently floating in fantasy, but mostly moored in the mundane,
5 thoughts on “Passion vs. Practicality; or, Is That A Burning Heart, or Just Heartburn?”
Hey there! I write science fiction. Did you know about this website called “Publishing and Other Forms of Insanity”? It’s a great site that contains all sorts of information, not least of which, is how to get published. Currently it lists a bunch of publishers who are looking for unagented manuscripts. Plus all sorts of other handy info. Here’s a link: https://publishedtodeath.blogspot.com. Hope this helps.
thanks, I’ll take a look