Saturday, April 10, 2010

Your Big Head Don't Make You King

Last night at the restaurant, a relatively well known local musician played. This is not uncommon, we have live music now four nights out of seven. This particular man is someone I've heard stories about for a while and his name was known to me but I'd never had the, ahem, pleasure of seeing him perform.
Here's the thing about musicians. My Daddy is a musician. Not Daddy Glen, of course, but my biological father. Padre is a guitar player and a damn fine guitar player, probably the best I've ever seen close up and personal. I grew up in houses filled with music, with musicians and late night jam sessions. Dancing in the living room, dancing barefoot in the dirt, dancing with my Mama and dogs and crazy-eyed wild men who drove their women crazy but who could make sweet sounds with those bad boy hands. Men and women who sang, men and women who may not be able to make rent but who always had instruments, even if the amps blew, even if the speakers buzzed. Rock and roll jingle jangle was the lullaby of my childhood and I still feel safe and sleepy at live shows.
When you grow up with musicians you don't revere them. You may adore them, you may love them to pieces, you may need them to complete you, but that sort of otherness reverence is reserved for talent a little less familiar. I need my Mama to make me black eyed peas and collard greens, I need my Daddy to play Do Right Woman. To quote Michelle, "Same same."
So when I'm faced with a musician who glad hands gregariously and postures shamelessly and looks at the air above my head and says a bunch of nothing words that mean, "You think I'm great. I think I'm great too." I feel nothing but exasperation. Shut up and play the damn music already. Make me want to dance, that's all I ask.
This man last night was one of those. I understand how it happens, I do. He is loved and he has a certain bellowing charm, and it takes a lot of balls and attitude to get yourself up there and on stage and rock the house. It's protection and projection and without it I don't know if you can survive that particular lifestyle. But really....
Before he went on I introduced myself because I know he knows my family, and has shared bills with our Fairy Godparents Lon and Lis. I told him I was Mary Moon's daughter and he knew right off which clan I come from. His eyes lit up and said "So Jessie is your sister!" and then proceeded to tell me that he's going to buy her a drink in a couple of weeks for her 21st birthday, and that men will be lining up to buy my girl a drink. I looked at him squinty eyed but had to agree, my girl is a beautiful angel and that's just the plain truth. Then he asked me if I played music and I said no, but that my Daddy, Jerry Thigpen is a guitar player..... and he cut me off. "Ah, so Jessie is your half sister." He said it with his voice bent down and final, like he knew what time it was.
Let me just say that nothing makes my blood boil more than the words "half sister" in relation to the sisters mine. When I was in grade school I knocked a girl down for saying those words that very same way. It's been a long time since grade school, but babies, I am not afraid to knock a bitch down. Any day can be bitch-knocking day as far as I am concerned. There are no halves in my family, no steps, no halves, no partways or sideways or sometimes or maybes. Who claims this family? I do, now get the fuck out of my way.
He got back on stage and growled and shouted through his set, and I hustled and served and bussed and leaned in close to hear my orders. My feet were fleet, my spine was straight, I picked 'em up and knocked 'em down. The crowd was into it and happy, buying beers and singing along. But no one danced. No one danced and the man on stage did not make eye contact and for me it was all just background noise. It was over for me as soon as he cut his eyes away and cut off my words. I feel sorry for a man who thinks that the blood in your body is more important than the bodies in your blood. #1) Sleazy. #2) Self important. #3) Didn't make me dance. Music? Fail. I do believe I will ask off next time that man is scheduled to play.


SJ said...

I know what you mean...most of my immediate family isn't "real" and none of my neices or nephews are biologically related to me and I can't even begin to tell you how angry I get if someone implies they are less-than in my life somehow.

Bethany said...

I just love the way you write.
It tumbles out of you like light.
Love your childhood memories of music and musicians. This all came alive for me. You had me laughing with your step sister rant. I hear you. I know from reading your mom's blog that you have a different biological father but it felt shocking to me to hear that guy say that in such a personal, cutting way. I totally get what it did to you. "Who claims this family. I do."
You're amazing.
Write on.

Ms. Moon said...

Baby, baby, baby. You are a musician of words and you ALWAYS want to make me dance.

Rebecca said...

I grew up in houses filled with music,........I'm so jealous of people who grow up with music in their background. I can't play anything but the radio, but when I do, I turn it up loud and the kids and I do the 'drunkard dance'. Cause we look like a bunch of old drunkards....but we're having a great time. Even if we are only rocking out to a nursery rhyme CD

Steph(anie) said...

I love you, woman.

honeyluna said...

Oh my lord, you should have beat that bitch down when he made that "just a half-sister" comment. Why the hell would he say that? If he wants me on his friend list, he should know that the only way to do that is treat my beautiful sister with more respect than I get myself, GD it!

Well, I can only say that I'm sorry I'm kind to people that don't always deserve my Jessie sweetness, but what can I do? He's certainly not going to be hanging out at the bar with me though, and not buying me a 21st birthday drink. That's just weird. Hehe.

I don't know how else to say this, but I am the luckiest girl in the whole world to have you as my sister, and I think everyone can see that. Or at least everyone who is anything worth a damn.

Love, love you. And thank you for the good laugh today. You always can make me smile.

juancho said...

No steps for us either. Too much has gone down to call us anything but "brother" and "sister."

Petit fleur said...

I hate it when people think they know more about you than you do...

Also,I'm pretty sure I know exactly who you are talking about. The "looks at the air above my head" is what clinched it for me. That is so perfect! That is EXACTLY what he does!!

Love you,

Jo said...

Two or three things you know for sure...

you tell em, girl.

I have one at home who occasionally falls into the trap of believing his own hype, but is SO quick to spot others who do... having said that, he certainly makes them dancedancedance...

downtown guy said...

Plus, what was Gr... I mean the mystery musician trying to say? Was he insinuating that Jessie must be your half sister because she is obviously the one with the guitar playing dad? Nuts to him, shows what he knows.

Anyway, I've seen him play and didn't exactly impress.

May said...

SJ- You DO know. And I know how much you love those kids.

Bethany- Thank you! I'm so glad you enjoyed it, and thank you for your words of encouragement. You are too sweet by half.

Mama- No, you. I love you, my dancing Mama!

Rebecca- That is so great! Dancing can make you kinda drunk, can't it? I can't play anything but the radio either, so if I have kids that's what we'll have to rock out to as well. The important thing is the rocking out. And thank you for coming by and commenting!

Stephanie- as I love you.

Honeyluna- Sweetie, you are so funny! GD-it indeed. He seems to think that he'll be at your birthday with you, somewhere at a show in St Aug? I don't know. He certainly seems impressed with you, and I can't hate him for that. It's the curse of being so beautiful and amazing I guess, you'll have many admirers, not all of them admirable. I adore you, my love.

Juancho- That was cryptic. You are a funny funny man, my friend.

Petit Fleur- I'm sure you do know who I'm talking about. Oh well. Some people... Luckily, we know and surround ourselves with the best ones, right? That's all that matters. Kisses to you and yours.

Jo- Oh! Yes! Somehow I don't mind the rockstar attitude so much when they really get me going on the dance floor. But then, they do have something to crow about, don't they? Wouldn't want to date one, though.
Hey, where's Danielle these days?

DTG- No, he knew the right lineage, it was just like all of a sudden I grew less interesting to him. Which is fine. I ran into Daddy B the next day and we had a laugh.

Ms. Moon said...

Just wanted to tell you that I read this post to your non-guitar-playing daddy last night and he loved it. LOVED it. And he loves the woman who wrote it.

Sarcastic Bastard said...

I love this post, and I love you for your ferocious love. You are wise my dear May May. So damn wise.

May said...

Mama- and I love him.

SB- And I love my SB!!!!! Ferociously, so anyone who hurts my SB better watch the fuck out! I mean it!

Mwa said...

This post makes me want to shout "HA!"
Because you know so much more than that idiot will ever know.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a classic douche-bag.

Can I have a hint on the performer? I only ask since I'm promoting a bunch of them in the next couple of weeks and I'd like to "accidentally" slap this one upside the head.

Jo said...

Hey, pretty girl, Danielle said he's back ... but then, he hasnt' been just yet :) He's been deathly ill and flu ridden for so long, but he's recouperating and slowly reading blogs and promises to start commenting. Any moment now!

downtown guy said...

Good to hear - I was wondering about him as well.

Nancy C said...

I love this. I hate the idea off anybody dictating family. Seriously.

I love your story about the Goddamned Drink of water. Thank you so much for the smile and for knocking some sense into my anxious skull.

Nancy C said...

Um, never mind. That story belongs to somebody named Mary that commented on my blog. She followers your blog, hence the mixup.

I am officially a weirdo.

Anonymous said...

hey, come to the legion hall tonight (friday) and I'll tell you my dirtiest Palin jokes.

SJ said...

Hey, it's May Day! Therefore, you need to blog on your day :) Tell me how your life is going!

kold_kadavr_ flatliner said...

Amen, bro.
Only Jesus is King of kings,
Lord of lords.
And we must git that through
our retarded skulls cuzz
we'll all bite-the-dust, baby.
But, yet, nobody seems to think
about death when we're living

Yep. I had an NDE
and what I saw was extraordinary...

kold_kadavr_ flatliner said...