2007-03-18: Don't Let Bridezillas Drag You Down


Jane_icon.gif Adrienne_icon.gif

Summary: A street guitarist, a florist, music, cigarettes, and conversation in Greenwich Village.

Date It Happened: March 18, 2007

Don't Let Bridezillas Drag You Down!

Outside Fiorella's Flowers, Greenwich Village, NYC

Midday comes to Greenwich Village on Sunday, March 18th, 2007. Along with this noontime arriving is a twenty-something brunette carrying a guitar case over one shoulder and a backpack across the other, she having exited one of the high rise apartment buildings in the area. Jane's wearing navy colored gloves with the thumb and index fingertip cut out on her right hand. The left hand glove has all but the thumb cut out in the same area, for dexterity on the instrument. A somber expression is on her face, suggesting something upon her mind, and the eyes search out a spot to set up. Nearing the flower shop, this woman sets up a canvas folding chair and deposits both guitar case and backpack on the ground.

Time for a smoke break! The silver bell fastened to the door of Fiorella's Flowers jangles as a short, dark-haired woman slips out into the light and noise of the city — one of the shop's employees, apparently. Leaning against the wall between the door and a window crowded with flora, she reaches into her jacket and produces a slim silver case, taking out a long brown cigarette. From another pocket, a lighter is produced, and as Adrienne takes her first drag, her eyes slip briefly shut. Ahh, bliss. A moment later, they open again, and she idly watches the passing crowds while attempting to flex the stiffness out of her hands. It being Sunday, the sign on the door has been turned to read 'Closed,' but the shop's proprietor has been working on arrangements for a wedding all morning. Brides-to-be are, without a doubt, her most finicky customers — everything has to be just /Pefect./ As she takes another drag from her cigarette, her eyes wander a short distance up the sidewalk to another young woman, who appears to be setting up for some kind of public performance. Is she a vagrant, or just a music-lover? In this city, it is impossible to tell by appearance alone, but either way Adrienne's attention is caught. Exhaling fragrant smoke, she waits to see what the girl with the guitar will play.

She doesn't look so much like a vagrant, there's not the shabbiness about her clothing, jeans and a hooded sweatshirt of some sort under it, but one can never tell. The case is opened and guitar extracted, Jane takes it into her hands and sits in that chair she set up. Legs cross at the ankles, her back is straight and shoulders up. No hunching for this one. Jane takes a look around as her mind makes a decision about what to start with, and seconds later the fingers are in motion. It doesn't appear to be anything recorded before, quite possibly this one is her own composition, a mildly metallic rock tune.

Motivated by nothing more than curiosity, Adrienne glances at the guitar as it is drawn out of the case. There is nothing appraising about the glance — she is a lover of music but not a musician, and therefore unlikely to recognize the model of guitar unless it is something truly distinctive. She is equally unfamiliar with the song, but that does not discourage her from enjoying the tune. Only a few moments pass before Adrienne moves closer to the guitar-playing brunette, offering her a smile but remaining quiet until Jane's fingers stop moving. "You're good." Of course, she wouldn't know the difference between 'mediocre' and 'supremely awesome,' but the remark is meant well enough. "Been playing long?" As she asks this, she ferrets out her cigarette case and offers one to the stranger.

As the song concludes and she's spoken to, Jane looks up at her audience and shows a quiet smile. There's something in her eyes which suggests having recently come through a personally harrowing experience, and a lingering gauntness to her features. "Several years," she states in reply. Her eyes flick over the cigarette offered and back up to the woman holding it, a shake of her head declines without words. A scattering of people pass by as they start to converse, some here and there among them seeming to recognize and nod toward the guitarist. She responds in kind, and one of them greets her by name in transit. "Jane," the forty-something newspaper seller says, and she answers back "Tom. See you tomorrow morning." Then Tom is gone.

When the cigarette is refused, Adrienne slips it away with an absent nod. She does not seem offended, but neither does she put out her own cigarette — one of those long-burning types, apparently, that trails sluggish curls of smoke whenever she moves her hand. "Don't play any instruments, myself…" A faint smile curls her lips. "But I've always wanted to play guitar." Bantering with strangers is not something Adrienne does often, but she has had very little time for socializing lately. Even working seven days a week, she can barely keep up with her business. "It just seems like it would be very… stress-relieving." Relief from stress is /definitely/ something Adrienne could use right now — and Jane as well, from the look of it. Her dark-brown eyes study the guitar-player thoughtfully, perhaps noticing something in the other woman's expression. "Jane, is it?" she asks after the newspaper-man strolls by. "I'm Adrienne. I own Fiorella's," she says, with a nod back toward the florist shop.

"It is," the woman agrees with a slight smile. "Some of the best songs come from that emotional connection, to play and get it all out. Like Fleetwood Mac's members did with the Rumours album, and what Ann and Nancy Wilson did with Barracuda." She watches Adrienne to determine if the titles are familiar to her, and when her name is questioned, replies "That's me." Inwardly she's also thinking that screaming is good for stress relief too, a humorous thought, but also lamenting that drugs might have been tried for that purpose, the why she started being so lost in all the fog. These thoughts cause her expression to hover between light and dark. "Good to meet you, Adrienne."

Smiling again, Adrienne's eyes light up with recognition. "Music is an amazing thing," she remarks, and indeed it is — two complete strangers can share the same feeling of enjoyment and appreciation, no matter how radically different from each other they might be. In this case, however, the difference is not so extreme. Jane appears close to her own age, and at least as stressed out as Adrienne is, if not more. "Nice t'meet you, too." A fleeting furrow creases the spot between her eyebrows, showing a hint of concern. However, she is not the kind of person to pry into the business of strangers. Her cigarette hangs neglected in her fingers, but the crease in her brow disappears and she continues, "Just wanted to say that you're welcome to play outside the shop anytime, if that's your thing." Some shopkeepers shoo away loiterers and panhandlers as eagerly as one might chase away pidgeons — Adrienne is not one of them, at least not when the loiterer is a decent guitar-player. Nevertheless, it is a somewhat awkward thing to say to somebody, and she pitches away the rest of her cigarette with a faint chuckle. "But anyway, I'd better get back to work, or I'll be stuck here all night…"

"Thanks, Adrienne," Jane replies. "It's the purest form of professional music, direct to the audience, they either like it and pay or don't and keep going." She seems to think for a moment, when she speaks again an idea has formed. "I like to pick various spots, go where the mood strikes and play there, but if I find myself at this one again I could maybe make it work for you too. Good music does draw attention, and could increase your business." But then Jane glances back at the closed sign and makes mental note of the claim about working or being there all night. "Not that you need the increased traffic. Sounds like business is booming."

So the girl /is/ playing for money. Adrienne notes this, but it does not appear to bother her in the slightest degree. She firmly believes that an artist should be compensated for their efforts, no matter what their chosen medium is. The smile becomes more of a grin, somehow apologetic, when Jane makes a very apt observation about her business. "You'd benefit, too, I'm sure. As it is, I've got almost more business than I can handle." So she hopes. She might be here very late tonight, but she is fairly certain she will have everything prepared for tomorrow, when several large orders are due to be picked up. "Spring weddings, y'know. And brides are such a pain in the /ass./" The short woman laughs, and unobtrusively drops a folded twenty into Jane's guitar case while she adds, "You take care." With that, Adrienne disappears back into her shop, another tinkle of the silver bell signaling her depature.

"Take care, Adrienne," Jane offers as the woman moves away. A chuckle follows, she adds "Don't let Bridezillas drag you down!" And she's back to playing, her voice joining in on some of the songs as she remains there for an hour or so longer. It might be heard faintly inside the shop, and eventually she moves to elsewhere in the vastness of New York City.

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