Monday, October 02, 2006

How's Your Head?

My memory is starting to fade, but I can remember this incident pretty clearly even now. I had been COS’d from the Peace Corps and I was on a plane leaving London and heading for Boston. I didn’t do any traveling in between leaving Africa and going back to America, which is not the norm. Most people take some time and go somewhere to spend some of their readjustment allowance and get back into the American head. I had a sunburn, a straw hat, and a battered dashiki when I left Ghana on the Lorry Airways plane, and I had the same get-up when I joined the flight in London. I have to admit I was a little put off by all of the clean white European people in what appeared to me to be fancy clothes.

I was sitting in the very back of the plane where you could still smoke, and I was savoring one of the last of my Ghanaian cigarettes. An obviously American guy sitting near me asked what I was smoking, and I gave him one. He looked a little bit like a hipster, and I asked him what he was doing in England. He hated the African cigarette and he said that he had been working with a rock band that was touring Europe. I asked who it was, and he said it was Phish. I said that I had lived with guys at UMass who knew them, and he invited me forward to meet the rest of the band. I sat down after introductions and met the guys in the band. They had been touring with the Psychedelic Furs and had hated it. They found the fact that I was a returning Peace Corps volunteer to be fascinating. They had more questions for me than I had for them. Eventually I got to asking Trey for an autograph for my brother, who was a big fan. He asked me what to write and I said, “Hey Brother, how’s your head?” He looked at me funny, and I explained that we were known to have a few now and again and that the funny question the next morning was always, “How is your head?” He understood it, and wrote it down. I put it in my pocket.

When we landed in Boston we were herded through the gates and I caught sight of my mother, sister, and brother waiting for me. I tapped Trey on the shoulder and pointed out my brother. He wished me luck and got on with getting his stuff through customs. I got through the line and caught my mother’s eye, but she didn’t recognize me. I guess I had changed a lot. When I tapped her on the shoulder and stood right in front of her she recognized me. My sister and brother had been looking for me in separate areas and we all got together to head out to the car.

In the car on the way home my brother said that the weirdest thing had happened to him. That he was in the airport looking for me and he saw a guy that he could have sworn was Trey from Phish, perched up on a light stand looking around. When Trey saw Brother staring at him he looked right at him and said, “Hey, Brother, how’s your head?” I said that that reminded me, that Trey wanted to give something to him, and I handed him the autograph.

He thought that was funny as hell, and so did I.


Blogger Cornelius Quick said...

That is a pretty cool story!

7:49 PM  

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