The last two days have been so filled with leukemia news that I have not even mentioned that my friend, Dan, from high school is here visiting from Pennsylvania. He took the train to Boston and then met us at the Dana Farber on Wednesday after our marathon visit. He spent Thursday and Friday in Boston with his aunt, but today we got to spend some time together.
Dan was able to witness the second post-chemo haircut today. He was very disappointed because there was only one person in the barbershop besides us and Jim and they were not including us in the conversation, not actively excluding us, but we just couldn't find a way in. Then another man came in who had a really interesting job in turning broken hospitals around. Dan and he chatted a while and then it was my turn for hair cut. Jim introduced me to the person who had been getting his hair cut, John Sununu. Dan felt the shop had lived up to its reputation at that point. I got a great haircut as before and as before it was $5. Some day soon, Jim will be allowed to cut the rest of my hair, for now it's just the ears and back.
After that, we went to Beach Pea and I had their best: mozzarella, basil leaves and tomatoes grilled on a baguette, followed by a lemon raspberry cupcake. Then at noon, Tommie, Dan and I went to see the NY Opera simulcast of Les Troyen by Berlioz. It is the story of the Aeneid which I had not even thought about since high school so I was quite surprised by the mass suicide scene of most of the Trojan women at the end of act I. We stayed for only the first act (90 minutes). The whole thing lasted five and a half hours. It was very funny because Aeneus flees to Italy to found a new empire and the whole cast is singing "Italia! Italia!" There are 140 people in the chorus, including two dozen children. It is a little like being at a soccer game except for the orchestra.
The opera opens with the Trojans waking up and singing about how wonderful it was that the war was over. How glorious peace was. It was very touching because it's the story about the Trojan horse and the destruction of Troy and we know what comes next. Remember Cassandra? Her deal is that for some reason, she was cursed to be an accurate prophet, but no one believes her ever. She tells the people in her city not to bring the horse in the city gates, that doing it will bring about the end of their civilization. I hadn't really thought much before about how awful her fate was. She has this nice scene with her love where she urges him to flee because she knows he will die if he stays, but he refuses to go, wanting to stay and protect her. She sees she can't convince him to leave and accepts that they are both going to die the next day, saying "then accept a bride's promise." It is really a very touching scene. Not so touching, however, that we were going to stay for four more hours of it.
Dan and I wandered around Portsmouth and got chocolate, coffee, mustard, a present for Dan's partner (sh! don't tell!), etc. I took Dan by Nancy's cheese shop because no trip to the Seacoast of New Hampshire is complete without one. Then we went home and Dan made us dinner while I mostly blogged and just helped the tiniest bit.
Want to see a picture of Dan? Want to see my new haircut? Want to see the wall behind my computer spot? Sure, you do.
For me, for tomorrow, I am going to hope for lots of fun and lots of good conversations with Dan. For you, for tomorrow, I will hope for good friendships.