In a tradition that has gone on for what seems like forever, God, who admittedly is a “sucker for nostalgia”, nodded in approval as this year’s batches of matzoh – the cracker-like, dehydrating, oft-constipating, unleavened bland semitic product – left the new Manischewitz factory in Newark, New Jersey headed for Seder meals (the prolonged, ritual Passover dinner) throughout the country. Passover, the annual Jewish festival commemorating slavery, begins tonight at sundown where this “bread of affliction” will be the consumed for the next 8 days in lieu of much more enjoyable leavened products. After the factory ceremony, God was headed to CVS to stock up on Colace.
I was at B.B. King’s Blues Club on 42nd Street a little while ago to see a friend (a friend’s son actually) play bass in a band who was opening for NRBQ (who are older than God, as per Wikipedia). I was sitting in the back of the room in need of the ability to make a quick escape, if necessary (not for any specific reason, it’s just who I am). An older, rail-thin gentleman sits next to me with a long white beard (I know) and a very large nose (not Jewy, but in the ballpark) and wire-rimmed reading glasses. He hands me, unprompted, some sort of hand fan to cool myself in the overheated club. Nice gesture. He has a small backpack which he begins to rummage through and pulls items out like a magician does or Hermione Granger did (Happy Anniversary, by the way). He hands me pamphlets and maps and postcards and posters and stickers and then a bag to put it all in. Periodically, when the music moves him, he points his fingers upward and moves his sneakered feet in time to the music and then back to semi-stillness. I think he’s a smoker. Why not? Definitely a roll-your-own kinda guy. I opted out of the idle chitchat. No words necessary. As I moved to make my escape with my bag, he followed me into the lobby and instructed me to go into the smaller venue, Lucille’s, and listen to the blues band playing there. “Every Monday night. They’re fucking good,” he says. I sat in there and listened as instructed and you know what? He was right! God has got the blues right in him. Or Rip. Or Albus.