The DJ

Zeesy Powers

Laptop - Zeesy PowersI love music. My records collection is vast, and it is excellent. I'm not so uptight that I can't listen to digital files, but I appreciate good audio quality and the smell of vinyl. People who say contemporary music sucks just don't know how to look for it. Once you know where to go, it's obvious that we're living in a golden age, but it requires a personal investment of time and interest. Music is my life, that's why I know where all the good stuff is coming from.

It's easy to meet girls when you're a DJ. That's not why I got into it, but it's a nice thing about DJing. Girls at parties, usually with their friends. The music isn't really why they're there. Most girls go out to party. They go out and they party and then they meet a new boyfriend and they stop going out to party until it's time for a new one. They're all the same. Shoes and mascara, some kind of attitude. I watch them dance and flirt and bitch. I love girls. I love women.

I'm the kind of guy that'll flip Anita Baker in the middle of a set. I love Anita Baker, and most people do, too, even if they don't know it yet or don't want to admit it. I prefer when a person can admit it. That's just what I'm like. You play some four-on-the-floor, and you follow it up with some Anita Baker, girls go crazy. I don't mean they're shaking their butts. They were doing that to the hard music I was playing right before. They soften. You see it in their faces. The girl who was all tired and about to throw a temper tantrum like some kind of baby all of a sudden smiles at her friends and starts dancing with her hands floating in front of her like butterflies. Her friends are all dancing the same way, too. Cute.

I like to go out to listen to music. I go to shows, usually alone, because it's the music that's important to me. I'll run into friends. You could call it a community. Girls go to shows. Sometimes it's because they have a boyfriend in a band. I've been doing this a long time, and I've noticed that they're all the same girls. They get old and meet a guy and a younger version of the same girl comes to take her place. Skinny body, hungry eyes. Chunky girl in polka dots. Asymmetrical haircut, red lipstick. Long dark hair, into magic. Serious girls into school, subtle with a funky little accessory incongruously placed somewhere on their body, around their waist or in their hair. I like it when they grow out of those.

I've brought girls home at the end of the night. Mostly girls I know a bit, maybe we've chatted at a party once before, or they're a friend of a friend, or they've seen me DJ and want to get to know me better. I take them home and pick out a record. Usually it's whatever I like the best at that time, I like to share and I have good taste. Very rarely, I'll put on something old that reminds me of another girl, another time. It's healing, I think. Replace old memories with a new, young body.

Once, I was at a club, and there was this girl there, this white girl wining but wining good, like she was black. I watched for what felt like forever, but was probably a few seconds because my friend comes up to say hi and doesn't act weird. And she's friends with this wining white girl, who opens her mouth and she speaks patois, like she was dubbed. She stops her wining and is talking to my friend and she looks over at me and I'm pretty sure I could fuck her. I'm not even DJing that night.

I didn't fuck her that night but I fucked her three weeks later after we saw each other at a show. It was good but it was almost too good, you know? This silly girl likes to smoke weed and listen to dancehall. I play her some good music and she's just looking at me so we kiss and I gave her a good beating. In the morning I go home. I was young and lived at home then, so I was less picky as long as they could host.

I'm pretty known as a guy who knows about music, and every now and then I write about it. Some of these girls know who I am because they see my name on a flyer or in a magazine, but I don't think most of them care about what I play or read what I write because music just isn't that important to them. At one point, I dated this girl who was studying something serious in school. This girl was going to be a lawyer or something, but she was dating me because I was older, and a DJ. We met at a party I was DJing. She came in a big group of friends like most girls do. I liked how she looked like she was lost but really didn't care. Her friends were loud and drunk and silly but she was really calm and laughed at their jokes and would do a little shake every now and then but mostly she just stood there looking like a doe at the edge of the woods by the train tracks. She looked expensive. One of her friends was dating a friend I DJ with sometimes, so it was easy to get an introduction. I took her on a date and pretty soon we were sleeping together. I would come over after she'd been studying. She was very small, her skin stretched across her ribs. Little black beauty marks here and there. Very calm. Her neck was so small I could choke her with just one hand. It was actually a pretty hard time for me back then, and I was grateful to have her body to work it out on. After a while I would just come over and cry for a few hours and she'd blow me and I'd fall asleep and then she'd just study some more. A really serious girl. Her friends knew I was a DJ and that I wrote about music and I knew they would talk about it, which made my girlfriend proud. She'd had one boyfriend in high school and now she was living downtown in a house full of silly girls and dating a DJ. They would all get dressed up and come out and dance, which was good because having cute young girls around is a great way to get people to come to your party. She left me eventually, which I expected but it still hurt. She waited until she had graduated, and told me she was going to grad school somewhere else, and we held hands and smiled. I cried a bit, too, but she was the kind of girl it felt good to cry in front of and that was really what I loved best about her.

Once, while we were dating, I was DJing a big party by the cliffs. There were a lot of people there, and I saw the wining white girl, just standing all alone staring out at the water over the cliffs. My girlfriend was studying for exams at the time, so she was giving me attitude and I hadn't had sex in a while. I went up to talk to the white girl. Where she was standing, I could have just pushed her over the edge. This made me really hard. She was friendly and even a little flirty but from the look in her eyes I could tell she didn't trust me at all, which made my dick harder. She walked away before I could kiss her, but eventually I ran into a cute friend who was drunk enough to be up for pretty much anything. It doesn't count as cheating if you keep your clothes on. My set was over by that time anyways.

Music transcends borders, and I've met a lot of cool people through music. I hear something I like, I get in touch. It's important to support other artists. There are some beautiful women who play music. I like how self-possessed they are, their self-confidence. I'll book a show for them, we chat about music in between sound check and the show, some times we'll have dinner together. I can never get it together to kiss them, soft singing goddesses, hard-eyed witches pushing buttons onstage, R&B divas coming on to the universe. Girls come to these shows, excited to see a woman on stage living her dream. I get some shine from the association, sometimes invite a girl I'm interested in to hang out with the woman and me after the show. It works out great, because I can hang out with this beautiful musician without having to say too much, just let this girl who is going to sleep with me me talk about how much she loves her. Another serious girlfriend came out of a show like that, another serious girl with a career compositing digital video, dreaming of working her way up to Art Director. A lover of the arts and an appreciator of music, very grateful for the access to the free talented women I knew so well, inspiring lives.

I invited the drunk friend from the cliffs to a movie with this new girlfriend, the three of us hanging out in the darkness without a reason to talk. She was really quiet through the whole thing, which I appreciated very much considering that our last encounter required some discretion. We talked online the next day, and she told me how she'd lost her voice, which figures because that girl generally does not shut up. A car had followed her on her way home that night after the movie. It drove around the block and pulled up in front of her at the intersection, and she was terrified because she had lost her voice and couldn't scream. I laughed. Funny story. I made sure to call my girlfriend the next night when we weren't together, just to make sure she got home OK. She appreciated the gesture, so I kept it up. A serious girl. Not reckless like the girl from the cliffs or most of the girls going out to party, coming on to the DJ. The life of a DJ involves a lot of parties, I see how people cut loose. The thing about being a DJ is that it's actually a serious occupation. A DJ not only collects, he archives and catalogues too, cross referencing a feeling, a mood, a memory that he shares with a crowd to give them some relief from their lives and a moment of good times they can share in communion with others. On the best nights it feels pretty spiritual. I don't admit this freely, it sounds cliche and ridiculous, but on the best nights it's true. Music is like love, you have to give it away if you want more.

I like buying records, either because it's an artist or a song I love and I want to hear it in perfect quality on good speakers, or because I've been browsing and have a good feeling about what I've stumbled across. It just feels good. But the best kind of record to have is one that's been given as a gift by an artist you admire. It's like a physical reminder of a moment in time, personal history.

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