Work It

I’m gonna call it harbinger. Cuz I need a sign, a prophecy, an omen… anything.

A couple of hours ago now, Chris, Walker, Tony and I are rehearsing for Tuesday’s big ‘Heartland’ CD release show. We’re at a middle-of-the-road space called Ultrasound on 30th Street. It’s not the best space (thirty bucks an hour), or the best neighborhood. Walking in tonight, by example, I passed a man in a trash bag, and a woman wearing nothing but nylons just outside the door.

Rehearsal is going ok. After a rough, Replacement-esque start (which is fine by me), we’ve found our groove. The songs — new by all accounts — are settling into themselves. “Better That That,” especially, has found a new and better place. (So much so that I’m not sure guest-star Amy Hills will be able to figure out a part.)

This and other related thoughts are whipping around my (Stella-soaked) brain when our time runs out. The guy pops his head in the door. “Time’s up.” And so it is.

Chris, Walker, Tony and I pack our instruments away. I think to myself that Tuesday’s show is now completely out of my hands. We are as rehearsed as we are going to be. I pay the bill, and head for the elevator. En route, I pass what can only be described as an entourage: puffy down jackets, sideways baseball caps, bling. My Spidey sense tingles. ‘That’s Missy Elliott,’ I think to myself.

The four of us are standing by the elevator. Missy is just around the corner. ‘Dudes,’ I whisper, ‘Don’t all look at once, but Missy Elliott is just around the corner!’

“Who?” Walker asks.

“I was just watching ‘Honey’ today!” Chris says, faking like he’s searching for cell reception.

The entourage approaches. Three young women are staring blankly into their cell phones. Missy saunters up behind them, none too happy. She is pushing an orange Bugaboo baby carriage. A small poodle sits inside. I sneak a glance to confirm that it’s her. A diamond-studded Sidekick is in her left hand. Confirmed.

The eight of us — doggy not included — ride six floors down. Missy is clearly peeved. Her minions feign to remedy some invisible problem by holding their cell phones silently to their ears. I hold the door for her. She says thank you, and speeds off.

So there it is: Missy Elliott and me collaboratin’ on the corner of 30th Street and Eighth Avenue. A door, a puppy in a stroller, and a thank you.

Flip it, and reverse it, beeyatch.

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