First, thanks to everyone who responded to the Evite. It only takes a second to click “Yes,” but apparently not everyone can spare a second. I won’t name names, but I could. Robert and Claire, for instance. Just kidding! Seriously, they didn’t respond and—guess what?—here they are. Hi, guys.
But this evening isn’t about accusations, no matter how justified. This evening is about music, as played by me on a drum. Everyone knows how important drumming is to me. Ever since I took up the drum more than a month ago, it has become my preferred—indeed, almost exclusive—form of self-expression.
Admittedly, this has caused some strain in my personal life. You will notice that Linda is not here this evening. Enough said.
Let me note that in some cultures drumming is considered a perfectly appropriate form of communication. It is not “ridiculous” or “maddening” or “ruining our marriage.” Nor is it “childish” or “borderline mental” or “the stupidest midlife crisis in the history of the world.”
It is none of those things. Ask any anthropologist.
For the record, I do not practice traditional drumming. I am entirely self-taught, unpolluted by the mandates of musical theory, with its rigid insistence on technique and rhythm. Teach me how to drum? Why not teach me how to breathe? Or drive? Or play backgammon?
My drumming doesn’t come from a book or a school. My drumming comes from in here. You’ll see that I’m pointing to my lower abdomen, just above the waistband of my jean shorts.
I drum from the gut.
I found this drum in an alley. Can you believe that? Someone had thrown it away simply because it was extremely dirty and broken. But after a can of degreaser and several rolls of masking tape, it’s as good as it’s going to get.
A word about my physical appearance. Over the last several weeks, as my focus has turned increasingly to drumming, I have paid little attention to more routine matters. Thus the beard. Also, because I prefer to do my drumming outdoors, I have sustained repeated sunburns, which has resulted in significant peeling. Those in the front row can see this has led to a few minor infections.
I don’t say that to complain. I am blessed to be able to spend all day, every day, doing what I love. At first, some of my work colleagues were concerned that my drumming might interfere with my productivity. But now that I have left the firm and embraced a material-free lifestyle, those concerns have gone away.
During the performance, I must ask for complete silence. Please turn off your cell phones and place them in the bucket over there. My new friend, Larry, will return them to you afterwards. I met Larry in the park the other day. We share similar views on the true nature of man.
What to expect: Basically, I’m going to play until I get sleepy. This could be a while as I have consumed approximately two pots of coffee in the past hour along with a handful of what I’m pretty sure were NoDoz. I can literally hear my own blood.
If I pass out during the show, please don’t awaken me. God knows I need the rest. Just stand up, grab your stuff, and tiptoe toward the exit.