african drums and the holocaust

Posted: August 15, 2010 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , ,

he only agreed to go to the african village show, seven to nine, because Lilly wanted to go with me. she said this meant they could be together longer. now i feared for my sanity but I’m going ahead with it. we drive in the rain and get there about half hour late. I’m talking to a girl at the door for a whole 2 minutes before she finally says  it is in there. so I go inside pay the fifteen bucks to get in and join him, Lilly and Farah. we get to the other side of the room by the blue chairs, in rhythm with the powerful sound of african drums. i already want to dance but my mbts are not the most conducive to swaying at my will, but there will. throughout the whole thing he has his arms crossed before him and his large back facing Lilly. she is not happy and starts to mirror me. it is not even irritating because I’m busy trying to get out from behind her big hair. i touch it while she doesn’t know: dry, unyielding. can’t imagine making love to her both their hands are rigid. maybe the hair will be alright.it is already 8:54 and I say let’s go after checking with Farah and she too would leave so we can walk her to her car it is dark leaving is a process, Lilly goes to the bathroom and he goes to the front counter i see him taking his wallet out to show the picture once again i will marry her i’m proposing at Genaro’s on may 11 i don’t know what the man is saying then Lilly comes out and stands at the end of the ballroom looking lost.i shout at him to go fetch her he goes, happy while sticking the picture back in the wallet, the wallet back in his shorts pocket. three steps back to the front of the room and he goes into the men’s room. Lilly, Farah and i gather by the exit the usher in a dark silk suit and bow tie smiles and says already leaving?  there will be a lot of foot gesturing to the ballroom dressed up  in an enormous food centerpiece and many smaller tables with silver trays the smell is fucking awesome and i touch the silk of the dark sleeve and tell him that i know but my son is on medications and by now he is really tired. he can’t take it any more. he looks over evaluating my story he will be able to see once he gets close to us.   he does and the silk sleeve no longer pulls away from me, but rather holds close to my bare arm, i see, i see, you’ll be alright now drive carefully. my son skips out of the room as he has done for the last 34 years, holding Lilly’s stiff fingers in his as he has done for the last two years and now  she talks too loud about their undying love I  follow them fast hoping that the rain has stopped for the night that i will overtake them and pass them and not hear them any more. we take Farah to her car thank you see you tomorrow and we make it back to our car which is close to the concert building. oddly enough from the outside we cannot hear the drums at all. america makes a point of being so insulated i want to fucking die.  in brazil, africa, italy, germany, egypt, Israel you walk by places and you smell the insides.  mold, meet, creolin, cigarettes, lipstick, ammonia, piss, vomit: the innards of buildings and lives are completely exposed to the passersby. no dirty secrets. no undue privacy. no one alone for long. no tickets for the drum session no problem, outside it is you, thoughts, feelings and music. i look at them looking on and listening  they didn’t move a limb. it was odd for me. the bodies are gyrating, arms flailing  heavenwards in prayer, trance, sexual energy and they watch, impassive.  how much africa do they have left in them, i wonder. in my eyes the white men has strained out all of the africa, leaving only a fish meal of anger masqueraded as longing. so they sit in their haunches, patent leather shoes, imperfect shadows of african citizens  and they watch. much like i watch stuff at the holocaust museum: i can no longer cry i no longer need to scream it is not that I have become numb but the enormity of the wrong sits on my chest as it sits on theirs, it cannot be erased it cannot be conquered it cannot be justified. blues, greens, yellows, reds, hair, bare feet the proof of complete loss keep swaying on the stage to the sound of drums, as dry as Lilly’s hair in my fingers.

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