many to choose from

Lentils again. Getting not too bad considering I used to not know what I was doing. Now from red to green to black, onions, garlic, ginger, coconut milk and much berbere. Reviewing the first class, designing a power point, usually, we review the syllabus and all the assignments. One of the assignments is someone plays a song that changed their life, and sticks around to do Q&A, usually I demonstrate. The last two years I used the same song by Gil-Scott Heron. I started to think what else could I do this year, then thought Lou Reed’s Walk On The Wild Side. Heard it first when I was 10 and had no idea what it was about but as Van Morrison said, “it stoned me”. A couple years later I found it and was very excited to listen again but it was just about the spookiness, I didn’t understand anything about the lyrics until I was an adult. Today I looked it up and read much more about the characters connections to the Andy Warhol Factory. Never knew what he meant by Sugar Plumb Fairy. Never knew the saxophonist was David Bowies Saxophone teacher or that the women singing backgrounds were a band called Thunderthighs. I love the contrary motion in the upright bass. Based on my experiences teaching the last ten years, I bet half the students will be unfamiliar with it. Then remembered “and the coloured girls go” and I thought how do I explain that, the time and place, the narrator’s character. Then I thought about other parts of the song and how it is the first song populated by trans characters except perhaps Lola by the Kinks but Walk On The Wild Side is more specific and daring, “but she never lost her head even when she was giving head”. And then I thought many parts could offend and imagined how I try explaining it and likely all this will sound defensive and if I sound defensive it probably distracts from the reason behind playing it in the first place. I picked another song. From one view it isn’t a big deal, just moving on to another lentil, there’s many to choose from.

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