Friday, August 10, 2007

Tomorrow People

At 9-ish this morning, Friday, after the crazy and now historic Tornado-Hits-Brooklyn excitability of yesterday, I was wandering around my company's insanely spacious (but oddly devoid of things you crave to eat) cafeteria. Recently, the staff has ambushed the sound system -- in an inmates-running-the-asylum way, no disrespect -- regaling us tired corporate drones with a truly bizarre repetoire of unknown origin (radio? someone's cd or 8-track collection?) of tunes. While waiting for my usual crazy-healthy vegetable drink, I heard on the speakers (over the noise of the juicer and the sound of a couple businessmen babbling into their ridiculous Bluetooth ear-pieces) the faint reggae rhythms of a long-forgotten song.
Juggling my (possibly fake) Starbucks coffee and my noxious green drink and half a bagel with low-fat vegetable cream cheese (um, hello, what happened to the scallion?) I was mesmerized by the faint, honeyed Jamaican intonations of a song with familiar beat and words that, though intelligible, harkened piercingly back to my somewhat distant past.

It came to me on the down-escalator: Ziggy Marley's "Tomorrow People" -- a song I recall really enjoying (in a dance-around-the-room manner) way, way back when. From 1988, the year I graduated from college.

And I heard it just after I was contacted -- or, in today's online parlance pinged or... poked -- by dear friend P., from Paris (via, go figure... I mean really). With whom I graduated the same year but sadly lost touch. With whom I had lived in that same year in a great flat in the East Village, struggling together through the end of film school, drinking cappucinos at Cafe Orlin and having deep conversation at some long-gone joint just south of Cooper Union.

Small synchronicities, that's what it's all about. Coincidence? Of course. I don't believe in 99% of perceived connections but believe they are what life is really all about-- the frisson of imagining that they do mean something. The ephemeral stuff of literature and film and dreams.

No moral to this non-story. I come from a certifiably Ludditic (is that a word?) family and can now, again, smile at my own choice to embrace technology in the dream that it has at least a modicum of power to connect people with their past. And a present they might not have known.

You know I am a Very Busy Woman and it's not in my nature to wax nostalgic but this kind of thing is happening more often and it just makes me so damn happy.


Rathbone T. Fairchild said...

Jeekers that's a good post! Remember that song well, though for almost-Bob I've always preferred Rita-Mom. "Hey rasta man, hey what you say, give me some of that sen-se!" Them wuz the days.

So I think you've stumbled on something significant here; as we age, escalators can sometimes spur memory jog to great effect. Just two weeks ago, on that very same escalator, I remembered that I am actually terrified of escalators and jumped from it like a squirrel from an electric fence. So yeah, that's all to the good I think.

What the HELL were we talking about?

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