Q. Do you know who I am?
Q. Why have you summoned me?
A. Because it’s Wednesday.
Q. Uh – isn’t the Tuesday Tuneup supposed to take place on Tuesday? And haven’t we been here before?
A. You asked me two questions at once.
Q. What’s wrong with that?
A. And now there are three unanswered questions! Really, sir, you overload me. And I’m already overloaded.
Q. Why so overloaded?
A. Perhaps you haven’t heard.
(Takes a deep breath.)
I’m engaged in this huge process of getting all these singers and musicians to learn my music, so as to record three songs from my musical Eden in Babylon and have the long-awaited demo recording finished by Sunday night. It isn’t often that a decent sound engineer offers me free studio services and resources, and his availability will not last forever.
Q. Do you mean to tell me that you are actually working to a deadline?
A. (sighs) Much as I despise the concept, ’tis true.
Q. Now why do I find that so hard to believe?
A. Probably because I am noted for espousing wild philosophies I picked up after years of living on the streets. I’ve even gone so far as to say that no human being should ever be required to show up a specific place at a specific time.
Q. But don’t you work better when you don’t have a deadline?
A. I do, yes. Others do not. But the point is that my own work as the composer-playwright of Eden in Babylon is already complete. It’s only a matter of getting a finite number of people to respond accordingly. It may well be that these people work well to deadlines.
Q. And when is this deadline?
A. Four days from today.
Q. Have you — er — succeeded in getting the money together to pay these singers and musicians?
A. Almost. I am prepared to pay the remaining $150 out of pocket the at this stage. But I would have to wait till the beginning of the month, which might inconvenience a couple of the singers who are strapped. And of course, I am also strapped. I have made myself strapped in order to succeed in this venture, as any other devoted Artist would do.
Q. Won’t you become even more strapped after contributing $150 from your fixed income?
A. Of course. And I’d prefer the $150 come from somebody who can actually afford it. Still, the joy of seeing this leg of the project finally coming together after all these years is certainly worth a lot more than $150 to me.
Q. But – but – won’t you starve?
A. I prefer the word “fast,” thank you.
Q. Are you not parsing words?
A. Not at all, sir. When a starving artist decides to fast in order to produce a work of Art he believes in, it is no longer a matter of health. It is a matter of Spirit. For Art is a spiritual matter. It is a matter of the Heart.
The Questioner is silent.
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