As those of you know who are generous enough to read this column, I have returned to New York to set in motion, at long, long last, my musical comedy, Sylvia WHO? The only problem was, I had signed a lease last May for a year, for considerable rent. I'd furnished the apartment sparely, from Ikea and Overstock.com, like the world's oldest college student, painted a few not-exactly landscapes-- you will remember I slept during my teen years under Jackson Pollock's Blue Unconscious, so you don't go unmarked, been gifted with a tote bag with my initials from my loved friend, Jamie, for my birthday, mounted that above the keyboard I'd gotten online, and so hung the rest of the walls with other purses as a motif, so became, thematically, a bag lady.
When the good news began to come in about my musical, I gave no thought to trying to get out of the lease, because in the event my dream did not materialize, I intended to return to LA. And I did not want to incur legal bills, So I stiff-upper-lipped and just moved forward towards my departure date, which was yesterday.
Some months ago, an upstairs neighbor complained that my TV was too loud, so I stopped watching TV, because the walls are paper-thin, and I am not looking for trouble or arguments. I loved my new next-door neighbor, a bright, great innocent named Katie Freshwater, (I never have to make anything up,) and though she was sad that I would be leaving, she has a new, dear husband named Bobby, whom I left all the extra tables and chairs that had been sent me by mistake from Ikea, which had failed to send the hardware to put them together, and when I asked for it sent more tables instead, but oh, well.
So I was all set to leave, almost, and made out a number of checks to leave with Katie to give the landlord over the months I would not be there. I called the superintendent to ask the exact amount and he then-- understand this was Wednesday, and I was leaving Thursday-- told me he could accept no more checks that I had breached my rental agreement, that there was a complaint against me for making noise, and I had a 3 dayQuit notice. I then opened the envelope I hadn't had time to look at, and in it, it said...(I NEVER HAVE TO MAKE ANYTHING UP...) that I had been SINGING.
And here's the best part. The complainant, was my upstairs neighbor-- not an old woman, but a 30 year old___ (I will not use a descriptive word-- you may put in your own) named SONG.
Thrown out for singing, because of a woman named SONG, when I was writing a musical. I NEVER HAVE TO MAKE ANYTHING UP.
My wonderful friend Pam Korman connected me with an antiques dealer who gave me the name of a trucker who was over and had me packed up in three hours and the stuff is now in A1 Storage for if/when I go back. But "SONG" Do you believe it? For SINGING?
When my daughter got into some trouble my attorney here got me a lawyer in Phoenix, who turned out to be less than Oliver Wendell Holmes' dream of the law, and his name was LAMM. A lawyer named LAMM. I NEVER HAVE TO MAKE ANYTHING UP.
I am so glad, when at Bryn Mawr, I studied Restoration Comedy, where everyone was named what they really were. None of them were vile enough in this case, although what she is is a well-honored word, from ancient Rome, a description of what separated the water that ran down ancient hillsides. But we will have to be satisfied with SONG.
Jamie wanted me to put a bowl of flowers outside her door as a thank you, but I am not quite that high-minded, as I think this might have given pause even to Jesus. But only, of course, if he was trying to get on a musical.