01/11/2010 Snippet, Frozen Dreams.

It may be too cute. I don’t really want to explain the joke, though. I’ll let the beta readers have their input before I decide.

After I finished up with Mr. Gee-Gee, I caught the rest of the performance. Why not? I wasn’t lying to Father Mike; I do like classical music. In manageable chunks.

It was swell. Povenmire & Marsh ain’t always my favorite composers (too syrupy) but ¡Compórtate! is one of their classics and the kid they had singing the female lead sang “Lo que podría haber sido” so clear you could almost see the notes. When they brought the cast out for their encores, the leads did the duet “Ciudad del amor“ — and then the prima donna belted out “Pato momo,” which of course had the whole theater up on its feet by the end.

And while we were all standing, the lights went down again and the orchestra started in with the Royal Anthem. That didn’t always happen, at least for regular performances I took a look at the Royal Booth, but the King and Queen weren’t here tonight. It must have been because of all the soldiers down there in the main seats; only, when I looked around, there were just as many kids in uniforms singing about lemon drops and chimney tops in the upper stands (I even saw Carlos, in fact). They had better uniforms, sure — and they had plenty of worried-looking mamas and papas wondering just where things had gotten so complicated.

I wondered, too. Sure, I’m a good New Californian, and I don’t spit when I see Ronnie’s mug on my pocket change. I wouldn’t live anywhere else, even if I could. Most of the guys my age are the same way. We just don’t wear it on our sleeves.

But the younger generation these days, they’re running wild. These kids should be lounging in parlors or hanging out on corners, smoking cigarettes and hassling the Man before having rumbles in the back alleys. Instead, they were drilling with the city militia and organizing the refugees and envying the hell out of anybody who had actually gotten into the Sonoran Expedition. Which wasn’t bad, right? Well, it wasn’t. But it also wasn’t what we were used to.

The Anthem ended; luckily, it was the one that didn’t have all the extra lyrics tacked on later about how wonderful the world was. In the silence that followed, I saw Carlos pick his moment and shout out “PLAY BALL!” As the theater broke out in slightly relieved laughter, I grinned. Okay, so maybe the kids were still New Californians at heart.

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