things are going much better here. The [kids] from first
session have left, and in their place there are now 40 alumns and 48 older
and wiser newbies. They don’t wait for us to hold their hands; they know
what this place is all about, and they set to their mission without
prompting, laying creative dynamite all around them until the landscape is
littered with shards of hot words, completely re-formed.
I’m daily stopped dead in my tracks by one brilliant blast of creative
youth or another — asses shakin’ on the balconies before bedtime,
discussions of the uses of poetry over lunch, pranks in the computer lab
which use the autocorrect function to turn You to Me, night to day.
Impromptu parades singing “We all live in a Yellow Submarine,” banging on
cardboard boxes and tambourines and trashcans. We do live in a yellow
submarine; we’ve got our own atmosphere which we swin through. I stand
there and watch the kids; they sing out gleaming hellos and try to involve
me in their games, but I feel old. Dead wood. I stand there for fifteen
minutes trying to come up with a witty rejoinder, but by that time the
parade has moved down the hall.
(Today we came back from dinner to find a circle of sticks on the ground surrounding a banana and a series of religious symbols — Wiccan, Jewish, Unitarian — also done in twigs. “The banana’s dead,” said one of the boys. Jeff Miller asked if maybe all it needed was to be peeled and eaten; it appeared whole and unblemished. A wail went up. Sacrilege! “But it’s dead!,” the boy reiterated.
And then we came back from staffs and sports, and a small orchestra — two girls wailing, another on kazoo, and a guy on bongos — were playing a song that went something like
Menopause rocks my world
It should be free to all the boys and girls.
Oh. And one of them was in the computer lab checking out disturbingauctions.com. They may not all know who set up us the bomb, but they know a lot of things about cultcha that I don’t.)