Thursday, November 21, 2013

Getting it On

It was my first drum lesson in over six months and I was frantically rushing through Times Square in an iridescent turquoise dress that looked like it was made from extra fabric from a child's mermaid costume, drum sticks poking out of my handbag.

As is my habit, I was late. "U No Me," I had texted Mike, my drum teacher, as I was running to the 2 train at W72nd Street. "B there in 10." By which I meant: 15 minutes.

I started the day by arriving late to my 8 a.m. JNF breakfast, which was a bit of a mystery since I was actually awake well before dawn, due to my jet lag.

Ten hours later, dressed in my mermaid dress, I careened past bodegas and the Garment Center Congregation (what?? a shul right next to my drum studio??), literally sprinting into the new location of Funkadelic Studios, which had been my musical home away from home last year.

Aside from my travel and work schedule, I think that part of what kept me away was the childish fear that I would hate the new setting of Funkadelic.

Shouting out quick hi's to the staff who yelled back, "Good to see you!" I found rehearsal room #7.  My teacher Mike Shapiro was waiting for me, playing drums.

Screeching my greeting and apologies and sheer joy at our reunion, I picked up my sticks and approached the drum kit.

Instantly, the half-year gulf closed.

Sitting on my throne, I reverted back into my drummer girl self, gazing with reverence at the instruments before me as if they were vats of glittering jewels.

"Show me what you got," requested Mike.

After a brief moment of terror that I had forgotten everything, I was back in business. Mike plugged in my iPod. I played Tom Petty. Mike plugged in his iPod. I played more Tom Petty.

Then Mike said, "let's get it on" and changed the music.

I sinceeeeerly tried...

My adolescence came flooding back to me.

Mike showed me how to adapt the beat I had just played previously, making it cool and super funky.

Mike played air guitar.

We sang along with Marvin Gaye.

Theeeere is nothing wrooong with me....

I kept the beat.

After it was over, he high-fived me.

"That was cool," he said. "Man, you were in the pocket."

And that, in the world of drummers, is as good as it gets.

Yeah. I got it on.

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