I almost got this done last night, but had to run off to see Rusted Root. The concert was awesome. The songs are a bit uniform, but they are uniformly kinetic and hypnotic. Especially at the volume right by the stage where I couldn’t understand most of the words, it all felt very primal.
I’m slacking again and not posting. It unfortunately generally happens when I have the most interesting things going on.
Like the hulking Cote d’Ivoiriene guy who, within minutes of me meeting him, told me to take my pants off. Not a doctor. Not a rapist. The masseuse who delivered the amazing present McK gave me for our one year anniversary. (Though realizing how good it felt to get a good rubbin’ left me reevaluating the value of the massages she gets from me at a minimum of twice weekly. I think maybe I should be getting some cash or something for that level of relaxation.) We also went to Georgia Brown’s and had a lovely evening eating very expensive southern food.
On Tuesday I had an amazing time. I’m pretty sure it is the first time I’ve ever been to a bar by myself as I went to see Speakeasy DC. I can’t believe there has been storytelling going on here the whole time I’ve been in DC and I haven’t known about it.
There were two featured tellers and then several “open-micers.” The open-mic people only got seven minutes for their stories, so they had to tell fast and tell well. There wasn’t a single teller that didn’t do a really solid job. The language was succinct but colorful; the tones warm and embracing.
I sent out text messages while I was watching because I really wanted to share the experience. My description at the time was, “imagine improv by poets with their lives as material.” The theme for the evening was “Hurts So Good: Stories About the Pain and Pleasure of Romance.” The stories ran the gamut. Ones that I remember are:
- The girl whose love for her boyfriend drove her to help him achieve his dreams by enrolling them both in scuba diving lessons. Her passion having somehow blinded her to the fact that she neither swam nor enjoyed water at all. So excited was he to get into the dive that he was already under as she puked twice before following him down. Their relationship survived that bump only to come to an end when he enrolled them both in advanced lessons a couple months later.
- A poetry slam performer who told the story of how he came to know his wife. One of the lines I enjoyed particularly was, “Her ass in that red dress was like the sun setting over the desert. I wanted so badly to ride off into that sunset.” I wish I could manage to suave and lewd simultaneously.
- The City Paper has an “I Saw You” section where you can connect with people you’ve met at random, but didn’t get a number for. One girl told of helping a guy work out something with his cell phone while riding the bus. They meet with the aid of the City Paper, and during their date another girl comes storming in off the street demanding, “What was it? The L2? The B9? The 42?” and turning to the guy starts tearing into him about the bus being “their thing.” He turns to the teller and calmly says, “you don’t need to stay for this.” She didn’t.
- The 30-year-old “love virgin” who, after a guy professed his love for her and persisted for a couple months, is convinced of her own love. Not too long thereafter though he retracted his profession, not to end the relationship, but just “to let her know.” Well, once she dumped him, she got a refund for his Christmas gift and spent the money on a spa. She now keeps a breakup fund that gets $100 every month she’s in a relationship.
- There was one fellow who attempted to tell the story of his childhood camp love, but the sound system was going out. He still gave a good telling of one of the more touching stories, but he seemed a bit flustered.
- There was even a traditional love tale from somewhere in Eastern Europe that told of a pair of rock formations and how they were placed there to immortalize a grandfather, granddaughter, and their love for each other.
There were some others, but those are the ones I remember the best. The also had an audience participation bit where people wrote down their stories on note cards and competed for “best deal-breaker,” “most romantic” and “most pathetic.” My favorite was the deal-breaker winner. A fellow is on a first date in New Orleans and Dan Akroyd is in the restaurant. His date was a fan and went over to talk to Dan, sat down at the table, and before the guy leaves, his date is making out with Dan. Ouch.