Wednesday, May 19, 2004

I'm with the DJ
I've never seen you this way before: eyes watering with nerves, adrenaline, possibly recovering from a particularly stubborn and persistant bout of nervous stomach; wandering aimlessly; engaging in idle tech banter with other contestent to break the tangible tension...Your palms are cold and damp to the touch, eyes clouded, expression stoic but revealing to me, if not others.

Your number is up. You're #1.

I inhale your nerves from across the room like smoke from a clove cigarrette - pungent, sweet, intoxicating, offensive. I've never seen you like this, either. For three minutes, all eyes turn to you, widening with fear as you make the threat of your talent known, heads bobbing in time to the beat. I watch your hands, steady despite your nerves, command the turntables, almost become blurred as they move quickly over the mixer - your forearms tense and relax over and over, controlling your movements. The records bend under your fingertips like I bend to your touch, and I am mesmerized. It's over too quickly and not quickly enough. Applause is scattered, tentative, other contestants exhibiting the same unspoken look of terror that was on your face minutes before. As you move back into the crowd, it parts, other contestants looking at you a little differently than before. You return to my side wiping the beads of sweat from your forehead, saying all the standard self-depricating things that artists do - the kind that don't matter quite yet, but will change things next time, make things better, stronger, cleaner.

You watch each contestant closely and cheer indiscriminately for their efforts, admiring the art of every nuance and technique. Nerves give way to appreciation and love for what you and your community of "competitors" do. You pass along your knowledge to those less confident than you, and yet don't take full credit for your expertise. Reluctant messiah.

#2: You know what they did to Mr. Bill, right?;
#3: The future of DJing without your seasoned expertise;
#4: Like being at Ground Zero on a really good night;
#5: Wastes time with dialogue until you're not sure whether you're watching a scratch competition or a commercial;
#6: Great future with KDWB...

Or maybe I'm biased.

As we await the verdict your touch becomes unwittingly pressurized, becoming a little harder, distracted, tense. The scent of your nerves enters me again, twisting my stomach into a hard knot.

Fears are negated, made irrelevant by the decision. You made it.

As if there was never any doubt.

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