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post #39
bio: anne
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1/27/2003
12:05

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Hello Happy Robot from 2010
Kansas City '75
Carolina Beach '07
I don't know how you scream like this without hurting yourself
I and J and tagalong K all on their way up the coconut tree.
Car ride






African Drum Class
I had my first African drum playing class yesturday. It was fun. More than fun, it was really, really fun.

I used to see African drum classes practice at the Charles River Park in the summers. They were made up of the folks I used to call "the Cambridge People". Actually, I usually referred to them as "the Cambridge Ladies" because the grey, drawn, unhealthy skinniness combined with the sparkle of rage in their eyes seemed most noticable amoung the women. Although all that could be seen in some types of enviromentally/politically/socially concientous men scrabbeling out a living in the harsh shadows of Harvard University, as well.

These were people who would cheerfully breath the bus exhaust fumes of Harvard square all day long, BUT walk by them with a lit cigarette . . .

These are the people who might watch "Animal Precint" and cheer when the animal cops bust a homeless man for not treating his homeless dog's scabies.

They used to actively annoy me- mouths all pinched up with disapproval, the hard edge heading towards trembeling-outrage under their "calm voices" . . . the phrase "This Is Unacceptable"- which always floors me, making me think about gravity and how one might go about putting a stop to such nonesense.

But the more time I spent around them . . . watching them wander morously around the "World Foods" grocery isles, the more they grew on me.

There is something about them that makes you want to warm them up. They always look so chilly and miserable. You want to give them big bear hugs- holding on untill they stopped flailing.

This is, of course, a gross generalization- judgmental, stereotyping, sticking people in little convient pre-labled boxes. But that is one of the more interesting things about living in a big city- there are so many different kinds of people- there's a lot of pleasure to be had in realizing how all your (one's) old stereotypes don't always hold up. And even more pleasure in getting to create brand new ones.

Or maybe it's not just a big city thing, maybe it's a getting older thing. As you're exposed to more new ideas you find out there is a whole world of stuff out there to disagree with, a whole lot more stuff than one might ever imagine that has the capacity to piss you off.

But there within lies an opportunity for Personal Growth.

Because, as I understand it, whatever it is that upsets, on about any level: a knee-jerk recoil or just a dronning, obsessive disdain- only does so, because it reminds you of yourself, threatens something tender and embarrassing, reflects those deep dark icky, yucky things you won't write in a journal because the minute you do, you will be killed by a bus and someone will have to go through your stuff and they will read it- and you won't be there to tell them which parts you only kind of meant, and which parts you only meant for that moment. And that you are a much more reasonable and fair-minded person than those naked thoughts on the page might reflect.

So there you go.

Figure out exactly what it is that bugs you about something/someone, trace it back to your own failings and insecurities and then . . . I don't know.

(Embrace one's inner Cambridge lady/guy/person?, one's bigotted right-wing psycho?, one's really crappy driver?)

About the African drum: My first impresion is playing it is a lot like taking a Percoset. While it doesn't actually remove the pain, it does makes you not care about it for a while.





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