Through the clear haze of Beaujolais neuvou thoughts, I'm confronted with thoughts of past times. The song of autumn wind and smell of fallen leaves narrated the feeling of life that welled in the heart that powered the legs that pumped the bicycle petals that propelled me to the theater.
It was some time in October or November in the year 2002. I worked as a clerk in a news stand to subsidize the beers that helped my state subsidized studies. We all got the tickets to the State theatre that week. Barbarito Tores the Cuban lute player from the Beuna Vista Social club was giving a free concert with a band that he brought up from Havana to Kalamazoo.
Three guitars strummed with two drummers, a striking Cubano on Bass accompanied, the female vocalist who salsa'd and wailed that "This was a night for lovers and if you are person who is in love then you are a special person and this is a special night." I wasn't in love but I wanted to be.
I lived with seven other people in a house that was at one time a sorority house and under archaic Michigan laws, could be considered a bordello, since there were three single women living there at the time, but they couldn't understand, how could they? They thought that Robin Williams first said Chris Rock's Joke about Micheal Jackson being a poor black man from Indiana growing up to be a rich white woman. Lovely people but culturally not on the same page, or chapter or book as I was.
Up on my feet I tried to salsa to catch the eye of anyone watching the sad solo college student who had come to a free Afro Cuban Jazz concert all by himself, and just wanted a pretty face an sympathetic ear to hear the running monologue he had by himself in his car or when people weren't looking.
This was a hunger. A hunger for wanting to share these moments of extreme beauty. To sit silently and know that the other was enjoying the moment as he was. A hunger I miss, but fill during my lunch breaks from my job of trying to get middle school students to speak my native tongue.
I cherish solitude, but in moments of solitude I crave company. This makes me a frequenter of places. Places like coffee shops, or the Kimbab house. After every meal at the Kimbab house I feel grateful for having chosen to have had lunch at the kimbab house. It doesn't matter what I eat. I exit the door heading north and always say to myself, "Damn that was good."
Sunday my wife took a business trip for a week. She is a Guns and Rose's fan, and thinking of November rain, I think back to my serenade at the Kalamazoo State theater. The night I wanted to feel special by being in love. I remember the hunger that I had then and the hunger I feel now in missing her. I remember my bike's tires hissing the gentle shh, crushing wet leaves beneath them. The wind chilled my back through the wool of my pea coat. I wanted to put into words my feelings about what I had just seen. But no ears in my house could know the meaning of what I would say if given the chance, and no one could care.
But next Sunday when she returns I know my life long hunger will once again be quenched as if I had a million Kimbab house lunches.