Overcoming the Dinosaur Brain

The workshop ended at noon, and after another hour lazing by the Atlantic, i wandered into the poolside restaurant for a late lunch.  Ordered a Mediterranean tapas plate, glass of pinot grigot and settled in with my book at a table with an ocean view.

Slow, late lunch crowd.  Other than an older couple at the bar and a chatty pair of women across the restaurant, the place was virtually deserted.  Sitting alone in a restaurant doesn’t bother me much, so i returned to my book.

They wandered in, looking a little lost.  Him?  Late 20’s, dark, frothy hair, smart-boy glasses and a chin that was inexplicably recessed and strong, with a cleft covered in 24 hours worth of stubble.  Just a shade short of handsome, he looked pretty average. 

Her?  Natural blond, porcelain complexion and a perpetual scowl on her face.  Fine features, high cheekbones – she’d be almost beautiful, except for the slight ‘pan-face’ structure.

Attractive enough couple that i’d watch their amateur porn videos for free, but probably wouldn’t pay for it…

Seating themselves at a table near mine, they snuggled over the menu and placed an order with the barkeep.  Having chatted up this barkeep previously about varieties of Puerto Rican rum, he stopped by to bring me a fresh glass of wine for free.  Nice buzz developing…

One of five restaurants in an extensive resort hotel complex, the service hasn’t been particularly swift.  i returned to my book.  Out of the corner of my eye, i noticed that she had sprawled out on the long bench seat, resting her head in his lap.

He draped his right arm over her neck, reaching back with his hand, gently stroked her blond hair.  Cradling her head in his lap, he picked up his book in his left hand – a 3 inch thick Tom Clancy brick* – and began to read.  He continued to stroke her hair in an absent minded manner. 

Like a lightning bolt from a clear blue sky, there it was.  An alien thought appeared in my brain – so striking in its abnormality that it flashed brightly, demanding my attention like a high definition billboard.

“i want my head cradled like that.”

What?  Where the fuck did that come from?  Me?  Her Royal Highness, The Ice Queen?  She Who Doesn’t Cuddle?  Ms. Independent “Boy Toy Collector”?

i was startled enough to almost drop my book.  Yep.  That very thought appeared in my head.  Couldn’t deny it.  Trying to get my head back in my book, that pesky little thought nugget wouldn’t let go…

At the moment, i have no interest in being half of a couple.  i like flying solo, have sufficient companionship to keep me entertained – and non-cranky.  Life really is good.  But, despite rumors, and my own violent protestations, i have to admit it:  i am, in fact, a human animal.

Biology is a powerful motherfucking force.  We are driven to couple – despite the fact that my eggs are on the verge of becoming dust particles, the limbic system still says “MATE, MATE, MATE”. 

Thankfully, the bartender delivered a plate of olives, hard cheeses, bread, prosciutto and tomatoes – along with another glass of wine.  Dinosaur brain is no match for copious amounts of alcohol…

* Had to look it up.  Executive Orders.  1376 pages, 1.2 pounds, dimensions: 6.9 x 4.3 x 2 inches.  Not quite 3 inches thick, but close enough…

Beat it

Primal.  From the deepest recesses of our dinosaur brain, we know how to do it.  It defies geography.  Defies culture.  Toddlers do it, along with their monkey cousins.

Drumming. 

Beats and rhythm come from inside us, perhaps driven by the heartbeat.  It’s spiritual – on an individual as well as communal level.  Sometimes we hit the downbeat, content to be the backbone.  Other times we need to be the backbeat, or find just the right break rhythm. 

There is no wrong way to do it.  How many activities are that foolproof?

Once again, i spent a portion of my New Year’s Eve at a houseparty.  This year, after stumbling my way through a 5K “resolution run” at 8:00 pm.  Despite being tired from my slog through darkened residential streets with 800 other folks who couldn’t get dates, i found sufficient energy to hit the dance floor around 10:30 and pogo* my way into the new year. 

Three hours on the dance floor, interspersed with a little drum therapy.  Magic.  Especially the drumming.  My friend keeps a collection of percussion instruments on hand – from conga drums, to maracas and bells.  As the music spins, we either dance or drum.  Or in my case, both. 

If you’ve never done it, i recommend it.  You don’t need lessons, you don’t need anything other than your hands.  Put on some music and start to it.  Close your eyes.  Feel it.  Being drunk or stoned isn’t necessary.  Try different ways of hitting something to get different sounds.  Different surfaces** make different noises, too.

But most therapeutic for me are the big drums.  Yes, the rumors are true:  daisyfae likes her big congas.  So many variations on the sound, the feel.  i’d like to be faster.  i’d like to be more consistent.  But it really doesn’t matter.  It feels great.  Among other plans for 2010, i’m thinking there be some luscious congas in my future…

letting go...

* One of my favorite things about this party is that there is no countdown.  No one glued to a television, watching a ball glide down a pole to signal the start of the festivities.  We’re already dancing.  Somewhere around midnight?  Someone eventually notices that we’re there… Last night?  DJ handed out bottles of champagne in the middle of a Scissors Sisters song (“Take Your Momma Out”), but we waited for it to finish…  DJ made the announcement, while the music continued… and we danced on…

** My dog makes a particularly satisfying drum.  He has a great “chest thump”, and as long as i don’t get carried away, he likes to be drummed.  Leather furniture is good, too…