Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Drum Line

As I walked through the park on the way home last night I had my iPod blasting so I only saw the hunched figure of a be-sweatshirted young man working his big African drum. I could hear his bass beats over my musical theatre selections and noticed that he was playing a phrase and waiting, playing a phrase and waiting. It was as if he was waiting for someone's response. Finally I acted like a grown up and took out my ear buds to hear what was really going on. There was, it turned out, a young, curly headed dude sitting on another bench across the small field and they were doing a little call and response. Mr. Sweatshirt then dug in for a long sentence. It was clear, to me at least, that he wanted to get a whole paragraph going, a dialogue even, but Mr. Curly wasn't getting it. He kept waiting his turn but the phrase was too long, it had too many clauses for him to parse. People were walking by, smiling at the fact of these drummers jamming in our little corner of the borough even though the song wasn't smooth or practiced in any way.

This weekend all the bloggy things, the things that have snagged on the inside of my brain and wanted to be told have been completely unbloggable. I simply cannot convey pure sights and sounds and those were the things that were grabbing my attention. To try and re-create them here for you would have been stilted like yesterday's drumversation.

About half an hour later I was walking the other way through the park with the dog and Mr. Curly had trekked over the dale to sit with Mr. Sweatshirt. Heads bent, they were working together on something longer, if not more intricate. It was mostly drowned out by the frustrated directions of twenty soccer players and the orders for calisthenics being shouted at the newbie football players but it was there.

I wish you could have heard it.


  1. I adore drumming. In fact, there's a program scheduled for the Music Hall next March that I MUST see. I'm pretty sure I'm going to weep through the whole thing (drumming, for reasons I can't explain, makes me cry - perhaps it's that it's so primal), but I can't not go...

  2. You should rent a movie called The Visitor. It has a drumming theme that I think you'd dig on.