That’s how the light gets in

I took my dad to the Leonard Cohen concert on Sunday.

Ah, Leonard.

My officemate flew to Halifax a few weeks ago to see him, and before she left the two of us attempted to explain this mild insanity to a Romanian colleague:

Romanian colleague: So this guy’s in his seventies?
Us: Yeah.
RC: And he’s a poet? Who sings?
Us. An excellent poet. But, well, he never did have much of a voice really.
RC: And you’d run off with him?
Us: HELL YEAH. It’s your patriotic duty as a Canadian female, just like Pierre Trudeau (before he died, that is).
RC: If you say so. (Contemplates delaying her citizenship application.) See you next week then.
Me: ….unless you run off with Leonard.
Officemate: Unless I do. But I’ll call from Paris.

But it’s not just women, of course (quote from here):

Correctional officer Vernon Silver, 53, a married father of two stepchildren, will travel from Sault Ste. Marie to see Cohen this June.

Silver has been a fan since he was 17 for this simple reason: “Leonard says the things I wish I could say when I talk to women.”

Fortunately the shows were worth a plane flight. It was as close to perfect as a live show can get — and never mind that the main performer is 73 and never could sing all that well. The instrumentation was brilliant; the arrangements inspired, the sound mixing excellent, the musicians wonderful, the set list well-considered and entirely satisfactory. The only sad things is that it’ll probably be his last tour — it’s likely he wouldn’t have toured again at all, if his financial advisor hadn’t made off with all but a small portion of his money. So I’ll have to join Nancy White:

I was listening to music as I swept the kitchen floor.
I was needing a shampoo and I was pushing 44.
And I had one of those flashes that hits you now and then
About experience manqué and certain sadly missing men.
And I realized in horror as I stroked my double chin,
Leonard Cohen’s never gonna bring my groceries in.

Also, I suppose I shall at last have to give up my vague fantasy about losing half my body weight, getting implants, learning to walk in heels and being one of his backup singers. Oh well. Can’t have everything in life I suppose.

Happy retirement, Leonard. Just call if you ever need company in Paris.