Obinna “Rutón” Abalihi

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Ruton is a miracle of all ages. His nascence is traced back to the epoch of Pangaea, during which he came to the Earth’s surface from the mossy depths of permafrost. It was this sudden and powerful emergence that sent seismic waves reverberating through the planet’s molten core, expediting the divergent spread of the sea floor below him to separate the continents. When people say “he’s a force of nature,” they’re always referring to him. But alas, Ruton made his way to America by deciding to follow the direction in which the sun rose. Thank goodness he did, as he would never have found his unborn brethren 300 million years later.

 Ruton started walking towards the East, incentivized by an unknown force. Beneath his feet the snow crunched, and to keep warm he thought to bring his hands together in between his steps. This was the beginning of

clap jam

to which the evolving fauna around him responded. He learned to communicate with the animals without words: birds chirped in thirds, deer’s hooves fit the ground in perfect rolls, fish jumped from the water and hit the surface in oddly satisfying syncopations. Eventually he developed a following, his perpetual beat accruing nature’s finest musicians. Somewhere in Saskatchewan, bored while tending fire, he picked up two of the sticks from his tinder pile and continued his beat on flat rocks and tree trunks, as he could never stop. He kept these sticks with him from then on, marching with his crew, but he still didn’t know where he was going or why.

 Until one day, he got a response from one of his species. No, fifteen of them. Strange creatures they were, but immediately after they heard his tasty beat, and they picked up. They threw him a green shirt, as he definitely needed one, and sticks that were smooth in his worn hands. They told him he could now bang everything at Tufts, words he never knew he needed to hear. And bang on this legend shall.