For most of my life, I have waited until the last minute to complete something and if I didn’t finish a task, apathy would often get the best of me. This was most evident in my academics.
I can’t remember the teacher, I thought I did. I can’t remember the assignment I was supposed to do, but that isn’t coming to mind. But the thing that brought me into this memory was Digable Planets’ Reachin’ (A New Refutation Of Time And Space).
We were supposed to be going on vacation. To Hilton Head, South Carolina I believe. My parents had rented a cabin/beach house for a week and we were all looking forward to it. Shortly before we left, my parents got a call from one of my teachers letting them know that I wasn’t completing my assignments as needed and probably threatened an “F” or “Incomplete” on my report card.
My yellow Sony Sports Walkman was ready with a new tape: Reachin’ (A New Refutation Of Time And Space) from the Digable Planets. “Rebirth Of Slick (Cool Like Dat)” was a crossover hit and I thought I would try and expand my musical horizons. Almost in a blind rage, Dad came into my room and made it clear in no uncertain terms that my week away from school would resemble that of a Russian Gulag prison.
I don’t remember the assignment that I missed was reading that needed to be completed or some worksheets that needed to be filled out and turned in. I do remember that by the end of the vacation I was dreaming of the time that I would be back in school and not in Hilton Head with a gray sun looming overhead.
Daily. From when I woke up, until I went to bed, schoolwork was the only thing that I was allowed to do. Mom and Dad would go out and do things with my sister. Mini golf, shopping, swimming, beaches, et cetera while I stayed at home. Sometimes one parent would stay home with me while I toiled at my schoolwork while the other went out with my sister. I think that indirectly guilted me into actually trying harder than my normal “enough just to get by”. I would be made to give daily progress reports and I would have to show the work that I did rather than telling my parents what they wanted to hear. There was no getting out of this one. I had to complete the assignments or there would be consequences.
The Digable Planets offered me a respite from the depression that I was in. Albeit a temporary moodiness stemming from the fact that the thought of having any fun on vacation was out the window. I would listen to the album from front to back and back again. Taking me on a journey as I imagined the album as a performance in a smoky, cool jazz club where the patrons were anthropomorphic insects wearing stylish clothing out of 1920s Harlem.
Maybe that was the motivation I needed. As the week went on, I started earning their trust back and showed them how much progress I was making. Slowly, I would be allowed to join them at the beach, shopping and going out for dinner a couple of times.
|It's Good To Be Here||5:06|
|Where I'm From||4:35|
|What Cool Breezes Do||3:22|
|Time & Space (A New Refutation Of)||3:33|
|Rebirth Of Slick (Cool Like Dat)||4:21|
|Last Of The Spiddyocks||4:28|
|Jimmi Diggin Cats||3:42|
|La Femme Fetal||4:36|
|Escapism (Gettin' Free)||3:24|
|Appointment At The Fat Clinic||2:58|
|Examination Of What||4:44|