Sunday, September 05, 2004

So it's been a lot since Wednesday. My best friend Anthony came in (the flight was delayed till 2:30AM on Thursday) and the foolishness began. We've pretty much been attending one party or another since he's been here. Well, Thursday evening into night wasn't so much a party but a bunch of Trinidadians, plus Staceyann, TorKwase (sp?) and Marty drinking too much, arguing about things like raising children and how Jamaicans pronounce their words and eating anything we could get our hands on.

The question about raising children was particularly fascinating because i think most of us in the group find ourselves in a strange limbo; having been raised according to very colonial/puritan modes of "spare the rod and spoil the child" discipline, and having spent many of our formative adult years here in the U.S. in a changing world that offers alternatives in the way of discipline. Still many of us find that one has to be careful not to let a more liberal way of child-rearing turn into the licentiousness, that seems to prevail in some folks raising of their kids. Even as i say this though, I feel like i must re-assess what this idea of being too licentious is about; and whether or not this is not itself a self-preservation instinct of child-rearing that black folk have undertaken in a world in which the consequences for not toeing the line have always been more dire than for our white counterparts. Of course, there was no resolution in this discussion, but it continuously begs this question: If we have to give our children a greater sense of boundary than other folks have to give their children, how can they compete consistently in a world in which accomplishment often requires the mind-set that one can overcome any obstacles whatsoever; or even that there aren't obstacles?
Having Anthony around the last few days has been another kind of joy. We've known each other for as long as we've known ourselves. This is his first trip to the U.S. and therefore the first time i get to host and entertain him, since i left home in 1987. It is good again to be in the presence of a friend, with whom you're not required to talk at all times to know that everything is cool; if for no other reason than you know that silence on that person's part is not indication of distress.

His wife and son call him every day, and while those are conventions that i do not crave for my own life, i find myself enormously happy for him, that he has these people in his life that make him as happy as they do. It's a little dorky but i'm almost relieved that i can finally introduce him to my friends and the folks in the poetry world, because i feel (with no sensible reason for feeling this whatsoever) like meeting him will make others understand me more; like i can relax more because there is something familiar, really familiar around me again.

Suffice to say then that i'll have to be very vigilant this week about working out, since his brother (my ex-roommate Andy) is also here and that's a little like the band getting back together and it means too much being drank for the duration of the week. Show's on Saturday to besides, i have to get my material sharp...


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