2010-05-05: The Concert in Central Park



Date: May 5, 2010


Maddox and Kirkwood indulge in a musical interlude, Emma sees things, Claire walks her dog and gets cranky, and Emily stays under the radar.

"The Concert in Central Park"

Central Park, New York City

When I call you up
Your line's engaged
I have had enough
So act your age

Live musical performances in Central Park are not exactly uncommon - plenty of open area and, depending on the time and temperature, plenty of random onlookers. In this case, the melancholy McCartney number has been adapted into a duet as an inside joke. Randall's curls won't be mistaken for the famous moptop any time soon, nor will he win any awards this decade, but it's a decent job at least. Aaaaaand over to his partner now, as they trade off between vocals and instruments for the second half of the verse.

She hadn't planned on going to Central Park, yet Emma felt almost a need to be there. Maybe she had been spending too much time cooped up like her mother suggested. Perhaps that's why she decided walking through the park. Her eyes trail over of the green of the foliage, she knows the sound of tree leaves rustling, but the world is completely quiet now, the memory is faint, but still there.

Emma's ears are plugged with her ever present ear bud, her wall to the outside world and deterrent from people talking to her. It's the small gathering of people that grabs her attention, brows darker then her hair tick upward just a touch. There is a moment of hesitation before she angles her travel that direction to maybe peek at what has everyone's attention.

We have lost the time
That was so hard to find
And I will lose my mind
If you won't see me
You won't see me

The song's an inside joke, but it's also a great song. Portia seems more than happy to be singing—she always seems that way. Her gaze shifts around the park momentarily, scanning for familiar faces, but her gaze quickly flickers back to what she's doing. She glances over to her fellow singer, then down at her guitar.

Teaching puppies to walk is difficult, and Claire decided today to make it a solo flight for Wizard, leaving the older Pomeranian at home — to his dismay. Mr. Muggles pitched a yappy fit when the chocolate lab was outfitted with a leash and the Pomeranian was not. Claire rounds a corner, though the live music is faint in her ears; instead of a melancholy duet, a cheery Greenday song blasts through earbuds attached to IPod. One good thing for the 20-year-old blonde: She can listen as loudly as she likes, since the damage repairs itself.

She doesn't pay much attention to the live musicians, not noticing they are familiar, as she lets the puppy have a private moment with a tree.

The cool evening air makes for a pleasant enough evening out and about town. For whatever reason, Emily had just felt the desire to…go for a walk. Strange huh? But there's a lot of strange stuff about her lately…the least of which is the very short hair do she's sporting. It's Ellen-ish, but even shorter. Ice-cream cone in hand, she wanders Central Park as the sun is starting to go down in the sky, enjoying the evening-time. Newish-looking Chuck Taylor sneakers pound the pavement of the walkways, and a lot of leg is shown in short, home-made jean shorts with a plain-ole T-shirt to complete the woefully casual look. "Ugh…is that…supposed to be the Beatles?" she asks the nearest passerby or concertgoer (or is it 'witness,' given this crime against humanity) when she comes upon the open-air stage.

There are always critics. Or people just listening to their own tunes - the duo can hardly lay claim to exclusive performance rights. Still, a handful of others are hanging out nearby and listening - a few joggers, a few couples with sandwich bags - and that's enough to make it all worthwhile.

During the breather after the song finishes up, Randall waits from a cue from Portia for what else to try out - she's the semi-pro among the two - and takes a moment to look around at the crowd. Hey, there's a familiar couple of faces over there! He waves a hand in an attempt to get Claire's attention once Wizard's pit stop finishes up.

Skirting around the edge, Emma doesn't pay attention to anyone, even if they turn around and say something to her. She is either ignoring them, or it's simply the fact she doesn't hear them. There is a touch of disappointment to the file clerk as she realizes that she is seeing a musical act. Their mouths form the words, holding notes, but the sound falls on Emma's deaf ears.

Emma misses it… the music, so she can only watch their mouths and the dance of fingers across the guitar strings. Her gaze is a little sad as she watches, and she turns to leave, but something catches her attention from the pair up front, Emma only catches a glimpse out of the corner of her eye. When she looks back, there is nothing, but it was enough to make her stay a bit longer.

Portia tries to come up with a new song, idly thumbing the strings as she nods politely to a few of the audience. She's got a lot of songs, though the question is, really, to figure out what to go on to next. Well, there's always one thing. "Anyone have any requests?" She calls out.

The young blonde praises the puppy for a job well done with a piece of kibble, crouching down to pet the dog before she notices the gesture of a waving arm from the musicians. She glances up from her crouch, not quite making out the face until she stands and sees Randall. She arches her brow when she notices the other girl is also a familiar face. Well, that's interesting. She bends again and scoops up Wizard before he can wind his leash around her ankles and trip her again. Finally her hand comes up to pull each earbud out, so she can hear the music — when Randall said he was looking for what next, he left out the possible music career, apparently. Pawn shop owner to Beatles cover artist?

"Not more of the Beatles!" Emily calls out, giving an amirite grin to the people around her. They smile a little, one or two even crack into a little smirk or giggle or something. Some seem less than enthused. Either way, Emily's not exactly drifting off toooo quickly. She has to see what's next, afterall! Heck, it might even be listenable! So, she mulls around in the crowd, drifting forward a little more, looking for a spot on the grass to sit down and stretch out on some.

Well, cover artist has proved to be a nice diversion, at least. Not a full-time gig, though… Randall tried that with charcoal sketches a couple years back, and quickly grew tired of churning out one tourist caricature after another. Whatever's next up on the playlist, he's sticking to a synthesizer keyboard for now, letting his voice rest up. Note to self, bring a water bottle next time…

Well, there's at least one heckler. Portia ignores the voice, instead focusing on what she's doing. She glances back to Randall, noting his move to the keyboard, taking a moment to let him play before she begins to sing.

There's no time for us
There's no place for us
What is this thing that builds our dreams
Yet slips away from us
Who wants to live forever

There! Emma catches it again, eyes on the guitar, brows dropping low with curiosity as she focuses on Portia's playing. The world narrows down to that one spot and her breath catches, she doesn't see the words spoken, only watches the woman's fingers move.

For Emma's eyes only, each pluck of the string glows brightly with color. Each length of wire, a different brilliant color, fading into something darker before the color dies away… at least til it is plucked again.

The Queen song brings a furrow of Claire's brows and she gives a shake of her head. She bends down to let the puppy onto the ground again and begins to walk away from the gathered group, pulling her earbuds back up into her ears, hand reaching down to push play once more. Green Day's "21 Guns" fills her ears to drown out the lyrics of the song she does not want to listen to.

Well, if nothing else, their song choice is good. The execution? Not so much. Sure, the nerdy-looking guy with the crazy hair (oh, hair, how Emily misses thee) is doing his best Freddy Mercury impression, but it's pretty 'meh.' Doesn't stop her from sitting there on the grass, stretched out, finishing up her (by now melty) ice cream. Her head leans to the side a little as she listens, enjoying it plenty well. If anyone here knows her, it'd be difficult for them to recognize her now, what with that leg scar and short short hair. And while before she might be checking out the crowd, rather than the song, she's happy enough to just enjoy the evening sun and music.

As soon as he spots Claire's reaction, Randall winces. Oh man, what was he thinking? Pretty much anything other than that song would have been a good choice. But, as one of their other big hits points out, The Show Must Go On; he puts on a game face and finishes it out.

"Thanks, everyone," he calls out to the little crowd, after a quick check with Portia. "This next one goes back a ways— about thirty years, wasn't it? Miss you guys!" And so do a couple people watching; maybe they were there that night.

Like the two songs before it, this one could also count as a private reference to someone in the park that night. This time, though, it's purely by accident…

Hello, darkness, my old friend
I've come to talk with you again
Because a vision softly creeping
Left its seeds while I was sleeping
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Still remains
Within the sound of silence

Watching the playing, Emma's eyes catch a strong note played by Portia, sending up a lazily floating ribbon of colorful light. Her head slowly turns watching it until it fades away. When the last bit of shimmering goes away, the woman's eyes blink rapidly as if awaking from a dream.

Her eyes widen just a little bit, her head swiveling this way or that to see if anyone is watching her. There is relief, when she finds the attention is on the singers, it's clearly written on her features. In her mind, what she just did, is much like talking to some one that isn't there.

One more glances to the guitar shows that whatever light show she was watching is over. Just another moment where Emma questions her sanity. Slowly, she starts easing herself away, in a sudden need to get away and think about what she just saw.

With the concert winding down, or with evening setting in too much for Emily to want to be out - these streets are dangerous, don't you know that? - she groans and drags herself to her feet. Ice cream in her tummy, and more than a little of it on her shirt and on her cutoffs, she gets on up and brushes some grass off her butt. "Eh, not half bad." And with that, like any other normal person of New York City, she just…wanders off out of the park!

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