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Friday, June 20, 2014
Braiding Pleasures, Oakland Style
I traveled to Oakland, the addictive, west coast version of the miasma of Harlem, to get my hair braided. Walking down the steps to the BART, I am twice as fast as others. A woman moved over and said, I am from NY and dont like holding up people. I said I am from NY too. She wished me, "Good luck, dealing with the angst of being away". In turn, I wished her, "Find some peace", and she said, "I dont need to find peace", thereby capping a perfect NY moment on 24th St Mission stop. Peace is overrated, at least the personal sense of peace.
My hair was braided by folks from Portugese Guinea. I didnt know there was such a country, Guinea-Bissau. The spent my braiding time reading the New Yorker (June 9, 16, 2014 version), I flip a page and see a short story -- Yesterday -- by Haruki Murakami, what a treat. Also, this double issue has one pagers by various writers on old flames. My favorite, by Tobias Wolff, is a story of a boy and the improbable girl Joelle, who meet and reach a momentous place. But as my reading on the left shows, we, humans, fumble quite easily.