Soothing Little Baby Booka

2012 Barrett Winner

5th Place Reynold Rush

Melodic waves of sound flow dynamically from the circular mouths of the Casio WK-1630. Deep, bassy vibrations are beating rhythmically on the walls of the sparsely lit make-shift studio that doubles as a bed­room. Bumpathurnp, bump bump bumpathump, Pow- The drum track is insistent and beguiling.

Comforted by the thickness of the heavy quilt atop the firm Sealy mattress, I sit on the bed tenderly cradling the newest addition to the family. Little Baby Booka exudes the scent of some type of expensive body talc reminiscent of the Lord&Taylor department store. Her soft, tiny hands reach out and grab the shiny, thin white gold chain that dangles around my neck, murmuring and gurgling sporadic songs that only God knows the words to, finger the soft rubber buttons on the musical apparatus, editing and fine-tuning the instrument.

My very lively and dramatic sister; Faness, who's been residing in New York (the birth-place of HipHop) for the last three decades, screams, "Whoa bro, that's a cold beat, man! Turn it up! Turn it up!!!"

I comply. Smiling, I push the little gray volume dial slowly up the decible rung, steadily increasing the audio ambience in the atmosphere.

It's my niece's turn to make me blush. Cammea, Little Booka's mother and Miss Lively's daughter, concurs, "Yeah, Unk, you should put that out there! People will buy that. They'll eat it up!"

While I bask in the vibe of such well-placed ego strokes, my jaws spread in apparent happiness.

"Put some words to it, Unk!"

"Yeah, let us hear you rap!"

Faness rushes to her Canon and focuses on my person to get an exclusive O.C. mega-flow, positioning her camera for a first-hand view of the un-renowned performer.

The vibe is as tangible as a warm glass of milk, soothing and comforting. The energy permeating the room enlivens a sense of pride and deepens the grin on my face as I contemplate what I want to 'spit'." Got it!" I exclaim as I pace my aggressive lyrics to the tempo of a beat that's a cross between Jazz, New Age, Hiphop and the Metal genres. I call it "Hood. Jazz."

The lyrics spew boisterously and fluently. The words of the song are sliding in between the rhythm like a Black Mamba stalking its prey. My mission is accomplished. I dazzle my three-person audience and reap cheers and applause as compensation for my showmanship.

The track stops. I replace it with a more subtle, laid back and meditative one. Little Baby Booka, who's been rather lively in her own baby way, hears the tracks' instruments ushered in one by one. The drum track, bass line, the piano lick, the strings. Little Baby Booka seems at one with all the nuances of the music.

I take the song back off to do some editing and Little Baby Booka begins stir and whine. I put the song back on, testing my unprofessed theory, and sure enough, Little Booka settles back down.

This six-month old, tiny female child, dressed down in a pastal purple, velvet jogging suit with little purple UG Boots to match, tops her ensemble off with a lacy little headband fitting snugly on a sparsely haired head. What a sight! Fully outfitted, yet the headband stands out. It seems to wrap around the kid's noggin as if preventing the rest of the little, soft hair patches from escaping their duties.

The music stops yet again.

Little Baby Booka gets agitated once more.

We all laugh heartily when I press down on the soft rubber song button and the melodic flows re-enter the atmosphere. Little Booka ceases her outcry of protest, relaxing as she gets what she wants. The quakes in her agitated little body suddenly subside, giving way to calmness in a dimly lit room only illumined by a candle lamp and the soft, indigo glow of the digital readout on the Casio keyboard.

The once tight grip that held so fast to my index finger in a seemingly desperate grip on all that exists, gradually loosens, and soft, baby fingers spread out in a stretch as if they had a yawn of their own. The sleepy bug has its sight set on my baby niece.

Little Baby Booka's eyes open and close in an age-old fight against the sleepiness that the serenely melodic song induces in her little baby ears. It's a gallant effort to conquer "Old Sand Man." But the fat eyelids give way to the weight of lashes that flutter persistently like the feathers of a delicate Blackbird, flying Little Baby Booka off to a universe of travels filled with song and beauty in her infantile slumber. I feel the baby's form-go limp as she relaxes in my warm embrace. Little Baby Booka is soothed.