Art makes me tired.
At the parties, generally, there was Arthur Malvin, next-door neighbor to Nancy in Flatbush, a nice dark boy with a pleasant singing voice. A shipping clerk by day, an orchestra leader by night. He had his own gang; they played at parties, dances, in Brooklyn.
“If Arthur could get a break,” sighed Nancy, “he’d top ’em all. But he’s lazy. He likes Flatbush and puttering around a back yard. He makes me tired. I made a play for a booking agent last week and just got him to the place where he was: ready to listen to Art’s outfit — and boy, did that take technique! But no, thanks, says Arthur. He likes being a shipping clerk,” added Nancy in disgust. “And if he thinks I’m willing to give up my job and settle down in half a two-family house in Flatbush and watch his geraniums grow, he can think again. He says, ‘But Nancy, the orchestra is just fun — and a little extra money.’”
reprinted (revised somewhat, see below) in Baldwin’s Within a Year (illustrations by Harry Anderson, 1934) : 208 : link (snippet only) —
“He likes Flatbush and puttering around a back yard. He hasn’t the gumption. Where would Rudy Vallee be today — or Russ Colombo — or any of them, if they’d been content to plant zinnias? Art makes me tired.”