Wesley’s Survival Guide: A Diary Of An Exchange
To Whomever Finds This,
If you are reading this, than chances are I am dead. There’s is the possibility that I’m at the store buying milk cause we’ve been going through it like wildfire since the new Captain Crunch cereal came out, but still…there’s a chance. If you found this and these are my last words, please read them with the reverence they deserve: my diary in one hand and a box of double stuffed oreos in the other. Who knows, if I’m not dead, you’re chances of getting milk with those cookies just shot up 1000%.
If your wills can carry you and your courage sustain you, than read on for below is the tale of what happened to me when I sailed the asphalt ocean down to Pensacola for its first ever blues exchange.
Day 1 of exchange: was brought down to this event to Dj. Not certain what to expect. At the house I was staying at, had to stab four people to claim one of the good couches. Whether this is a make or break weekend, my back’s going to survive it. Survival Tip #1: a good couch is an excellent bartering tool for cuddles and muffin breakfasts.
6 PM: Arrive to dance early with Stes to find the place has as a beautiful view of the bay. It also has a beautiful view of the hurricane winds that decided the way I styled my hair simply wouldn’t do. Spotted a sizable amount off clevage of the starboard bow. Men’s spirits lifted.
7 PM: I have a glass of wine and a Subway sandwich. A guarded secret is that wine was invented specifically to be paired with the sub sandwich.
8 PM: Exchange begins and I am happy to see there are some quality dancers at this event. However, I’m tired and my habit of closing my eyes throughout a dance makes me a risk for a spontaneous collapse on the floor.
9 PM: I search this fancy building for a place to lay my naraleptic puppy head. I see a long table with a white table cloth offering me privacy. Drawing on my training, I stop, drop, and roll underneath it. Confused bistanders, uncertain of what to do, break the social awkwardness by bringing me a pillow.
Midnight: Time for late night. I go to the next venue to prepare for my dj set. When I get there I see it is a restaurant and that I will be playing through their PA.
12:02 AM: I am made aware by the manager that the PA system input is in his office in the back of the restaurant next to the kitchen. This proves slightly troubling for me as I am someone who makes their dj set on the fly based off of watching the energy in the room. I search my bag to see if I brought my Superman X-Ray vision googles. I find only my Batman utility belt.
Though initially disappointed, I do give thanks for the Cobra bite deflector kit it has in the left side compartment.
1-3 AM: After a bizzarre set of running back and forth from the manager’s office to the main room trying to pick up on the vibes of the room, my hunger peaks its head and I scout for unmanned food that doesn’t have legs to run away.
3:30 AM: Spotting half eaten tray of nachos on it’s way to the trash camps of Siberia, I attempt rescue mission. Convince confused waitress to box this food item for a man who didn’t purchase it. Apparently she never saw Shindler’s List and the power that comes from saving a life.
Operation Retrieve Nachos is a glowing success.
5 AM: Fell asleep cuddling. Woke up in the middle of the night and left to go somewhere. Apparently the CIA destroyed all records after this for my journal entries appear to stop.
11 AM - 8 PM: Relax all day and thank God for things like the blow up matress that makes such practices easier.
7 PM: Arrive at dance. Prepare for a pre-dance nap when the driver, in some sort of religious fervor, flings herself over the seat in the name of Christ, straddles and kisses me. Confused, I check my bag’s security locks to see how she discovered step four in my pre-nap ritual?
8 PM - Midnight: Awesome dance venue with two rooms in the downtown section of Pensacola. This part of the city looks like the French Quarter of New Orleans if it had been mugged of it’s cultural sense, given a trust fund enima and shown how to use a mop to keep itself clean. The dance itself is a blast, and the music rooms titled Traditional Blues and Aleternative, are argued to be changed to Traditional Blues and “Where The Hell Are All The Dancers?”. Needless to say, I enjoy myself in my awesome white, hip hop alien pants. They’re like wearing air.
Midnight - 1AM: Go to local bar. Share delicious salad and duck fries with dancers. Given a shot of tequila. Sit and enjoy the ambiance till I realize Slayer is playing over the PA. I decide to let my ears bleed as this is an ancient purification technique on bar with using leeches.
1 AM - 2 AM: Not to fall victim again to the powers of sleepiness, myself and two others trek to find coffee. An hour later we are successful. Expecting a letter from The Guinness Book Of World Records any day now for our Harold and Kumar timeframe attempt at getting a cup of joe.
2 - 4 AM: I dj my alternative set in the main room to the sounds of a mini hurricane outside. Not being accustomed to caffeine seizures, it takes all my focus to drag songs up to their proper place. I feel like I have Parkinson’s disease. I wonder if my dancing is suffering the same ailments. I suddenly feel closer to Michael J Fox.
“I think I’m doing this wrong”
5 AM: Fall into a cuddle puddle wedged between two woman. Being that I’m still high on coffee, I can’t imagine myself falling asleep for the next decade.
5:05 AM: I’m soundlessly asleep.
9 AM: My left hand reaches back to stroke my back door cuddle partner. Not realizing she had left in the middle of the night, I find myself petting the face of the guy she was being spooned by. We take a moment to let the awkward happen. I find solace in the cuddle in front of me while he finds solace in the fantasy of hitting me with a truck.
Realizing your hand isn’t between two pillows in like a shot of Hydrogen Peroxide in the morning.
1 PM: Go to afternoon dance at a Yoga studio. I enjoy the venue and the afternoon dance vibe.
3 PM: Dance ends and it’s raining heavily outside. Inspired like a puppy I rip my shirt and shoes off and go running through it, amazed that something could surpass the joy I received when first hearing the song Chocolate Rain.
3:03 PM: I spot the bay to my right and decide to go jump into it. With the excitement of a pouncing calico onto a ball of rolling yarn I launch myself into the salty waters. Wanting to feel closer to the water, we become blood brothers using a hidden mullosk shell to do the honors.
4 PM: EMT house guest cleans foot with special disinfectant. When I ask him what it is he says it’s to make sure coral doesn’t grow in my foot. Being that the reef has been dying, I feel saddened that I am not doing my part. Knowing that man eating sharks love reefs, I feel slightly better.
8 PM: A shower and lots of bandages later I make my way to the final dance at Blazzues. With my injured foot, I bring back the famous and almost forgot dance move, the “limp chicken” .
Midnight: Leave dance to purchase food for the massive after party. How many people are coming? A lot they say. The host gives me his credit card forgetting that I am traveling with little money. The temptation to pick up Superman X-Ray goggles is almost unbearable.
1 AM: Get back to house and prepare to cook food. Quickly discover they do not have the equipment I need to do this meal. I gather my minions around me, we light a candle, say a prayer to Saint MacGuyver and attempt a ghetto rigged version of my meal. Surpringly, it turns out to be a success.
1:45 AM: With dinner done, I walk out to find that in the race of who can become beligerently drunk first, I am as far behind as a man in the bathroom dealing with a case of bad guacamole consumption. Everyone is shit faced but me.
3 AM: I fall asleep on the world’s most uncomfortable napping couch with two girls, otherwise known as beautiful little furnaces. How my body temp doesn’t spike into the red zone causing me to spontaneously combust is anyone’s guess. Either way, I fall asleep basking in the wonder of a great weekend.
Approaching a first time blues event in a city you’ve never danced in is kind of like getting head from a girl with braces. You don’t know what to expect, but as her head goes downwards, there is a degree of anticipation that cannot be summed up by simply saying “I was nervous”. However I was pleasantly surprised by this event. What they lacked in large ratios of awesome dancers, they made up for in the amazing energy of the event.
Dancing with people who really are happy to be there makes such a difference, and whether my dances were great, decent or to be filed in the drawer “burn notice” there was a vibe at this event that was amazingly friendly, welcoming and fun. All in all I definitely am looking forward to going back next year. The people there were fantastic. Special thanks to Stes who put on a wonderful event.