Wednesday, Feb/23/2011 9:30pm
Well, the performance that carried the band to Amherst last April carried us to Storrs, CT yesterday to the UConn campus. On the bus ride on the way up, I sat next to the newly-single Trumpet player (you know, somehow I knew that poor girl was going to lose her man and I knew it would have nothing to do with me…) and listened to Redman and Guru on his ipod. Actually, I was not originally sitting next to him. I sat across the bus isle from him. He suggested that I come closer after the drama of more than one person silently requesting that I temporarily move the earphone wires blocking the isle.
At one moment when the bus was somewhere in the Connecticut boondocks, my buddy SI the alto sax player looked back at me with a clean-faced blue-eyed grin and said “got any journals?” I didn’t hear him the first time, so I left my seat and moved up one space. “What was that?” I laughed at his little joke when he repeated himself. “I don’t know; got any Gil Scott Heron?” “Got any Gregory Porter?” I giggled all the way back to my seat.
It took at least a full five minutes for me to understand what had just happened: SI had lost his travel companion.
Sometime much later than that, we were on the campus and I decided to venture out into the unknown in search of a convenience store. The Dominican tenor player had already been there for the day and pointed me in the right direction, but I got slightly lost anyway. SI caught up with me while I was standing, looking awfully confused, and wondering like Erykah “which way to go.” He was heading the same way it seemed… and was also a little lost. A woman coming out of a nearby building (who, strangely, recognized both of us from the Amherst performance though we didn’t recognize her) pointed us through to the other side of the building. Though I was geographically ahead of him, we both reached for the door at the same time, and I realized he wanted to open it for me. I retracted my hand and allowed him to do this. He opened every door for me all the way to the store, and then all the way back to the stage.
I might have written a poem on the way back from CT had I the foresight to bring my notebook with me. I told him that I had no paper and as such would not be writing anything on the bus. I think he was disappointed. I told him that the next time I had something interesting, I would show it to him. (The last poem I showed him, I wrote on the back of my to-do list on the day before my birthday, and it was pure absent-minded disorganization that kept that to-do list in my purse.) I sat down once again next to the Trumpet player and fell asleep on his shoulder. We were just entering Manhattan when I woke up, and he vaporized just as soon as he got off the bus.