The Phantom and the Hinge

It’s hard not to be an Andrew Lloyd Webber fan. As a musician, I’m drawn to his music. Also, as one who enjoys a good cook-out and one less “b”, I can enjoy a Weber grill as well.

A connection beween the two may seem a stretch, but give me some latitude here … A lot of space, please. It’s been a long week.

This is Raoul from Phantom of the Opera. One of them, anyway.

I feel so connected to him right now. Unhinged. More on that word association soon. For now, a mask would be warranted. Oh, and it wasn’t a Weber grill, either. Doesn’t really matter, though. The chamber full of propane, I inserted the flaming end of a lighter into said grill and saw half my life flash in front of my eyes in a nano second. The screen in the top of a once calm concession trailer blew out as a loud bang took off facial hair and solar flared all the moisture out of my right eye – at least this is what my optometrist friend said ten minutes later when she graciously stopped by at my blurry insistence.

Look away, I’m hideous. I should be masking my idiocy. Raoul I’m with you, my friend … Artificial tears run down my rosey, now shaven cheek as I think of you. Where is MY mask hiding this scorched half-face of shame?

Yeah, ok. I’m dramatizing the moment. Everything is fine. For a few moments, however, I was worried. My vision was blurry and the smell of burnt hair overtook the usual sausage and hotdog aroma inside my trailer. Blinking sucked. No tears were available for my comfort.

I am now comforted knowing time will give rise to more follicle frolicking. Eyebrows coming back full and robust, a salt-and-pepper semi-beard surrounding a smile, and lashes blinking to awaken a moist eyeball will all befriend me again. Time is the healer of bangs both hairy and gaseous.

I will be extra cautious in the future. Uhm, that’s what I said the last two times, anyway. So, how’s the weather in your town?

Speaking of weather, the Pentecostal winds whacked my concession window cover yesterday. Yes, those higher than average gusts lifted not my spirits, but a heavy, hinged swing roof causing two hydraulic arms to snap off. Hinged? Well, I was able to generate tears from one eyeball, anyway, as the roof slammed itself down against the concession window so elegantly holding a menu sign and my last nerve. No cracks after a quick scan and no patience remained in my already winter season ending, battle-weary skeleton of a body.

Yesterday was my last day at that location. In ten days, I will be relocating to summer spots. An ice cream/shaved ice concessionaire guy will be plopping down where I’ve been these past months. As planned, scheduled maintenance days appear ahead in my book … alas, I will be abandoning those for repairs to my trailer. Back and forth I shall go. Best to forget what I had hoped for and live for what is: fate.

Fate has me paying more money for repairs I didn’t plan on and extra work not scheduled. Fate waited five months for me to flash-freak my face with non-serious, look-back, kinda funny, now, blue flaming frivolity. Fate also gave me a schedule off-site event to cater with my smaller concession cart during a beautiful Saturday in March. A day in which I could not have opened, anyway, with a damaged 20′ trailer and slightly bruised ego.

Tomorrow, that large trailer will be back home for a clean-out before going to the metal shop for repairs. Scott, the proprietor of the fabricating shop, assured me he can fix the damage. I have confidence he can. A spit and polish after replacing the two hydraulic arms with a tweak and pull here and there … I’ll be back in business in no time.

Gosh I hope so. There is redemption at the end for the Phantom. Sure, Christine dies from an accidental gunshot … yada yada … go see the show sometime to appreciate all the twists and turns. Love, intrigue, and … exceptional music as only Andrew Lloyd Webber could write.

I could send him some ideas for his next opus. Perhaps a pianist who reignites his passion for excitement and high energy bursts of gale force winds? “The Unhinging of a Man”?

I do have years of experience in music theory and arranging, one good eye, and one hell of a story to tell so far.

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