Saturday, 19 January 2008

On......an evening with Norah


I picked her up about seven from the Grosvenor hotel on Park lane. As soon as I stepped in it was as if I had been transported back to 1897. The hotel was so Victorian that a portrait of the monarch who lent her name to that era adorned the walls as you walked in. The hotel lobby was a marriage of oak and leather with the furnishings, subtle and homely. I announced my name to the butler (not a concierge) and picked a discreet seat in the corner to wait for Miss Jones. My wait was a surprisingly short one as I had barely begun twiddling my thumbs when the butler ushered her in my direction. I momentarily forgot my manners and remained attached to my seat. She was a vision. She wore a black and white polka dot dress with a black sash across the middle. Her lips were bright red to complement the ruby slippers that decorated her feet. She reminded me of Judy Garland in the Wizard of Oz. As she smiled and extended her hand towards me, the analogy became the realer as I instantly lost my brain, my heart and my courage. I mumbled out some words that bore some resemblance to my name and an introduction. Her coy smile indicated that perhaps the words had not manifested themselves in quite the order that I had rehearsed them.

The walk to the car is an awkward affair, punctuated only by perfunctory questions that I already knew the answers to. The autumnal leaves swirled around us in earnest and brought with them a melancholy sort of surrender .The car allowed for the silence to be broken. The husky vibes of Tom Waits filled the air upon ignition. We are now on terra firma. We spoke of the sterling job she had done in updating the Waits Classic “The Long Way home”. She speaks of him in revered terms and it is clear that his music has been a major influence.

She is a meatarian and I rejoice at this fact. There is therefore only one place in London to take her to. London can be quite magical in the fall and it was a day that was, thankfully, without seasonal rain. I suggest that we drive halfway to the restaurant and walk the remainder of the journey. I regret the suggestion on utterance but, surprisingly, she agrees, apparently oblivious or immune to the possibility of autograph hunters. This is London she says. No-one troubles you. Well, not unless you are David Beckham she says. I laugh.

I had the foresight to provisionally book a table at the Gaucho but unfortunately lacked the wisdom to say that I was myself a celebrity. We waited as our table was prepared by the unhurried Argentine waiters. We are seated at a quiet table near the entrance to the kitchen and presented with the menus. We share a plate of ham and cheese empanadas for starters. As the main course I select the Gran Parrillada which is a glorious ensemble of grilled lamb chops, bife de cuadril, chorizo pinchos, Morcilla, sweetbreads and marinated chicken dressed with chimichurri. Norah orders a cheeseburger. She is a cheap date. We submerge the victuals with one and three quarter bottles of Château Beychevelle which is, to my mind, the greatest red wine God ever made. I find that it also serves as the bedrock for the most humorous and agreeable of conversations. We remained in the Gaucho until closing time, laughing, smiling and joking, with the ease of a couple who had been in pleasant acquaintance for many years.

We both wanted the evening to continue so we returned to her hotel room, beyond the paternal gaze of the butler and her security staff. We tumbled into Room 314 and I immediately spotted a Spanish Guitar in the corner. A little alcohol stirs in me the restless spirit of a failed musician and I found myself grabbing the guitar, strumming a few chords and singing a song I had written long ago. She sat on the edge of the bed gazing intently into my eyes as I stood there, strummimng, swaying and singing. I was unsure if the intoxicated look in her eyes was more to do with the good Monsieur Beychevelle or as a result of my warbling. I did not care. She rose from the bed and glided towards me. The effortlessness of her movement made me conclude that she actually found my singing agreeable. She put one finger to my lips and the very touch murdered rationality. Suddenly we were back in Oz again. No brain. No heart. No courage. She drove and I became passenger. She carefully slid the guitar over my stiff, rigid shoulders, holding my eyes all the time with hazel tinged intensity. The ensuing embrace is a moment that froze time. The gaze remains. It is intense and describes desires that a tome of a million words could not. Her hand is on my waist and I feel it’s softness as it creeps under my shirt and works it’s way up my back………


to

the



real world. 2007

My reverie is rudely interrupted by my friend who pokes me in the ribs. After all the warm up acts, Norah is finally on stage. The soothing chords of “Sunrise Sunrise” fill the auditorium and I begin to love her all over again.


45 comments:

Rayo said...

LMAO!! Goodness I held my breath the whole time, thinking that this was real...excellent imagery.

Hengish said...

Am I supposed to be existed about being the first?

Here it goes...

Yippee!

You have to endure the pain of reading my comment.

I have said this before and I will say it again, I like your blog.

I am already in love with another but yours is like in serious competition.

Na true I talk o boy.

Siddon small make I analyse the situation that is your blogz.

I was fooled into believing you were actually on a proper date.

My red eye was just building up and my nostrils were flaring.

In order words...

I jealous gan ni.

This is me trying to maintain some decorum and class.

So what is this nonsense I hear about you and Norah se kini?

In fact don’t let me put my Univasity degree to shame and shell.

to reality...

I do not hate but I find her music rather boring.

Yes, I am not much of a soul lover.

Hengish said...

No someone beat me to it. I knew I shouldn't have gotten up to steal that plaintain.

TheAfroBeat said...

oooh i love that song! Norah got me through my A-levels so regardless of her not-so amazing follow up albums, i'm eternally smitten.

I'm glad i sensed it was a dream early on, otherwise I would have kicked myself.

Meatarian...me likes, it's about time we meatlovers got a posher name!

SOLOMONSYDELLE said...

Let me park my spot here, my brotha. How you day nah?

UndaCovaSista said...

Aaawww, bless...

Waffarian said...

Atutu, very nice, as usual, very descriptive, your best strength lies there, in my opinion.

Lots of short sentences though, which reduces its strength.I missed a bit of your usual fluidity, which in one way, made sense at the very end since its a dream...was that done on purpose?

You set the scene and the mood with your descriptions, so it was easy to be there with you, again, you are so good with details.

Very nice. Good job, oga.

desperate lady(2 lazy 2 sign in) said...

Ok I'm 8th, whatever!*angry face* Let me go read abeg.

desperate lady said...

Lmaoooo I knew it! For once u didn't get me, yeesssss I knew u were imagining(who didn't know?)
Nice one though but its good u came back to the real world maaan.

desperate lady said...

Lmaoooo I knew it! For once u didn't get me, yeesssss I knew u were imagining(who didn't know?)
Nice one though but its good u came back to the real world maaan.

Jaja said...

I rushed through the article. I will read it again now. The title sent my heart a beating and beating.

I hate it when people talk about going to shows of artistes I really love. Self pity sort of overwhelms me. I was supposed to be in that hall goddam it!!!

Did she do songs from the first abulm?? "i ve got to see you again'? that one with the lovely syncopations...

Jaja said...

Excellent attempt at making my head swim.
The writing is dreamy and sweet. I like prose like this. flows like water.

And I must say, you are quite worldly: Gaucho,Château Beychevelle, Room 314!etc
But I remember you said you are a celibrity too abi na English Aristocrat.

Finally, I couldn't have un-noticed the innuendo in "She drove and I became the passenger.."

You too much

Bitchy said...

Quel domage. I love Norah too, though not in quite the same way as I am not a lesbo.

There is nothing to blog about matey, it's like someone has pressed the "pause" button on my life.

fantasy queen said...

yaayyy, u didnt get me there,i've learnt not to fall for it till i'm absolutely at the end...lol', but gosh u almost got me.

i love norah to bits, i'd have same fantasies if i were a guy...wait a minute...screw it, who says sex is a barrier.

@hengish...norah boring? u kill me girl.

Milla said...

hey, how did you find me = through Jaja?? but, whatever, thank goodness, never thought I'd find another for whom The Confederacy of DUnces is a favourite book,. one of the very best. Could happily live without ever hearing Norah again (ducks quickly) but enjoyed your blog.

geisha said...

lol.. music does that to you sometimes. or hormones, or graggs, whichever one ;P

Afolabi said...

na beans...Norah Jones ke!!!!Loved it...You writing just puts smiles on my face.

Onome said...

roflmao......

guerreiranigeriana said...

...1897?!!!...just had to comment on that...lol...going back to read...

guerreiranigeriana said...

superb!!!...bravo, bravo!!!....i loved it...hehe...i love norah jones, especially first two albums...the descriptions of meat made my tummy rumble though...blech!...

Ms. emmotions said...

did u end up mudering that friend of urs? lol

nice one u ve got hear dude!

Naapali said...

A finer ode to love Norah will never get. I started out reading hating you with an intensity I thought I had long become incapable of. I silently hurled invectives at you with each line as I was drawn into your snare. I cursed in Yoruba, Efik, Ibibio, Hausa, Pidgin (in its Nigerian, Cameroonian and Hawaiian forms
). I kept muttering lucky progeny-of-unmarried-lovers until you got to the restaurant then I knew I had been had. So, I cursed more this time solely in Russian and Slav.

Just so you know, you are among those responsible for me not being able to finish reading books I start, writing so well I wonder why I should bother with the stuff from Borders.

Zephi said...

LMAO..I knew this had to be your imagination. I was hoping at the end you will lend me the honours to say something in the lines of "and atutu woke up"..but you did it yourself..na beans? well its possible

Porter deHarqourt said...

..and you awoke to Sunrise Sunrise.

another notch in your belt my man.

Happy New Year!

uknaija said...

That was good!

Fon said...

Nice blog. I will keep reading. Please take the time to visit my blog about Guitar Lesson

Naija Chickito said...

Really nice. Was nicely surprised myself at the end...

aworan said...

If you visualise really hard enough, you just might have a date with her...:-) Not much of a Norah fan (Don't shoot me, o!!) but do have a big respect for her sister, Anoushka's music...

Hengish said...

My response to your genius comment.

@ Atutu: There is no hope but....

You would have a greater chance if you were a part time “accountant” who is in his “early-mid twenties”, works for “PwC” and does like me and is very “serious” about it.

If you are a “LSE alumni” and we have probably met at a “house party” then here’s my number 0770******0.

You want my email too hengish69@gmail.com

CATWALQ a.k.a LAGBA-JESS said...

*sigh*

*sigh*

*sigh*

Nyemoni said...

In your dreams mate! LOL!

Carlang said...

Lovely piece.

Even though i knew from the offset that your tale was one of the mind and not set in the firm and rough stone of reality,there where moments when i caught myself hoping that it was so.

That a picture painted so beautifully , so filled with life and love, had happened.
That, set against the prevailing sadness of the world, it did happen.
The possibility of perfect harmony in a perfctly unperfect world, however short the experience might have been.
i dared to hope.

When you announced your awakening from your reverie , i was there with you . Side by side.
Sharing your sadness and the question of what if.
Mourning over the images that only seconds before had been larger than life.
I was there with you and i saw.

Norah Jones, we love you.

princesa said...

Haba!
Atutu!!! Leading us all on to a cold splash of water!

There...you got me again!

J Adamthwaite said...

Ah, your head works like mine!

On the way to work yesterday, I had been to a meeting with a publisher who had agreed that it would be more useful than an advance to buy me a house (outright of course!) and allow me just enough income to not have to work. I was going to spend my days writing and growing vegetables just like I always wanted. I was just figuring out how I would break the news to my employer when I when I met someone from work at the station and we started talking about our job.

Sigh.

Arewa said...

Aww... nice post.. more of that please. x x

Afrobabe said...

hahhahahahahahhahaha....I was wondering if you had decided to write a 50s novel...

With all the comments here I am highly ashamed (head bowed) to say i dont know who the hell she is.....

nosa101 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Naapali said...

Atutu: pls email me when you get a chance. Thanks!

Isi said...

is there a way i can place ur imagination in a cute box and keep it on my dresser? it'll be more entertaining than DSTV. lol!
how are u?!

UndaCovaSista said...

Excuse me, Mr Rip Van Winkle. Wake up from your slumber and update now...!

Pink-satin said...

nice one!

La Reine said...

I remember back in elementary school kids used to go around tricking you and saying "Psyche!", "Psyche your mind!".
You did that the moment you made it crystal that you woke up.

Niiice

Kafo said...

your imagery is Grade 1
i was with you
i was soo with you

and then you woke up
and
sniffle sniffle

Arewa said...

oh boy wetin dey..update now!

Isi said...

its time to update, right?