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A Marching Band Surprise

April 13, 2008   Until yesterday I had never seen an Asian marching band crossing Martin's Way Bridge.  Turquoise and pink cloth dangled everywhere, while the earthy tom-tom of real drums, made of leather and wood, reverberated around the Howard Diner.  The experience produced some new and strange emotion in my head.  The chemical rush was probably akin to the strange euphoria experienced by witnesses to UFO landings.  I felt as if I had dropped into some benign world of perfect, overlapping multiculturalism, wherein all elements of an experiential spectrum occurred simultaneously.  Of course this was nonsense.  The squirrel I spotted was not also a lemur, howler monkey, and tanuki.  But the band...that I could not reconcile.  In my vague bewilderment I passed the band on the bridge, staring into every face as I passed.  Many were people I thought I recognized.  However, I couldn't be sure, as many of the marchers were wearing tremendous fake beards.  Coming out in front, I walked backwards for a time, not sure what to do or what strange institution of learning I had woken up in the midst of.  Then I ate an omelette in Commons, dripping with hot sauce as usual, and listened to the heavy tom-tom pass, growing as loud as my thoughts, then fading away.