So I started my day by waking up late, since I was kinda out late the night before. You know those nights, where you don't even get home until 5 in the morning? It was one of those. So I wake up to my beloved kissing me, saying he's going to work...which woke me right up. "What?!?! You don't have to leave yet, it's only..." and then I looked at the clock. "Crap." I made him come back for one more kiss, coherent this time, and I watch him leave. I don't like his schedule, his off days are during the week and he works through pretty much all of my waking hours on the weekends...it's bollocks. But it is what it is for right now, and to be frankly honest I do enjoy getting to have some alone time. I slowly roused myself and got up, and then remembered that some friends from school were having some bands play a house show in one the more hip parts of town. I speed dressed, speed walked the pooch, grabbed two cans of beer from the fridge and tossed them into my catch-all bag, and hit the road.
I pull up to a house
After I left, I was driving in Murray Hill feeling like crap. Feeling like a phony, like I only have self-esteem and confidence when I am bolstered by a crowd. I like to think of myself as unflappably cool, but the truth is I'm just as shaky as anyone. I'm rarely alone so I rarely have to deal with the shakiness but it's definitely there. I ended up deciding to go down to Chamblin's Bookmine Uptown to see if I could grab a cup of soup and some sweet tea. I took my time, eating and basking in the downtown light from my window seat, playing on Reddit (trying not to laugh out loud at points) and replenishing my good mood vibes. I realized that this was the third Sunday in a row that I found myself chilling at Chamblin's, and I think I might try for a habit.
I remembered while I was eating that there was a CD and Record Show going on at Burro Bar, which just a few blocks up. I made my way over, and was treated to a variety of characters. I am never disappointed when I go into a bar because the people are always so different and wonderfully flavored. While I was looking at records I overheard a hipster/indie dude explaining Bright Eyes to a random homeless man, and I even got to jump in and add a little bit about the principle of intentional discord. The indie dude offered to buy me a beer but I politely declined. Then, the man with the records gave me TWO free records! The magic, though, happened in the next room.
In the next room, there were three tables. I assumed that they all belonged to one vendor, so I dove right in and started looking through a box of $2 CDs at the first table (table 1). I really love digital music, but Corey is a 'physical music' collector so I'm always on the look out for him. I grabbed a handful, and then went back to table 3, which is where I thought I was supposed to check out. I go to check out some of the CDs at that table, when the two gentlemen running the table came over. They were father and son, both with very long hair in a low ponytail, and both wearing metal shirts. They were very stereotypical Norwegian looking metalheads. The older guy comes over and asks me, in a very heavy European accent, "What is your favorite type of music? This," cue sweeping hand motion, "is metal." uh....hahaha so obviously he immediately typecast me, a little 5'2" girl with long hair and a swishy skirt, as someone who was clearly in the wrong section. And he was right, I don't like metal. But I was already dying laughing inside, so I decided that I had to buy something from him. I was just imagining the look of surprise on his face when he grabbed the CDs from my hand and starting rifling through them. "This is the music you like? It is very different," he says, in that clipped heavy way of speaking that non-english speakers can have. It's true, it was very different- I had The Strokes' Is This It next to Ludacris' Chicken and Beer.
He says again, with emphasis: "This, this is metal. Do you want metal?"
I was trying very hard to keep my composure here. The way that he was saying metal, in such a reverent tone as if metal music was all that was worthy in the world...it cracked me up. I decided, now that I knew that each table was different, to go pay for the CDs in my hand. After I did so, I only had a 5 dollar bill left. I went back to my metal friends and asked how much his CDs were. "Oh well they are expensive. You want? They are metal..."
Yeah, shit was getting pretty old by that point, but whatever. He told me that the CDs were 8 bucks, so I showed him the fiver and asked what I could get for it. He rummaged through his CD bins and picked me out a double-disc compilation of the most metal metal that he could find...trying not to die laughing from the aburdity of it all, I hand him the five and he says "no. it is 8. 8 dollars are my CDs."
Really? I just told you I only have a - nevermind. Whatever. I was pretty sure I had a dollar or two in my bag, so I dug for a few minutes and finally came up with 2 dollars. This seemed enough to satisfy him, so he gave me the compilation CD. He also handed me a new-release sampler from one of the harder labels, handing it to me as if he were entrusting some jeweled heirloom. "This, for you I will give you this." Oh man. I very greatly appreciated this man's obvious undying dedication to one specific genre of music...I could never do that. There is too much for me to listen to in the world to only listen to one type of music over and over. But alas, for some that is all they need. Anyhow, Mr. Metal gave me his business card and told he that he expected me to email him and tell him what I thought. I assured him I would, and I left the bar laughing out loud as I walked back to my car.
Oh, joy... I really am surprised by our city, every now and then...the secrets that lay underneath the stereotype of small-town-redneck-city are vast and complex, these beautiful and random-ass people for me to meet. And the story's not even done! Once I got back to my car, a homeless black dude came over and very politely asked if I happened to have .71 cents. I was in a very gregarious and open mood so I told him "hell yeah I got .71 cents!" and started digging in my door. The gentleman told me that he just got out of jail and needed money for the bus, and that I was sure a blessing to him. "Just a blessing." Because I was feeling particularly ballsy, I decided to further our conversation.
"Well, I mean you say I'm a blessing...but I want you to know that I am an atheist, and I am doing a good thing for a fellow human because I want to be nice and not because a higher power is telling me that I have to." I say this as I continue digging out change for him, moving onto the floorboards because I thought I saw a quarter there. He was kinda stunned, which I expected him to be. He surprised me, though. He replied "I have to say, I appreciate your honesty, and whatever it is that brought us together I'm glad that happened. Thank you for your kindness." We chatted for a little longer, and then I gave him the change and he turned to go. I stopped him and asked if he was thirsty, and I tossed him one of my beers. His face lit up and it for real made my day. I wish I could just go downtown and hand out free beers....haha nothing bad would come of that!
After I left downtown, I was in a soaring mood. I was listening to Atmosphere, with a bag full of cheap music next to me and the rest of the day spread out before me. I ended up driving around the city in a huge loop, ending up at my house a few hours later for a good old fashioned hang out session with some of my best friends. It was all in all a freaking magical day.