The next time you decide to wear your hair in pigtails, think long and hard about it. Because, see, you might just become part of a little video that gets to see more of the world than you do.
I’m actually not upset about the pigtails, I just think it’s a little funny. And not so glamorous. But life is not about being glamorous, is it? If that were the case, I should really stop wearing my favorite sweat pants to the gym. The ones with the holes. In the seat of the pants, that is. But, lucky for me, the point of life is not glamour, so LIVE ON, dear sweatpants, LIVE ON!
But, someone asked me to tell about the youtube video. Give some exposition. Like, how it happened to be that me and the fierce drummer just started jamming on the subway on a regular Tuesday evening on the A train (as if there is anything regular about a Tuesday evening on the A train!). So, here goes.
I had come from a series of classes and grocery shopping (life is not about glamour; case in point). I had my uke strapped to my back because I like to use the commute on the train to practice, if I can. You know, make the most of the 35 minutes, better myself and blah blah blah. And–before you go into a tirade about how PEOPLE JUST WANNA BE LEFT ALONE ON THE SUBWAY, SO JUST TAKE YOUR UKULELE AND USE IT TO BUILD A FIRE BECAUSE YOU’RE A HIPSTER AND SO YOU SURELY CANNOT AFFORD HEAT!–let me explain. I practice so quietly. Barely strumming at all–more just going over finger positions and picking, that kind of stuff.
In fact, yesterday I was doing just that, when I suddenly looked at the guy next to me and asked, “Does this bother you at all?” He looked irritated by having to strain to hear my voice over whatever was coming from his headphones, and, once he did finally hear me, he said ‘no’ in such an are-you-an-idiot? kind of tone, that you’d think I’d asked him if he’d like to eat one of the rats that live in the tunnels for dinner tonight.
I didn’t ask him that till later, after I was finished practicing. Duh.
Anyway, my uke was strapped to my back while waiting for the train at 59th. Fierce drummer and his friends walk up to me. “What’s that you got?” the drummer asks me. “A ukulele,” I say. “It’s not a cello?” someone else asks.
“It’s not a cello,” and I leave it at that.
“Why don’t you give me your number?” the drummer asks me.
“So we can jam?” I ask.
“…Among other things,” he answers.
Which is when I explain that he can give me his number, if he’d like, but I don’t regularly give my number out. He scrambles to find a pen. The A train shows up. I move to leave. He convinces his friends to jump onto my train with me, and then we all sit down. “Are you good?” the drummer asks me.
Which is usually when I don’t quite know what to say. And honestly, I’ve only been playing the uke for a few months–I’m not that good. I’m pretty good at the piano; pretty okay, I mean, but not really good at the uke. Thus, the practicing during my commute, see?
Another guy asks me, “You gonna sing some (which is when he makes yodeling noises–and I am not gonna attempt to spell yodeling noises. Not at 2:15 in the morning, anyway)?”
“No,” I say. “I’ll sing something better.”
So, then, I don’t even remember quite how it happens, but next thing I know, the drummer has started a beat–he wants something in 6, but we compromise on 4–and I am playing Ain’t My Friend.
Matt, who I didn’t know then, but have since gotten to know some, has taken out his phonecam and is recording it all. I start to sing. I start to rap. The guy in the SOX hat to my left starts to smile. The drummer’s friend starts to tell everyone what is happening; how we are strangers and it’s truly a serendipitous moment that we’re all experiencing.
And the magical part is that, well, we all seem to truly be in the same place. This place filled with music. Either listening to it or making it–or both–we’re here. Sharing one space. Together. What a lovely word: together.
Anyway, the rest is, as they say, history.
I am extremely SHOCKED over how that clip has found it’s way into so many different places. When Matt told me he was gonna put it on youtube and made sure to get my first and last name so he could tag me, I thought, Cool, maybe my parents will like to see it.
And they do; my parents sure do like to see it.
I just didn’t think so many other parents would like to see it, too.
I am grateful. It was special. It involved every last person that was there; not any one of us could have made that happen alone.
Like I said, together.