Sunday, August 14, 2005

nothing special

the hotel room was small and nothing special. there was no fridge filled with overpriced bags of cashews and tiny, travel sized bottles of Johnny Walker Black, and no menu for room service on the faux mahogany desk. what there was was a bible, two beds, and a tv that didnt get very good reception, probably due to the thunderstorms, of which there were three. we weren't too bothered with where we slept though, we had a rented mustang and places to go. there was a city to be explored and streets to litter and a person i had promised to be.

i dont know if i was ever that person or not. i dont know if i ever cared to be. i tried to be charming, to various degrees of success. i tried to be confident, and think i fooled a few people into believing it. i tried to be a presence, and hope maybe i was. i tried to do my job, and figure either i did or i didnt and thats what it is and will have to be.

there was interaction, people were met. cards were exchanged and dap was given. shakeyface got too drunk and had to take a nap a few times, i held it down with a bottomless bottle of beer until the night quit.

its strange, after sitting behind a booth for a certain amount of hours, you start to feel like a carnie, as if you belong there, and are one of the many organs that keep the festival alive. you start to believe that if you packed up and left, the show would end and the lights would turn up. the magic would leave and you would be left with nothing but a dirty, empty parking lot. it becomes too sad and defeated, the thought of leaving. so the booth stayed open until the carnival closed. thats how we did it in the 'nati.

lots of cats gave me demos and i tried to feign interest and give support. im not trying to knock the hustle. im sure some are good and most are not but i wont pass judgment until i hear them. at least thats what i believe i do or at least thats what i would like them to believe i do.

some performances were good. some were boring. ill describe all that later, if im in the mood.

the only time i was struck by character was when i noticed how many pimp clothing shops there were in downtown Cincinnati. there were at least five in a four block radius. all the clothes displayed in their windows reflected the many shades of the pimp lifestyle. there was the casual, pimp at a barbecue, lime green silk shirt with crazy abstract floral patterns sewn all over it. there was the professional, classy and discreet double breasted pimp suit for that high class player that deals exclusively with traveling business men and doesnt want to come across as too far removed from the upper crust lifestyle. there was the street corner night stalking explosive color pimp outfit, for those with finger waves and doo rags that wanna look fly while smacking a ho. and there were your classic snakeskin vest and crushed velvet slippers pimp uniforms that we see in the movies.

i was tempted to buy a hat and then figured the irony was too transparent and dead. so i just watched the clothes sparkle in the windows and wondered why i hadnt seen the people who were buying these clothes. i wondered where the pimps were and i asked myself what i would do if i saw this side of Cincinnati, the side of vices and secrets; the desperate scene. if i would lurk and observe or if i would resist my inner urges. i thought of how i could get out of the hotel room if the seedy side revealed itself and i wanted to get down. i made a plan to escape and see the city that emerged at night. but after a while i realized it was just paranoia and lust on my brain, and that i was better off drinking beer in my hotel room.


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:gray matters: by jkg is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at