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Friday, January 11, 2002


Sometimes the littlest things leave lasting impressions, like an anonymous touch while walking through a crowd.

Last night an acoustic folk band played in the back of a small Indian clothing store in Paia. The second song after we arrived was fantastic, the female vocalists outstanding. The rest of their songs were good, but a wee on the repetitive side for me, pushing mantra status. (We'll just forget the lyrics -- fortunately my brain does not process lyrics by default when I listen to music.)

The favored dance style in this crowd was reminiscent of contact juggling, only with fellow humans instead of acrylic spheres. By the time we left, a slender girl and her friend had monopolized the throughway with this dance, and as I passed by I placed my hands on her waist from behind to politely guide her around me, some odd synthesis of fork-lift and gentle embrace. As my arm slid off her back, it was met by her hand, as if by accident but with a feather touch that traced from my biceps slowly down as my stride carried me away into the crowd. I assumed it a mindless placement at first, used to crowds of people blissfully unaware of their own bodies, but the touch continued its trace down my arm until it was clearly outstretched, fingertip to fingertip with my trailing hand, and then the touch was gone and the crowd flowed into the space between.

Subtly devastating that such anonymous acknowledgement should be so memorable.

Romeo was there on the way out, and I could not resist introducing him to Garrett* and Agatha. I left them be for a few minutes and talked to Laila until I decided they'd had the Romeo experience and then Laila and I returned and rescued them with demands to get going. And so the evening was brought to a close, returning me to my little box on the side of a mountain in the middle of the Pacific ocean.

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Simon Funk / simonfunk@gmail.com