Friday, July 29, 2011

Escape Is Never The Safest Path

The day began simply enough. I had plucked myself out of bed at the rather late hour of 8:30 feeling ripe enough to encounter the day with camp having been cancelled due to a rain that never quite poured nor cleared up (to this point). I had begun to prepare a semblance of some breakfast. Pretty ho-hum stuff, or so I thought. I then began to hear the most ominous noise building up behind me and getting louder. I kind of froze for a beat and then put my head on a swivel to try and figure out what the heck was going on.

It turns out I had subconsciously turned on my iPod and the song that was set to play was Pink Floyd's "One of These Days." Anyone who knows the track would agree that the song is nothing to mess around with and not exactly a "good morning" staple in the soundtrack that is life. That unyielding bass had me spooked and there was a good ten seconds (which felt like an eternity) where I was preparing for my imminent and untimely demise. Don't listen to the whole thing if you don't want, but 30s to the 1 minute mark pretty much sums up what I went through.

The sheriff's program that has been going on at the camp is called, G.R.E.A.T. It's essentially anti-gang education. Yesterday, they were handing our bracelets; I took one. I assure you, this comes up again later.

Last night, I "supervised" the Cedar Beach safe summer program. Which basically means I told eight kids to move away from the area with their cigarettes and did actually help break up a mosh pit (a first...pretty cool). I'm grateful, don't get me wrong, but I've never done less for an actual paycheck. There is some lifting/cleaning involved in cleaning up, but let's be honest, it's nothing. I was a little embarrassed to be just standing there. Fortunately, I knew a couple of people and Christine happened to be shooting a few pics with her camera that's not a Sanyo for anyone wondering, (I know, you would think she would have something a little more top of the line, but not everyone can handle a Sanyo right away.) so the time didn't pass too slowly.

The groups there were pretty solid and the kids seemed to have fun. It definitely brought me back to when I used to go to the program (performed once). Good times. I think the best times I had there were, obviously, seeing my friends play, and playing myself, but more specifically the time I saw Sterling playing two saxes at once (One because it was weird to see Sterling at the teen program, and two because he was playing two saxes at once.), the time Wong was taping S.O.H. and a rather large woman stepped right in front of his sight-line what seemed to be on purpose. I don't think we said a word about it until much later, but the slow turn of his face to mine and the look that was on it is something I won't forget for a long, long time. Thirdly, getting nearly ambushed by a guy who was really pleased with my Deftones performance. Obviously not a band you hear out very often, much less acoustically. You can tell it really made his night, which is what any performance is all about. That and the hard drugs, of course.

Anyway, one of the groups that played was selling some merchandise. And this girl who was about 16 comes up to me and asks if I want to buy a bracelet. I tell her no thanks, I already have one. I point to my camp bracelet. She says, "but these are awesome." I say, "Yeah, but mine is great." I then point to my bracelet and show her where it says G.R.E.A.T. (I told you it'd be back.) I then laugh pretty hard for a couple seconds and thank her for setting me up so well for that one. She didn't smile. I think I either offended her, or weirded her out, or a bit of both. One of the other kids saw the exchange and offered a handshake of congratulations.

Now, as you would expect with teens, there was a bunch of flirting going on. Certainly nothing wrong with that. As a matter of fact, Lord help you if you're not doing that in some capacity, but I was struck (no pun intended), by how much "fake violence" was going on. There was so much I-really-like-you-so-I'm-going-to-push-you-and-pretend-to-start-a-fight-to-break-the-tension going on. It was really, like, bizarre enough to the point that I would take the time to mention it. Now, I've never been into the fake violence thing to begin with. I can think of 3 or 4 girls where I did the whole "pretend we're not friends but we really are" thing, but I've never started pushing or punching them softly in the arm. I think it's weird, man. And genuinely, of those 4 girls, I've only had romantic feelings for one of them, and that was a long time ago. It was never my idea of courtship. I do remember one time pretending to get really upset with Dana Moss and having Liz Shenn think I was being serious. A moment later I was called into the nurse to see if I was alright. The aftermath, as brief as it was, was pretty memorable on that occasion.

I do still do the "I hate you" thing with my friend, Amber, so, I mean, I'm not saying that behavior like that is stupid, or juvenile (like Amber), or anything. I guess I was just surprised by how physical (in a negative sense) the high-school dating world has gotten. The most desirable girl probably left that beach with bruises.

Although, I'm pretty sure there's one place in Pennsylvania where the males still club the chicks on the head carry them back to their huts and claim them as their bride. (That one was for you, Mr. B.) inthreedays.

I may not be into fake violence, but I am notoriously guilty of pushing people in the arm if they say something I find really funny. I think most everyone I know is either used to it, or intentionally very serious with me. We all have our quirks.

Song of the Day: Rosemary-The Grateful Dead
Jazz Song of the Day: Steps-Cecil Taylor

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