I feel like I'm reaching back ten years in memory to the last time I took all this theory, and it's strange and I find myself nervy and hitting the wrong strings even though I do practice, but he's a gentle teacher. I feel bad when the people greet me in Ukrainian and I don't speak it, but people overall seem friendly. I get some homework done at the coffeeshop and crash, feeling lame for wondering if I've made anyone upset and remembering that there's a whole lot of other life going on even if that does happen.
The next morning things are back to where they were, if not better, with more clarity and honesty, and I'm so used to others cutting and running in times of friction and that doesn't happen here. And that night there are other moments of dealing with the interpersonals of personalities and musicianship and trying to get beyond the theoreticals of culture and economics to what the core issues are.
I find that for all our talk about rich and poor and black and white and whatever, it really comes down to just how well individuals get along and get over themselves, how willing we are to meet in the middle, and some will do that across any boundary and others will refuse to for whatever reason. Humility and being able to listen and understand where someone's coming from goes a long way no matter who you are, and letting go of all your hangups about yourself and others to see the soul underneath. sometimes I feel like a lot of us went to school too long and are so full of jargon we forget to do the basics of just learning to exist with each other.
Last night I ended up through a series of unforeseen circumstances, meeting up with a friend of mine from high school that I haven't had a real conversation with in about ten years. We did punkass things together, wrote a zine together with her sister and a couple other folks when she was in high school and I was in college, I made her lots of punk rock mixtapes of bands she never did get into, except for the Dead Milkmen, who her dad maybe liked even more than her, and then she moved out of her folks' house and stopped talking to any of us who were still crazy enough to be into organized religion and we lost touch for a long time.
I show up at her apartment with a bag of food for a friend of hers who got her food stamps cut, she invites me in, we catch up, and find the conversation flows, she cooks me dinner, we are in such different places now, with her married and me living alone, and so many reconciliations along the way. She laughs when she finds out I've been arrested, we reminisce on our teenage absurdities, and ponder all the strangeness. Somehow those lost years cease to matter, and it's beautiful to be back again in a place better than where we were.