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  • Have you ever sat in a small cafe downtown, sipping mango juice and browsing a veritable smorgasbord of samosas and dipping sauce? You've shed your wool coat and stepped inside from underneath the skeletal trees draped with white Christmas lights, and taken your seat at a rickety table in the corner of the dim, incense filled room, and you're laughing and smiling at the Indian baby girl who's laughing and smiling back at you, and you know something's gone right if this innocent child who can only sense people's auras has taken a liking to you.

    The dull roar of warm, familiar voices fades out, and the pleading whine of a sitar fills your brain and vibrates your skin, played by a barefoot man with small glasses. A pulse throbs: two drums speaking in multitudinous, pulchritudinous, vicissitudinous tongues, as if touched by that mythical spirit on Pentecost.

    An electric guitar, slow and deep and soulful, sings above the sitar's drone. Its master (or servant) stands barefoot on the Persian-carpeted stage, his eyes closed and his mouth open and his head tilted back, possessed by some unearthly presence.

    A drumset like you've never heard one played. Not harsh, metronomical. Hushed, tinny whispers. Accelerando, silence. Slow beat. The man with the drumsticks crumples over his set, straightens up, hunches again, completely subject to the whim of the all-encompassing sound. His faces contorts, teeth bared in primal fury, his sticks fly faster, the roll grows deeper, louder, urgent, intense. He sighs, placid peacefulness spreading over his features. The brushes tickle the cymbal. The dance goes on.

    You close your eyes against the hazy red light. In that eternal moment, you are whole, you are infinite. You are everything, and you are absolutely nothing. You aren't that lonely sixteen-year-old girl from a small town rocking back in a metal cafe table, you are the stars and sea and the wind and the earth. The music is you and all you know, it is your universe.

    That is utter peace.
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