Yesterday Friday morning Someone announced we have tickets for symphony that evening. I think it was two years ago when we last went. They closed down their season last year; last time I heard there was only talk about reopening this year. Apparently they have done so. I had mixed feelings about this. I happen to know through Someone’s work the politics to reopen the symphony resembled an orchestra of scorched cats. The symphony ushers are volunteers, many of them ‘anti-vaxxers’ and/or ‘anti-masks” and the symphony (I believe) requires all who work there to be vaccinated and wear masks. I wasn’t so concerned of contagion – I would be wearing my mask throughout – but to interact with the others (ushers or otherwise) evokes some reservation. The worry is a bit moot: on any given Friday night the hall is only 1/3 to 1/2 full, and these are mostly in the front.* I sit in the back, sometimes with wide open spaces around me. It turns out there was almost 15 feet between the next patron and I; everyone was in masks.

It felt funny to go out on Fridays again. I was curious to see how different the experience would be. Would there be refreshments sold? Would there be social distancing? Would there be ructions over thems defiant to the rules? Some of the ushers recognized me behind my mask and seemed genuinely happy to see me.

The ticket said “Midori returns!” which sounded nice. I like Midori with a swig of peach schnapps, vodka, and perhaps a little orange juice. It turns out it was not that sort of Midori, worse luck. Midori isn’t a cocktail but a violinist. She played some Korngold, in a mask. The orchestra was also masked. They played Brahms #4 in the second act. I think everyone did well. As is my wont, after a full day of work that started at 430AM I was in a hypnogogic state throughout. Mercifully there was no shooting.

Afterwards we went to our usual post-symphony bar. The hostess also remembered us and did a nice job finding us a table. After supper we drove home, tired, but feeling some sense of normalcy.

* I think this is called the ‘first-class’ phenomena. I am told on luxury ships, second-class cabins and less expensive options sell/not sell, depending on the economy. Regardless of the economy, the first class cabins always sell out. The rich always manage to have money. Curiously, the front part of the symphony, the expensive seats, probably have prescribers with the demographics of older and richer folks, who are not as likely to want/do vaccines and masks, and more likely to flaunt their influence on the orchestra and its protocols.