"I was surreally independent and content before we met
Surely I could always be that way again, and yet
I’ve grown accustomed to his looks
accustomed to his voice
accustomed to his face"
~I've Grown Accustomed to His Face (Loewe/Lerner)
Diana Krall sings a version of this on her new CD and I must confess, I kind of like it. Interpret it as you will.
Allison opened the door to her parents’ Florida condo and walked into the vestibule. From the living room’s stereo speakers, she could hear a song blaring. It was from the soundtrack of My Fair Lady. Her parents were totally into Broadway musicals, which is where she figured she got her love of it from, too.ReplyDelete
As the final song of the show began playing, Allison’s mind drifted back...
...to a night a number of years ago, during the era in which she lived for living in the City. After seeing a show on Broadway, Allison was enjoying a late night bite at the Algonquin with her then boyfriend Scott. For a while, they chatted about the show and what they thought of it: she loved it and he didn’t get it. After a while, the talk, as usual, reverted to Scott and whatever concerned or interested him.
Allison ignored Scott’s self-indulgent prattling on about his work at the newspaper (circulation – not reporting) and instead, began imagining herself back in the early 1920s, sharing a table with F. Scott Fitzgerald, Heywood Broun, Dorothy Parker and Alexander Woollcott.
Ah Edna! When did you arrive in the Rose Room? Do join us at the table, dear! And, oh! Isn’t that Harpo Marx and George S. Kaufman? Halloo, gentlemen! We can all scootch over a bit to make room, can’t we? Dorothy was just saying...
“- and then, Mr. Gerber told me what a great job I was doing, as usual!” said Scott, who rather unhappily broke into Allison’s daydream.
“That’s nice.” Allison smiled politely. She picked up a forkful of salad.
“Yes, it is! But what else would you expect?” Scott looked self-satisfied and smug.
Tell me again. What was it that I ever saw in Scott? I sure don’t get it now. Allison yawned.
“Late hour or the company?” Scott sounded very offended.
“Umm, just the hour, Scott. I had to be in the office early today for a meeting. Sorry.”
Allison turned her head to glance at the people in the party at the next table. Most were formally attired elderly folk. One particular gentleman seemed vaguely familiar to her. She wondered if he - or any of them for that matter - were from New York’s golden, glamorous age about which she so liked to fantasize. Suddenly it dawned on her: The familiar-looking man was Rex Harrison.
I’ve grown accustomed to his face... began playing in Allison’s head. She smiled at Mr. Harrison, who made eye contact with her, and nodded graciously, as if to say, “Yes, it is indeed I. May I wish you and your young man a pleasant evening,”after which, he returned to his dinner companions, as Allison returned to hers.
“Allison? Sweetheart? Are you all right, honey?”
Allison blinked. She blushed as she realized she was standing in the middle of her parents’ aqua, peach and white living room. “Sorry, Daddy. Mom. I was just listening to the music on your stereo, and doing a bit of wool gathering.”
“Happens to me all the time.” Allison’s father grinned.
“Well, let’s get ready to go, then,” said her mother, looking at her watch, “We’re supposed to meet your brother and his wife at Penridge’s at five. All right?”
Allison’s father walked over to the stereo to turn it off.
“Wait, Daddy. Can you hit eject? I think I want to take this with us and listen to it in the car on the ride over to the restaurant.”
Allison’s father handed her the jewelbox, after which she and her parents got into her rented Civic and drove off. Allison put the CD into the player and smiled as it began to play.
I’ve grown accustomed to her face...