Sunday, December 2, 2012

Los Rumberos de Massachusetts

Un, dos, tres, cuatro--

The focus was intense and unbroken. The two guitarists stared into the eyes of the boy with the djembe until they all began cleanly at the same time. The three of them pulled us in but we were shy and we formed a wiggly crescent moon around them, leaving a black bulge of space between us and the raised platform that was the stage. The boy in the middle had left the top three buttons of his shirt undone, the one on the right sported striped purple socks, and on the left the colorful djembe was its own fashion statement. They made music that I normally hear coming out of my laptop speakers as I escape my dorm room to dream of Granada. They played music that wafts around me at dinner when I go home for the holidays. They played music that makes me dance at the best parties that are packed with nobody born here.

In between songs they made Mexican jokes with Mexican accents. Three talented Mexicans serenading us in Cambridge, Massachusetts. They made us carefree while they worked hard.

What does it feel like, I wonder, to have "made it" like that? What does it feel like to sell out concerts when you haven't yet graduated from college? To make people jump up and down with the talent you've honed your whole life, given yourself up to?

They tried to get us to dance. Really dance. Veo muchas chicas bailando acá, y muchos chicos bailando solos allá. A ver cómo le arreglamos. Como dice la canción, "vamos juntando los cuerpos...."

It was invitation. To let ourselves go. To let the strums enter our dreams. To fling the door wide open to let Mexico into a glassed-in Harvard building in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

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