‘Wow, it’s usually me that looks the part. But you have upped your game, Meike.’ The Nymph is impressed. And rightly so. I’m proud of my look for this evening: Red fingernails, back combed hair, glitter earrings, sparkly top, wide legged velvet
trousers and high-heel silver sandals.
‘I know it’s none of my business, ‘ Peirene clears her throat. ‘And I don’t need to know who you are going with… I won’t tell anyone.. but just wondering nonetheless, where are you going?’
‘To the world premier of the M&M London Jazz duo,’ I reply, grabbing my saxophone case. ‘And by the way, my husband will be in the audience.’ I smile. Each time I make an effort with my wardrobe the Nymph likes to insinuate that I might be up to no good.
‘Are you coming?’ I ask over my shoulder, already nearly out of the office door.
‘Me? No why? I’ve never heard of this M&M London Jazz duo. And frankly I’m not a fan of modern music with its tricky beats. I prefer books.’
I stop in my stride. ‘But Peirene!’ I exclaim. ‘I’m one part of the jazz duo. My friend Madi plays the piano and I play the sax.’ I’m perplexed that this has escaped the Nymph’s attention. Especially since I’ve been practising in preparation for this gig morning, noon and night during the last couple of weeks. ‘I’d love you come,’ I add.
Peirene sighs as she lifts herself from her chair. ‘Ok. I’ll come because it’s you. I hope the Jazz venue’s near by.’
I point to the floor below our office. ‘The show takes place in our front room. I’ve invited some friends to be our audience.’
Peirene breaks out into laughter. ‘And you call that a world premier?’
‘One has to start somewhere,’ I say with a touch of hurt in my voice.
After the gig, Peirene takes me to one side. ‘I’m impressed with the M & M London Jazz duo. What a sleek performance. However, I’m a bit worried. Won’t music distract your attention from the publishing house?’
I shake my head. ‘Don’t you worry. Playing music helps me to advance in my job. Editing is all about feeling the rhythm of a text. And playing the sax obviously improves my sensitivity to a beat.’
The Nymph raises an eyebrow, not totally convinced with my argument. Still, she’s willing to give me the benefit of the doubt. ‘Well, I can’t wait to read our next book. I hope we can find a translator who can write in syncopated rhythms.’
By Meike Ziervogel
Image by Floris Oosterveld, creative commons.
This blog was originally published as part of Peirene Press‘s series Things Syntactical. The Pain and Passion of a Small Publisher on 6 March 2017