Saturday, December 6, 2008

how things arrive

Last night, despite my distaste for holiday cheer and crowds, I parked downtown and walk to Balboa Park for their December Nights thing. Crowds kill me. But I needed to get out of my house and Bass was working at the House of Palestine Food tent so I decided I'd stop in and say hi. Also, group dynamics fascinate me to no end. I am a keen observer of body language and have been trying to train myself as well in micro-expressions, ( I am a huge fan of the work of Paul Ekman and Daniel Goleman.) Basically, I love people watching. Walking up to the park I quickly realized I was the only person alone. Around me the high tech stroller-pushing families merged with intertwined couples and we all marched up towards the park.

I was in the International Spirit Garden when I was approached by a couple of men who wanted to know how I enjoyed my glogg. They asked me who I came to the park with and I told them I came alone. Then their faces were a pity party. "Ohhh, why?" they asked, concerned. "I like being alone." I don't think they believed me and I excused myself. The pity party on their faces annoyed the crapola out of me. I do like being alone. If I had gone with anyone else to the park I would have had to compromise.

I ended up running into some Puerto Rican musicians I know from the Bomba. We chatted and drank for a while and their funny storytelling in Puerto Rican accents made me very happy. I don't get to hear the island accent so much. Their sense of humor and wide-mouthed vowels reminded me of my grandfather and his friends back in PR, playing dominos at night on a table set up in the front yard. It was a weird comfort I didn't realize I needed. Little reminder of beautiful things I forget in my all too often. Today I'm going to concentrate on finalizing a Puerto Story I wrote about my grandfather's odd funeral.

Joao Gilberto

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