Tuesday, August 08, 2006

off the hook

It all started when I figured out how to get my iPod to repeat songs (I know, I'm slow). I was already running late. For a moment, the scales swayed, weighed whether it was better to just drive rather than taking public transportation. Shame tipped the scales. What's more, it was a gathering of desis- what were the chances that I was really that tardy?

Damian Marley's All Night was winding in a loop before I had even left the apartment. It has been a long time since I have needed a song to propel me into motion, but this one certainly is effective. But the lovely part was this- by the time I left my place, I was in a rhythm. And there is something about finding your pace. People, believe me, I'm nothing to take note of, but that afternoon, my gait was attracting more attention than I have ever deserved. Maybe I was dancing and I did not even realize it.

Of course, this is all in the realm of the self-contained. And of course, because I am incredibly self-absorbed, this is the realm which I muse about most. I am constantly in wonder at how this city envelopes me in such a way that loneliness is impossible, however solitary my travels may be.

By the time I arrived at Chaat Cafe, I was nearly giddy. This may very well explain how I managed to knock all sorts of things off a table within minutes of meeting the Mutineers. What it doesn't explain is how, even though I have been to these meetups before, I still cannot seem to overcome shyness and make normal conversation with people. Anyway, lucky for me, everyone else compensated for my shortcomings. And now, because I must soon return to burrowing my way out of a mountain of work, come the bullets:
  • Apparently, people are not as I.S.T as I thought- when I arrived, a group of women left shortly after. This was sad, since I never got to really speak to them. Maybe next time?

  • On the other hand, dudes, I met Ennis! There are two reasons I was all about Ennis. First, he scrawled on a napkin to Vinod the question: Is that Brimful? And then later, when I told him about my twisted and tortured plans for life, he concluded that I am "muy loco" and went so far as to clarify "not un poco loco, muy, MUY loco." Oh Ennis, believe me, that's only the tip of the iceberg of my insanity.

  • Speaking of Vinod, reunions galore! It says something that I never think of Vinod as living in SF, because he is so very International Man of Mystery. Vinod regaled us with tales of no shame in his game in Budapest, and eyebrow-raising stories regarding Manish, who was referenced so frequently that he was something of a honorary guest in absentia. Then, there was ads, who got an equal measure of people saying "Why haven't you been updating your blog?" and "Oh my god, I've read your stuff- you are really funny!" And then came maisnon from house-hunting expeditions, god bless her patience for that. And then, in walks Saheli in a sari, b*tches! You want to try to out-mutiny that? I don't think so, yo!

  • Cool new people! A helped to represent the South Bay, and told us a story about a blue moth that requires a hefty level of self-confidence to recount to a group of strangers. So, she automatically rocks. Then, there were the DJs. DJ Sweeney was pretty much thrust into this meetup, but was a great sport about it, and didn't even mind it when we gave him an honorary desi name. DJ Drrrty Poonjabi (that's three r's for you b*tches!) brought good conversation and CDs for everyone. I hope some of you that were there have listened to the CD- it's giving me hope for the youth! I was listening to the CD the next day in my car on the way to work, and actually let out a giggle on the 101 as I listened to a completely inexplicable mashup of NIN's Closer, Papa Kehte Hain, and (oh, as if that wasn't enough) Muppet Babies. MUPPET BABIES, people. I'll have to check if he's opposed to me posting it here some time.

We had a classic desi parting. First, we said goodbye at the table. Then, we said goodbye at the doorway. Finally, we really said farewell outside at a crossroads. It reminded me of the parties my parents used to throw. The parents would summon all the children to stop playing and gather their coats. Then we would sit on the stairwell, our eyes rolling to the back of our heads, waiting for all the uncles and aunties to say goodbye one more frickin' time. But in retrospect, it's something I have always missed, that affection my parents have for all their friends that kept everyone lingering in a crowded hallway.

Saheli and ads walked with me to BART. Once we got there, we found ourselves on opposite ends of the platform. They boarded their train. The iPod kicked up again. I no longer had my self-sustaining bubble of sound. It took me a while to find a song that was right. In the end, it was The Shins' Gone For Good. Considerably more somber, but it fit my new pace. Slightly slower, but still upbeat.

In other news, I can't seem to get songs by Cansei de Ser Sexy and Wolfmother out of my head of late. Does the magnetism of aggressive sound say something about my current state of mind or is this just some good sh*t?

No comments: