Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Xmastime Movie Memory

Almost Famous.

Two days a week I get on a bus at the GW Bridge and take about a 10-minute bus ride to the building where InTouch magazine is. Just to be close to the magazine. No no, of course I work there. One stop after I get on, a large group of Mexicans get on the bus; at this point the bus is almost perfectly divided between the Mexicans, and white people like me going to InTouch or one of the sister magazines in the same building. And I've noticed that there is zero interaction between these two groups. We each sit on our respective sides of the bus not looking at each other. Where the fuck am I, I thought the other day. Selma, Alabama, ca 2009 1950? For once, instead of waiting for someone else to break through the wall between us, I decided it was up to me to broker some common geniality.

But how? I am a simple man. And I don't speak Spanish. How could I get through to EVERYbody, not only the Mexicans on the "other side"?

Then it dawned on me exactly what to do.

I leaned my head against the large bus window, and looked bleakly out at Ft. Lee as we drove through it. The bus was almost completely silent. And then from my seat, against the window, a quiet voice started slowly rising.

Blue jean baby, L.A. lady, seamstress for the band
Pretty eyed, pirate smile, you'll marry a music man
Ballerina, you must have seen her dancing in the sand
And now she's in me, always with me, tiny dancer in my hand

I didn't even look around, I kept looking out the window, knowing that someone on the other side would know when to come in.

Jesus freaks out in the street, Handing tickets out for God
Turning back she just laughs,
(CUE! come in, someone else!! Now! MAGIC TIME!) The boulevard is not that bad

Hmm....nobody joined in. Total silence. I continued; maybe they were waiting for a different line?

Piano man he makes his stand, In the auditorium
(someone shouts out "shut the fuck up!" But this person was from my side of the bus - hey dude, I'm not singing just for you!! I continued)
Looking on she sings the songs, The words she knows the tune she hums

At this point someone from the other side of the bus shouted something at me. But as I said, I do not speak Spanish, so I have no idea if it was "shut the fuck up!" or "when should we all come in??!" So. I continued.

But oh how it feels so real, Lying here with no one near
Only you and you can hear me, When I say softly slowly

Okay, nothing so far - but here comes the chorus! There's no WAY they'll be able to resist the chorus; by the end of it we'll all be singing together, slapping each other cinco! This is it!!!! I stood up, turned to look at everybody, and fucking belted it out at the top of my lungs

Hold me closer tiny dancer
Count the headlights on the highway
Lay me down in sheets of linen
You had a busy day today

I stopped singing, breathing heavily, sweat beading, and opened my eyes...and all the Mexicans were streaming by me, not even looking up at me, filing off the bus as per usual. I looked around to "my team." Zero eye contact. So I slumped back down in my chair, head against the window, looking out. And wondering what will I do tomorrow to bring these groups of people together once and for all. Sigh.

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