Human connections

Wednesday morning I call Mambo C. Our plan was that I would call her before I left work and we’d decide where to meet. So with  anticipation and a touch of trepidation I enter the number into my cell phone and….

I get her voicemail. I hear her voice for the first time, and it has richness and warmth.  There is something about her voice, a sense of depth, that suggests a tall woman. I think back to a couple of pictures I’d seen of the mambo online, and she did not appear to be a tall woman, but I could be mistaken. I leave a message that is a bit longer than I intend it to be, and hope I don’t come off as awkward.

Some time passes and my cell phone buzzes at my desk. I pick it up and carry it into the conference room before flipping it open. It’s the mambo with her warm voice again. We agree to meet for drinks and sushi in Fremont.

It’s pouring down rain as I leave work. After walking several long blocks to my first bus stop (south of Seattle near Tukwila), riding into downtown Seattle and running some errands, hopping another bus to Fremont, and killing some time walking to the neighborhood pet store, the bottoms of my pants are wet and it’s now time to head over to the sushi bar. I go inside and head upstairs, selecting a table overlooking the stairs where I can see the front door.

Five or ten minutes later, the mambo drifts in. We make eye contact, and verify each other’s identities. She is a dark haired woman dressed mostly in black. Her style is professional with a tasteful artistic air. As we begin to talk, it is apparent to me that she is earthy, funny, modest and decidedly unpretentious. The chemistry clicks, and we are immediately comfortable with each other. There are no awkward silences. She asks me how I came to Vodou, and I recount my early encounter with Papa Legba. We both realize that she has heard this story before on the Yahoo board that we are both members of, and we laugh. I ask her some questions that I was not able to find the answers to in my books.

Time passes quickly, and we are walking downstairs and then out the door into the soggy street. Before we part, she gives me a hug. She is not a particularly tall woman, but her spirit is large.

Afterward, as I am riding the bus home, I realize that the strange sensation I am feeling might be joy. Years of depression make it difficult for me to feel joy, so this realization is surprising and wondrous. I am so looking forward to the Fet Gede.

Flash forward a couple of days to Friday and I am at an art opening at my friend Gayle’s store, Gargoyles Statuary. One of the artists is a practitioner of Vodou/Hoodoo. We share thoughts and experiences about art and the lwa, and I tell him about the upcoming Fet Gede. He  is another earthy and unpretentious person. I am uncharacteristically talkative and social.

Interesting, these new connections…..


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