Cat's In The Cradle


tamsine_icon.gif adam_icon.gif amy_icon.gif aaron2_icon.gif

Scene Title Cat's In The Cradle
Synopsis While brooding and reading a book, Tamsine is noticed by Adam who introduces the woman to his protege, Amy. Meanwhile, Aaron plays a song with consequences one might not expect.
Date May 3, 2009

Greenwich Village

In a time that seems long ago, Greenwich Village was known for its bohemian vibe and culture, the supposed origin of the Beat movement, filled with apartment buildings, corner stores, pathways and even trees. There was a mix of upper class and lower, commercialism meeting a rich culture, and practically speaking, it was largely residential.

Now, it's a pale imitation of what it used to be. There is a sense of territory and foreboding, as if the streets aren't entirely safe to walk. It isn't taken care of, trash from past times and present littering the streets, cars that had been caught in the explosion lie like broken shells on the streets nearest the ground zero. Similarly, the buildings that took the brunt of the explosion are left in varying degrees of disarray. Some are entirely unusable, some have missing walls and partial roofs, and all of the abandoned complexes have been looted, home to squatters and poorer refugees.

As one walks through the Village, the damage becomes less and less obvious. There are stores and bars in service, and apartment buildings legitimately owned and run by landlords. People walk the streets a little freer, but like many places in this scarred city… anything can happen. Some of the damage done to buildings aren't all caused by the explosion from the past - bullet holes and bomb debris can be seen in some surfaces, and there is the distinct impression that Greenwich Village runs itself… whether people like it that way or not.

Home is where the heart is, and by that logic, Tamsine's home is lost, broken, far away, or all three. And so she is rarely there but to sleep. She sits on the patio of the cafe which is in the process of closing for the night. A book rests on the table, and she huddles in her sweater as the temperature begins to dip. Her coffee cup is empty, and the waiter gives her an apologetic smile as he clears it away, uttering a soft "Goodnight" as he takes the tip she set out for him. He knows she will be there long after he has gone home for the night.

Adam walks down the street as if he were the owner of the buildings on it. Tagging along is Amy whom he has dubbed his little protege. He appears to be explaining something to her, "You've always got to keep an eye open. You never quite know who you're going to run into on your walks." he pauses as he spots a familiar face, "For instance." and with that, he guides Amy across the street by the shoulder so that they are walking right for Tamsine.

Amy appears to be listening attentively to Adam and his lessons, although some of them might very well be a lesson she, as a homeless thief, already have taken to heart. Nevertheless, she does take to learning whatever he will teach very diligently. She blinks as he takes her across the road, seeming surprised as ever at the sudden touch. When she notices Tamsine as well, she understands, and her eyes roam over the woman, trying to get somewhat of an understanding even before they reach her. "A friend of yours?" she asks of Adam.

The cafe workers close up shop and head out the front door, leaving Tamsine alone in the patio that opens up to the sidewalk. The chairs and tables are heavy wrought iron and bolted to the concrete, so there's no reason that Tamsine can't sit there until she's ready to go home. She may be reading, but she's a native New Yorker, so the movement across the street catches her eye and she lifts her head, frowning a little as she sees Adam for the second time in as many days. Her head tilts curiously but she doesn't speak yet.

Gettling close to curfew as it is, Aaron has wandered away from one of his usual venues to one he has not tried before. Nearby a local cafe. It also has the benefit of being closer to his home than his previous busking spot, even if it doesn't offer him a seat. He may prefer to be seated, but there is a reason his guitar has a strap attached to it. The polished sapphire face comes out of its bag quite carefully, as Aaron always is with his cherished guitar, and he soon as the strap over his shoulder and is warming his fingers back up with a number of scales. Music tends to draw observers, the streets are slightly more barren than when he usually plays.

Adam walks over towards Tamsine's table. He leans in towards her and kisses her cheek in the style of a European greeting or at least a greeting of two people who know each other much better than they do, "Hello Tamsine." he says, taking a seat next to her, "Tamsine, this little girl is Amy, my protege." he motions to Amy to sit, "Amy, this is Tamsine, my good friend."

Amy smiles softly to Tamsine, giving her a polite nod and a friendly, casual, "Hello," she says as she takes a seat that is somewhat private compared to how Adam seated himself just next to Tamsine. "It's nice to meet you, miss," she says, still studying the older woman, as if trying to understand her as much as one can from a simple look. She does stop eventually, beginning to look around the general vicinity as well as one can while sitting down.

The dark-eyed redhead looks surprised at the affectionate greeting that comes from Adam, and arches a brow at the words 'good friend.' She may have told him more than she's told just about anyone, for whatever reason, but one meeting does not make one a good friend, does it? "Hello, Adam. Nice to meet you, Amy," she says with a smile and a nod toward the young woman. "Protege? Is she in the business of demolition as well?" she asks, with a slight smirk toward Adam. As the music begins to waft over like fragrance from where Aaron plays nearby, Tamsine glances around, taking account of her surroundings.

Aaron cracks his knuckles in front of his guitar to loosen them up a bit and reaches into his cloth guitar case for a little case of picks. He selects a rough, silvery one, and puts the case back. When he rises up, his vision is momentarily obscured by something that makes him rub his eyes. If there ever were evidence that there was something unusual about him, something that might convince him that Abigail was right, he may have just seen it. While most people have a certain bit of greyness to them, what he sees now is beyond that. The greyness in the young girl near the man at the cafe is nothing compared to the black he sees in the woman seated at the table. The man himself is another story entirely. He can barely see Adam in the normal sense, for the blackness that seems to emanate from him almost entirely consumes his visual perception of him, and he blinks several times before turning away, heart beating faster than normal. Yes, the prospect that Abby was right does frighten him. He looks back for a moment and then grabs his case and drags it just slightly closer, so he's about ten feet away and right near a streetlamp, which he leans against. Is he actually considering believing the crazies? He almost walks back to where he was, but that would just seem weird at this point, so he goes back to playing scales until he figures on a song to play. It may seem bizarre for a seasoned player to do so, but he counts out beats on the faceboard with his pick for a moment before playing what is likely a familiar melody to anyone who has been around for any years. Harry Chapin - Cat's In The Cradle.

Adam mms a bit, "No, not quite that." he says, "But, she's here to learn from me what she can. Perhaps one day, she'll even be asked to carry on my work." as he glances back at Amy for a moment. He turns back to Tamsine quietly and says, "And you, how are you doing?" and when someone begins playing Cat's In The Cradle, he turns with a very severe frown.

Amy blinks a little. Is she in the business of demolition? Maybe now, she will be. The thought is uncomfortable, and she shifts a little in hear seat, showing it for those who would see it. Upon hearing a song even she recognizes, she blinks, turning to look that way as well. Amy, however, is completely unaware of Adam's bad reaction to the song. "Hey, I know that song."

"My parents were hippies. I think that was the third song I learned to play on the guitar myself. Right after the requisite Dust in the Wind and Stairway to Heaven, and just before Get Together," Tamsine says, trying to make light of the situation, trying to soothe that frown off Adam's face. "He's not bad," she adds, then nods to Adam. "I'm all right, I guess. Gave that lousy book back to the library." The book she's reading now is simply a novel, one of the more literary types to hit the bestseller lists though nothing too heavy.

Of course, once Aaron's singing, there's no hope of him overhearing any conversation that's going on:

My child arrived just the other day
He came to the world in the usual way
But there were planes to catch and bills to pay
He learned to walk while I was away
And he was talkin' 'fore I knew it, and as he grew
He'd say "I'm gonna be like you dad
You know I'm gonna be like you"

And the cat's in the cradle and the silver spoon
Little boy blue and the man on the moon
When you comin' home dad?
I don't know when, but we'll get together then son
You know we'll have a good time then

Adam has gone quiet since the song has started. In fact, he goes so far to lean back in his seat and wallow, waiting for the event to end.

This time, Amy does notice that something appears to be wrong. Her gaze now settle on Adam instead, a curious, inquisitive gaze that notes that the man appears, if nothing else, disturbed by the song. Unlike Adam, however, the song does not provoke any real feeling for her, and she just blinks. She appears confused, but tries to remain silent, clearly not going to disturb Adam in a situation like this. She looks at Tamsine, confusion clear on the girl's face.

Tamsine frowns a little as she looks at Adam, and shrugs at Amy. "I guess he doesn't like the sixties," she says with a slight smile. She turns to glance at the street musician, giving a slight nod of appreciation for the song, though she looks a bit confused as well. It's really not a normal place for a busker to play — most hang out in the subway or on busier streets than this. "You two okay before curfew? I don't live far, but it's not too far off," she says, mostly to Amy — she knows that Adam won't care or worry about such a thing as curfew. She might not know him well, but she knows him well enough to know that. "If you're too far from home…" She stops and doesn't finish the sentence.

My son turned ten just the other day
He said, "Thanks for the ball, Dad, come on let's play
Can you teach me to throw", I said "Not today
I got a lot to do", he said, "That's ok"
And he walked away but his smile never dimmed
And said, "I'm gonna be like him, yeah
You know I'm gonna be like him"

And the cat's in the cradle and the silver spoon
Little boy blue and the man on the moon
When you comin' home dad?
I don't know when, but we'll get together then son
You know we'll have a good time then

Well, he came home from college just the other day
So much like a man I just had to say
"Son, I'm proud of you, can you sit for a while?"
He shook his head and said with a smile
"What I'd really like, Dad, is to borrow the car keys
See you later, can I have them please?"

And the cat's in the cradle and the silver spoon
Little boy blue and the man on the moon
When you comin' home son?
I don't know when, but we'll get together then dad
We're gonna have a good time then

Aaron doesn't have a violin or anyone else with him, so he vocalizes the accompaniment to the lyric-less bridge. True be told, he hates the subway and doesn't like crowded streets, which is ironic considering he tries to play music for money. That's one of the reasons he likes the prospect of working at Old Lucy's.

I've long since retired, my son's moved away
I called him up just the other day…
I said, "I'd like to see you if you don't mind"
He said, "I'd love to, Dad, if I can find the time
You see my new job's a hassle and kids have the flu
But it's sure nice talking to you, Dad
It's been sure nice talking to you"

And as I hung up the phone it occurred to me
He'd grown up just like me
My boy was just like me

And the cat's in the cradle and the silver spoon
Little boy blue and the man on the moon
When you comin' home son?
I don't know when, but we'll get together then dad
We're gonna have a good time then

There's almost a look of relief on Aaron's face as he strums the final, slow chord with the final word of the song. Clearly, he too finds the song a sad one. But he likes sad songs.

Amy shakes her head at Tamsine. "Ah, don't worry about me, miss," she says, simply. She leaves it that, however, not elaborating in the slightest as to why Tamsine's concern for her getting home is not needed. That is to say, she is not trying to be rude to the woman as she gives her an appreciative smile, for the concern. Well, she does appear confident that she'll be fine, in any case.

Tamsine smiles and stands. "I need to get some work done tonight anyway," she says, giving a nod to Adam who is still in his moody reverie. "Nice to meet you, Amy," she says, and she slips out of the gated patio to the sidewalk beyond, pausing to drop a five dollar bill in Aaron's guitar case, giving him a shy smile. She walks about half a block before disappearing into a brownstone down the street

Aaron gives Tamsine a polite nod, his eyes looking her over very carefully as she passes by, his pick forgotten as he fingers Pachelbel's Canon. She's not as dark anymore, not black, but still not bright. He looks over the others. The black hole is still there, but his other companion is brighter, he thinks. He can't quite recall how colorful she was when he first spotted her. 'God, am I really consider this?' he thinks to himself. It's insanity, surely.

Amy's mood is actually a little improved over how it was when Aaron started playing, although if it is only because of Aaron's playing is not so easy to tell. She glances over towards the musician, giving him a friendly smile before returning her focus to her mentor, curious as to see if he is about to return to the world of the aware or not. "So how did you meet that lady?" she asks. Like with all her questions to Adam, she does not appear to be -fully- expecting a straight answer.

Adam sits up. His mood doesn't seem terribly improved, but at least the song is over. He looks at Amy for a moment, his eyes unfocused as if thinking of something else and then sighs a bit. He shakes his head a moment and decides to answer her, "I just happened upon her. Fate, really."

Amy blinks. It seems to be the kind of answer she would expect and she does not seem to mind it at all. "Ah," she says, curiously. "Is it only my imagination or did that song make me feel better?" she asks, scratching the back of her head a little curious. "Uh, I guess not…" she says, out loud, as she remembers how moody Adam had gotten because of the song. Or so she thinks.

And Aaron continues to play Pachelbel's Canon. Why? Because it's so very easy for him to play, which gives him time to think things over. If it weren't so expertly played, it would seem mechanical, but it's not. It's a very sensitive rendition and speaks well to how experience Aaron has playing the guitar. But all songs must come to an end, and he starts a new one, the last of the night no doubt, as curfew inches closer. Moonlight Sonata. Ladies and gentlemen, music for your anti-depressive needs. As some have found, in the absence of pain, happiness can be found.

Adam leans back for a moment and says, "I hate that song." he comments to Amy. "It reminds me of things I would rather not remember." suddenly his eyes unfocus and he turns to Amy. He reaches out and takes her hand and says, "I know you wonder if you've made the right decision sometimes, but I will take care of you Amy. I will look out for you, ok?"

Amy blinks a little, a little taken aback by that sudden declaration. She seems quite confused by it, if not uncomfortable in a sense. Changing the subject? Probably. "Uhm, so." She pauses for but a moment, before continuing to voice her concern, her brown eyes thoughtful and inquisitive. "When we go to Japan, what do I have to do? I mean, whatever it is you're planning, I need a source of water to be of use as I am now.

Adam nods, "I know…but, you'll mostly be watching me, accompanying me and the like." he says, "I don't have any real plans for you to get involved in any of the hard things yet. You're not ready, I need to train you some more." he pats her hand and then lets go of it, "There are things you aren't ready to see yet."

Amy nods softly, seeming almost disappointed by the fact that she will be protected from those things. But on the other hand, she also recognizes the truth in the fact that he thinks she is not ready. In all fairness, she is not. "Well, I hope we find what we're looking for in Japan…" she says with a brief nod. "It must be important."

Adam nods, "It is. A lot of what we will do there is important." he mms, "But it's a long road." he says casually, "And at least you're on it." he stands, "Come on, Amy, let's get going."

Aaron brings Moonlight Sonata to a close and packs up his guitar. Given Adam's appearance to him, black hole that he is, he has no real desire to encounter him, and so he walks off in the direction of the grocer he works at and lives above. It's not a long walk, just a couple of blocks, really.

Amy blinks, standing up as well, getting ready to follow Adam as he leaves. Not without digging out her wallet out of the inner pocket of her hoodie however. Then, she notices the busker leaving, a slight frown forming on her features as she puts her wallet back. Ah well. "Any news on when we'll be leaving, then?" she asks. Probably her final question for the night.

Adam answers as vaguely as he usually does, "Soon."

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