Big sheets of cardboard from leftover bike boxes waved up and down behind the small audience. Marlo and Sean and Kristoff and Stephanie took turns with the fans that perfectly matched the HUB’s DIY thriftiness. Our stage was a large piece of plywood, elevated by the buckets we use to water our growing garden. The curtain was a long maroon sheet of fabric that Molly draped over the rope I’d tied below the loft. Because we didn’t have electricity, a generator powered a single spotlight that washed light over the stage. Candles sat in a planter in the bathroom. LED bike lights shone from the metal branches of a sculptured tree that a neighbor donated to us.
Yesterday’s record heat didn’t deter the storytellers and poets from taking to the stage and sharing their words while sweat dripped from their brows. There was no sound system, just the acoustics of our garage space and a captive audience. Our first open mic was small, but cozy. Six people preformed to an audience of about thirty. I’ve been saying lately that I’d rather read the work of someone I know than buy a bestselling novel, and it hit me as I was sitting there, listening to one of my friends recite a poem he wrote, that I’d finally gotten exactly what I wanted. We had a forum to share our stories or poems or music with people that we knew and experience the art of someone we could talk to rather than some distant persona. After the readings were finished, everyone stayed around and drank and mingled and laughed. Community. All of this was about building community. Though none of the pieces had to do with bicycles, the whole event mirrored the HUB’s ethos of fostering real relationships instead of upholding some cold business-customer relationship.
I’m deeming Logophobia a success, and so we’ll be continuing it as a bi-monthly event. The next one will be on Tuesday July 20th, with the theme of childhood (chosen by one of the contributors, as we will continue to do from now on). I’ll be posting more information about other events, and the exact layout of future Logophobias some time this weekend. Tune in and stay cool!