You know those days you just feel a bit deadened after work? One day last year like this I found a lively piano cover of “Africa” by Toto. I thought Peter Bence’s usage of the piano was brilliant, how he tapped it, drummed it, punched it, plucked it. I liked his use of loops, and I loved how obvious it was that he was so into what he was doing, and feeling the music deeply. His movements to some may seem exaggerated in the way he throws back his hands after playing a key sometimes, and how he moves his head and even bounces a bit on the bench. I wouldn’t say it’s so exaggerated though. It’s just how he feels it. And the fact that he’s barefoot seems to be a way to be more connected with the music as well.
It’s quite a popular song, with covers abounding. And the lyrics are something else. I never knew quite what the song was about until reading about the history here. It made me think of how before I lived in China, I read so much about the country that I started falling in love with it even before I experienced any of it. And then I lived there, and some dream I didn’t fully realize I had started coming true. It’s difficult to describe how I felt there. The idea came on over time, and when I looked back, it seemed to begin in the 7th grade, when I made friends with a girl from China. It felt a bit crazy to travel so far, and sometimes I couldn’t believe I’d dared to go there, but it felt so right. It felt sometimes like I imagine Peter Bence must have felt making his cover. I watched some English teachers like me leave early, but I told myself it’d take a lot to dissuade me, even when things became tough. I love how this cover of “Africa” below starts with the line, “It’s gonna take a lot to drag me away from you”, putting the focus on the beginning of the chorus even more.
There were notions I held onto firmly when I came home from China, though at times they seemed implausible. It’d take a lot for those notions to leave, and for them to be realized. Some of that is clear through this poem I wrote last September.
Hopes and Dreams by Aubri Wilson These hopes and dreams Of errant things Doodles floating in my brain Bounded still, and cut in pain How many loved you? One-and-a-half Truly? No Half and half These hopes and dreams Of filling things Show me please Where is the cream?
One such notion was what I told everyone in China who asked me to stay longer or when I would come back. My answer was that I’d come back when I had a husband to bring. Now seven years later, I’ll make that a true statement. I’d given up on waiting and planned to go myself but then I met my now fiance, and when much still hadn’t happened, I asked him to go with me. He said yes. And guys, I’m telling you, I found the cream.