Thursday, June 23, 2011

A Visit With The Jockey

Sat, June 18, 2011

He sparks a conversation out of thin air- the good kind. “How much do laptops cost nowadays?” he says without maneuvering his eyes from the Nintendo DSI. I have no clue, best friend Will gave me this laptop after he bought a new one, and my brain isn’t functioning fast enough to even humor a price range. “The Nintendo DSI runs for about 100. This is my 5th one”, he announces again without taking his eyes of the game console. “What happened to the other 4?” I ask. He reserves. Becomes a little stand offish. I’m assuming he didn’t expect me to ask him why… Ahhh yes, a coffeeshop isn’t a coffeeshop without a social disorder or two in the building.

And here I am… in Oconomowoc, at a lovely grandmother-esque coffeeshop, sitting 10 feet away from a giant 12 yr. old striking random conversation while on his Nintendo DSI. You can tell he’s not all there. Not all there in the autistic/Asperger sense. I can’t put my thumb on it, but something seems off- bah! Maybe I’m being too quick in judgment. You work with people w/special needs and now you think everyone’s on the spectrum, Toussaint… slow down.

Again, brain not moving fast enough even for sarcasm at the moment- when DJ G-Spot offered up his entire humble abode for the show’s after party, last night… it’s safe to say we took it to the neck. I didn’t get outta there until sunrise. Understand that’s the 2nd night in a row we’ve stayed out ‘til sunrise. I’ve slept for 6 hours in the past two days, and can little hold my attention to a piece of paper. Get it together, man! You have a studio session with Lucy Michelle on Monday, and work on Sunday right when you get into town!

After evading Oshkosh at 9am this morning, Colby, my ride had to work in two grocery stores before the afternoon hit. Colby’s job involves standing next to a beer sampling stand and selling cases of Horny Goat beer (Yes, the name of the beer is Horny Goat). She sells alcohol, I sell music… oh what a match made in hell. My body can’t take it anymore. I run for 45 minutes a day, do several dozen pull ups, push ups, but in the end what’s on the inside is going to be the final judge. We went out Thursday for a lil bit, but last night was just criminal. The show was capacity, however like I said, DJ G-Spot’s after party nearly vampired the life outta me.

Aside from losing sleep and brain cells to the matter, there was definitely something to G-Spot’s abode that struck me… Guy DJ’s 4 nights or less outta the week throughout Wisconsin, lives in the heart of Oshkosh, WI (sorry if I blew anyone’s witness protection right there, but I think it’s common knowledge by now, right?), and has a pad reminiscent of a Los Angeles condominium. The stair case, stair case railing, front door, the everything leading up to his apartment is Oshkosh average compared to the introductory step inside. An assembly of three paintings decors the wall above the fireplace; one captures a full headshot of Slug from Atmosphere, whereas the other two are simple paintings of Slug’s eyes and then mouth; Off to the far left is a 24 x 18 poster of the Rhymesayers’ logo; glass cases (if I remember correctly) containing limited edition shoes, potentially signed records, collector’s edition stuff; To the right of the entrance is a platform full of top-shelf liquor, and in the distance is a sound system that’d make the venue, we just played at, look like a car stereo.

I’ve met people that are fans of Atmosphere, super-fans of Atmosphere, music video models, true heads, and/or hip-hop debutantes- but no one as seasoned, weathered, branded as G-Spot. And who’da thought you’d find it in the heart of small town Wisconsin. Amidst a few people trying to perform skateboard tricks in his living room and a girl passed out on the couch opposite us, G-spot takes a seat to explain who’s going to make it and who isn’t. Yeah, you were just thinking “Jehova’s Witness”- and your absolutely wrong. We discuss who’s going to prevail in the essence of music livelihood. Murs, Prof, Grieves, mainstay Midwest type’a stuff. “See you add to your longevity by touring to towns like this. Big names don’t wanna put in the extra work to come to places like this. Shit- back when Slug was like 26- 28, he was right here hittin’ up shows in Oshkosh”, deliberates the veteran. Admiring the entirety of the 4am scene at DJ G-Spot’s abode, you see there is no light at the end of the tunnel… you see that the light is the tunnel. Wealthy, paycheck to paycheck, Duluth or New York City, you’ll always be fighting and pushing forward towards an endless list of goals with a fierce determination. “Fierce determination” yah, got that from Rupaul while she guest starred on an episode of “Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me”. The feeling moves in waves of scary, anxious, and then back to hustle… for the fact this is the way it has to be for me. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

And here I sit in a grand ol’ coffeeshop in the midst of Oconomowoc. Just having found my contacts, my Nintendo DSI buddy exits the shop with his eyes to the ground while b-lining it to the door, “See ya”, as if we’ve known each other throughout the past school year. And damn I love that gesture of familiarity in the Midwest. Shit, anywhere for that matter. When folks can converse without feeling out of place, creepy, or socially defunct. A lot of these folks cast weary & strange glares, but just wish they know who the hell you were so they didn’t have to strain themselves to think about it.

We’re headed to Milwaukee next… back to work. 

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