I wrote this little essay a a couple of years ago and posted it in a couple of places on the internet.
I thought a few of you might enjoy reading it as well....
I don't know if I have mentioned this before, but when I have to use mass transit to go to work, I always have my Walkman with me (surprise surprise!!)
Yesterday I missed my 6:30 bus to Wall St, so I had to take the 6:40 bus to the Port Authority bus terminal on 42nd st. While the bus is on the New Jersey Turnpike., I usually listen to a tape & drift off to sleep or listen to the music while I am working on the laptop. As soon as I get within range of NYC, I flip the tape off & switch to my favorite radio station WWRL 1600 AM 100% "Pure Soul".
Today I forgot to turn the radio off as I entered the subway station as I got off the bus. While in the subway you can't pick up any radio stations, but I hardly noticed amid the hustle & bustle of the rush hour The train ride itself is a short 10 min ride from Times Square to the World Trade Center on the A train. As I left the Chambers St. station and the radio began to make sounds. It got louder & louder as I walked up the stairs to the street level & all of the sudden I heard....
..."LONG HAIR HIPPIES AND THE AFRO BLACKS SHOULD ALL GET TOGETHER AND CROSS THE TRACKS......" A BIG PARTAAAYYYYY ::::::::::WHEW:::::::::::ON THE GOOD FOOT!!!
I dunno if those are even the correct words. You see even though I have heard this song 1,000 times the person who is the lead singer is into such a FUNKY afro-polyrythmic "trance"...."testifyin"..., that to this day I don't even think that he even knows what the phuck he is singing....:)
Upon hearing these sounds I began to smile and I could feel myself standing a little taller and bouncing as I stepped through the canyons that are the very definition of capitalist Amerikkka.
I was "sho nuff" bouncing and gliding as the brotha on the radio said
"You are in the middle of a DOUBLE PLAY from the GODFATHER OF SOUL..."
& then I heard the singers voice once again...
"There was a Time........"
.....& I continued to "bop" my way down the streets of lower Manhattan towards my destination. The building I work in is unable to pick up AM radio stations. Just as I entered the building's double glass door entrance, directly across the street from a building that is such an international symbol of capitalist oppression, that Arab terrorists seek to blow it up on almost a monthly basis, I heard the singer scream into my ears:
"I MAY NOT DO THE DANCE AS WELL AS YOU.....BUT YOU CAN BET YOU HAVEN'T
SEEN NUTHIN YET......
..............UNTIL YOU SEE ME DO.....................
...............................THE JAMES BROWN....HEEYYYYYYYYYY"
And with that the radio station cut off & the music ended as I entered the building I work in, a massive glass and marble structure that is easily the most opulent & decadent office building I have ever seen.
Suddenly I felt like a "Stranger in a Strange Land"