Springtime in the LBC

What is there to do on a Saturday night?  (No, not another horrendous date, thank you).  How about venturing out in the middle of a potential storm, heading 45 minutes east towards Long Beach and hanging out at an eclectic cafe/gallery?  I think the gods were in my corner last night because the cafe I ended up in turned out to be hosts for open mic nights in music, spoken word, and poetry.  And it just so happens that I’ve been looking into open mic nights in the SoCal area recently.  The people that worked there were very welcoming and encouraging.  So will I have the courage to participate sooner than what I originally planned?  We shall see…

After driving somewhat aimlessly with a somewhat stranger in my passenger seat, we headed over to this somewhat stranger’s house.  Then his fellow hippie anarchist friends came over, and we all exchanged travelling stories around the world whilst sipping on chamomile tea.  I was nostalgic for Europe as they even made an actual spliff (and called it a spliff too!).  The night was filled with improvising music with drum machines, samplers, effect boxes, washboards, ocean drums, conga drums, homemade maracas, and the usual acoustic and bass guitars.  As I sat there, listening to the melange of diverse beats (we’re talking stuff from what one would hear in a carnival’s crazy fun house, Manu Chao-ish rhythms, and washboard-inspired folk), I thought, “How exactly did I end up here?”

I did feel somewhat out of place in a crowd of eco-friendly bohemians.  The self conscious part of me came out and wondered, “Would they think my boots were made out of leather?”  Would they lash out at me if they found out I drive a car?”  I mean, these people ask vendors at their local farmer’s market for leftovers and head out to L.A., distributing homemade sandwiches to the homeless.  But then the more assuring part of me gave myself an imaginary slap and said, “You’re being a bit silly.  These are geniunely nice and down to earth people.”

All in all, it was nice to take a break from the materialistic world we live in.


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