Another frantic bird heart day as my computer continues to torment me in an Office Space-type scenario. I can see an endgame which yes, involves a field and a sledgehammer. I can’t fault him, he’s a tough old sod having written a book for me and been thrown up against the wall a few times when the Dammit Doll didn’t work in Ableton class. But Jeez, why do you have to act like my great grandpa sending back soup in a deli when all I want to do is upload my tracks one last time as backup before shoving you in a closet for a few years. Haven’t we endured enough? PLEASE, let me just break up with you, MY DARLING.
But that’s the thing. Pulling taffy. It’s not TV, folks, there is not some sort of Alexis Carrington Dominique Devereaux showdown with minks and furs and shade thrown. This is real life and making changes takes one million baby steps and lots of cursing and many mistakes. A lot of them you can’t circle back from but have to drive down the road to another neighborhood entirely because the parking here is just too much.
Right now I want to go into great detail about how much I adore my car, a mid-priced little thing which feels like something else after hauling around a truck. Changes and lightening of the load. But my fear and my sense of safety prevent me. We live in Avatar World where definitions and determinations and labels are made from what car you mention, shoes you wear, what hair you sport. I’d like to remain open, I’ve even stopped telling people my age. You determine who I am based on what you see, my love, and I’ll just keep living over here, it’s all good. Life is funny, bees make honey.
Nothing I say or do is going to change anything about what you think when you scroll past. If you stop, great. If I cause anything to rise or fall in you, great. If I don’t, that’s great. Because someone else will stop. And eventually maybe even a few people will talk, question, applaud, offer, ask, suggest, yell at me. I don’t care. I’m still smiling. It’s all so great. #Pollyanna
Just today I didn’t know a DJ because The Factory told me I should get a degree, a husband, and some babies and for 20 years two out of the three were fine. I was a House Music Rumpelstiltskin. But my nature and my heart made it back to the dancefloor and thank God for that. I’ve got catching up to do so when someone half my age says I don’t know “nuthin” I would tend to agree.
About that anyway. But if you weren’t so hell bent on pointing a finger. If you put down the energy drink and the vape and listen to this Nana Andy Rooney you might learn some things. I’m fucking Anna Madrigal with better hair, sorry Olympia you’re a goddess and I love you. I could teach you how to survive in a crowd stampede at a festival. In heels. Where to find the best food at 3am. How to talk your way past the doorman. How to pre-game drink and not end up in a mess on the floor. How to avoid roofies, tickets, all the shit which flies at you during a House Music night sometimes like the worst bukkake you never ever asked for.
How to find tracks in a genre you know nothing about. The finer points of why Ancient Medieval Art History and House Music actually have a lot of shit in common. Why learning as many topics as you possibly can will make you a better DJ, and human being. Why going to another country, ANY OTHER COUNTRY, off this America is essential. Especially now. How writing, baking, running, dancing, or pulling weeds Mr. Miyage can ease that storm in the lake of your mind. Have failed royally at all these things. Just ask. I’ll tell you why FAILING is the most important thing of all.
But that’s okay I’m weird and I’m used to getting a lot of tomatoes in the face every time Pollyanna asks a question or offers an opinion. In person it’s looks, online it’s comments. Different method, same day at school. I taught middle school for ten years and was married to a scientist for 20. But this Swamp Witch knows the core of iron she forged to get here. So it all rolls off and I chuckle. Because they’re all mirrors. A hall of mirrors. I can remember being so holier than thou at 26, thinking I had the world figured out, but I hadn’t even stopped smoking yet.
I can remember lording it over my students, thinking I knew so much more about literature, and words, and life than they ever did. I was twice their age! And yet, these 13-year-olds taught me more about life and love and pain and forging forward no matter your circumstance than any other. Only my dog Lois had more lessons for me and if you’ve ever bonded closely with a shelter dog, you know exactly what I’m talking about. She deserves her own damn book.
Those kids would come to school having been on their own since the night before because both parents worked night shift in factories outside this region of northern PA, a place where school NEVER closed due to snow. One kid lived in a trailer without running water, so the guidance counselors would trot his ass to the gym every morning for a shower and clean socks. My 7th grader got pregnant by another my 3rd year of teaching. Another was killed on a riverbank over a pot deal gone bad like a scene out of The River’s Edge, and I instantly knew it was because he had mouthed off. He was always mouthing off that one. Another boy constantly in fights would come to my class after school because he said the kids called him Oreo. Another was teased for his high tone, another for his dress, his video games, his demeanor. I’d listen to them after school as I could, then go home and collapse until I had to become wife to my scientist. Why I only lasted a decade. Pollyanna’s ballon deflated right out.
They kept going though, these tough kids. They were mirrors for me. Teachers. I’m grateful to have known them. If you do the math, 100 kids per year, I probably taught 1000 kids the finer points of grammar and why we need to read Elie Wisel’s “Night” in order to be complete human beings on this Earth.
Most of my kids hated it, but my remedial kids asked for it to be read aloud. One year they did, and I know you can’t have favorites, but wow, do I remember how difficult that was. How we cried and talked and cried some more. How good that felt, and how even though it was challenging, how much they enjoyed it. How I wondered why. Now I think maybe they wanted to hear about someone who had it maybe just a little tougher than them. How it gave them some perspective. How they’ve given me some then and now.
These guys didn’t understand grammar. But they understood life. One kid constantly told me the solution to any problem was to “…just kick ‘em in the nuts!” and his Yinzer accent always made me laugh. Not the appropriate teacher reaction of course, he was always chided, but that connection is the thing and I bet he understood “former” and “latter” maybe just a bit better because I laughed at his joke instead of sending him to the office.
Not sure what the point today was, but I do know I’m tired of folks concentrating every nuance down to some cartoon version of what a human being is capable of being. I’m not a retired Bougie white lady with a nice hobby. CEO’s get up at 5am. But folks will and do perceive me that way. It’s on me how I react and proceed.
I felt like I was in a classroom back on that social media page. The student instead of the teacher this time because I was married for 20 years and society told me going to clubs was bad for you instead of the very thing which saved my life. I’ve got a lot to learn. I just hope my future teachers are kinder than the ones I had online today, I hope there’s more laughter than what I saw from DJ’s half my age. I guess maybe there’s not much to laugh about. So that’s when you go make some more, silly.
The post was four women critiquing a male DJ. Which made me very fucking happy. It’s about time. Let’s turn the table on THAT perspective. FOR ONCE. Because I bet I’m not the only one with a ton of thoughts 😉 Cheers, see you tomorrow, here are some dates.
HER : ALL-FEMALE DJ LINEUP : District Lounge 1572 Central Ave, St. Petersburg, FL
Thursday, July 20 – @houseofnnaee w/ @amare_music_ 8pm-midnight
PRIDE IN THE HOUSE, a monthly safe-space for anyone who loves to dance any way they want! Steep Station St. Pete, 2235 1st Ave S, St. Petersburg, FL
Friday, July 21 – @highvibetribe727 presents @houseofnnaee 10pm-midnight
ODYSSEY FESTIVAL VENDING – COME OUT AND GRAB MY “DIRTY PILLOWS!” comfy picnic blankets and outdoor pillows for raves, pattern by HouseOfNae, Vinoy Park, St. Petersburg, Fl
Saturday, July 29 – @houseofnaemerch 2pm-midnight
HER, all-female DJ lineup, District Lounge 1572 Central Ave, St. Petersburg, FL
Thursday, July 20 – @houseofnnaee w/ @amare_music_ 8pm-midnight
Come out and shake your groove thang. Thanks for reading. Now go handle your shit, and remember to allow for other people’s in the process.