In a low grade horror movie – once you see the slutty teenager take off her shirt – you know that she’ll be horribly dismembered in just a few short minutes. The plot points are fixed. The beauty and artistry, such as it is is to be found in their specific execution. Similarly in Opera – we all know the words, we all know the tune. The performance is what matters.
We’re purchasing a house. I might be surprised and stressed right now if this were the first time we had purchased a house. It is not. I understand the game. I understand my role.
Two attorneys, two real estate agents, and one mortgage broker have spent Friday and Monday calling and emailing back and forth – all in a tizzy. There is a ritual theatre aspect to this whole thing … and now that I know what’s going on I can relax and appreciate the subtleties.
I blocked out most of today and tomorrow with tasks that were time flexible and amenable to doing by laptop. I had plenty of paper in the printer. Plenty of gas in the car.
This evening’s dance began when the “final” version of the sale documents (actually the “purchase and sale agreement”) arrived in my email INBOX with a pleasant “bing.”
The plot says that at this point I am critically late. I am the hold-up. I, having just received 30 pages of legal document, am now to rush around and get signatures on four copies of it. Finally, I will deliver the precious Binding Legal Agreement to the Agent of the Sellers.
The womb of the paper, the pressed dead tree, has been rendered fertile with the printed language from the attorney – but it must be impregnated with the magic, life giving signature of my pen. This is why a FAX just won’t do, or heavens, some sort of electronic acknowledgement. The agreement can’t live without love – without a certain amount of drama. Sure, I can transfer my entire life’s savings from bank to bank with the click of a mouse – but to agree to purchase property I have to drive into South Boston.
So I immediately started attending to my task – by making a cup of coffee. While I was making the coffee, I heard the pleasant “bing” of a revised version of the final document. I gently stirred sugar into the coffee, and admired the mathematics of the curve of the lip of the cup, how it shapes the flow of the coffee to release aroma … enhancing the whole experience.
“bing,” just one more change. My phone rang, it was the realtor – giving me the cell phone number of the escrow agent so I could arrange a place to hurry hurry hurry and get them the paperwork. Called him up. Said I’m happy to meet him anywhere at all in the Metro Boston area, today or tomorrow. Told him I have the check right here in my hand. Oh yeah, and that other pile of paper too.
Eventually, the frequency of the “bing”s slowed. I opened the document and changed it from “legal” to “letter” sized paper so my printout wouldn’t look like ass. Then I corrected the typos that the lawyer – at his frantic $200 per hour – had left in.
Another phone call. Yes, indeed. Got the document. Reading it now. Fixing typos. Typos? Yep. Just a few more. Printing it now.
Now, I get in the car to drive, first to redmed, for her life-giving signature, and then to an exit just off 93 – a beach access of some sort. Second exit from a rotary. 7pm sharp. It seems a bit sketchy, but this is what the seller’s agent wants.
And me, the buyer, the guy with the money – the guy who pays every single person in this drama – it’s my job not just to pay for everybody’s tickets – but also to give them what they want.
So off I go.
So far the performance has been pretty good, actually – but this is just the second act. The finale doesn’t come around until June.