Q. Where are you coming from?
A. What do you mean, where am I coming from?
Q. Just what I asked – where are you coming from?
A. Don’t you usually open with a different question?
Q. What do you mean?
A. Don’t you usually ask me: “what’s happening now?” on Tuesday mornings?
Q. Don’t you think it’s time we came up with a different opening question?
A. Come to think of it — now that you mention it – I was getting a little tired of that question.
Q. Why is that?
A. For one thing, I was running out of answers.
Q. Do you like the new question?
A. Kinda. I just think that if somebody’s passing by this morning, and they’ve never read one of my Tuesday Tuneups, they’re going to wonder what the heck we’re talking about.
A. Sure — that is, if they care to. Why should they not just surf off to some blog that makes more sense than this one?
Q. So what if they do?
A. What do you mean?
Q. Why should you care?
A. Good point. It’s not as though I’m exactly into “collecting followers.” WordPress tells me I’ve got almost 1000 by now, but I can guarantee you there are probably less than 100 who actually follow. And I can only think of five or ten to whom this Tuneup will even be appreciable. And even those people might be bored by now.
Q. Do you want to change the subject?
Q. What would you rather talk about?
A. Basically, I want to tell you where I’m coming from. I never answered your first question in the first place.
Q. Well, where are you coming from?
Q. Brain dead?
A. In a daze.
Q. Why’s that?
A. Oh – I busted my butt trying to get all this stuff done by last night. By the time we had the first joint rehearsal of all the musicians and singers, the band had all their parts written in 4/4 swing and the singers were still working out of the book where the song was in 6/8. This meant the measure numbers were different in both books. It stretched the limits of my intellectual faculties trying to keep things moving.
Q. But wasn’t Cody in charge of the singers?
A. Cody was working with the singers in Room 33 using the Green Piano. It’s a large room and the seven singers could social-distance there. I was working with the band on the chancel in the sanctuary. But since only three of the band members showed up, we decided to combine the two for the last half of rehearsal, because 7 + 3 = 10, which is the legal limit for a gathering under the city ordinance.
Q. And how did that go?
A. Well, outside of the conundrum I just tried to describe, it was wonderful. With what Cody Wendt has done for our singers, combined with what the musicians from the School of Music are doing, I couldn’t be happier. I hadn’t been sleeping well for stress of deadline and pressure.. But last night I conked out and slept the sweet sleep of the innocent. Woke up a new man, although —
Q. Although brain-dead?
A. Not anymore!
Q. Why is that?
A. Good coffee. And I’m going to put it to good use.
Q. How so?
A. You don’t know? I gotta get those vocal parts into the right time signature!
Q. Aren’t you a bit imbalanced these days?
A. Well – duh! That’s what happens when you have deadlines. You let everything else go, you don’t clean the kitchen, you don’t clean the bathroom – you cram as if your life depending on it.
Q. And is this healthy?
A. Not at all. It’s just modern life.
Q. What do you make of it?
A. In the ideal world, there would never be any deadlines, any pressures at all. As I just told Lauren Sapala, I would work at my own pace, slowly and steadily, and not release my work until it was absolutely complete.
Q. Isn’t that called perfectionism?
A. Not in my book. It only becomes perfectionism when you have to rush to meet a deadline. So you turn in a half-done job, like I did last night, and when you whine about it, people call you a perfectionist. If there were no deadlines, there would be no perfectionism.
Q. What would there be?
A. There would be a beautiful new world full of relaxed people who have time for each other and who don’t block other people out of their lives only because they have to meet a deadline. We would all stop running The Marathon Race to Hell.
The Questioner is silent.
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