I'm spinning records for free at Mulberry Street, as in I get zero dollars. I do it, not for the money, but because I want there to be one bar in downtown Fullerton on a Friday night where there is music that is not Top 40 or "grind music."
It's pretty dead in here. Next door, the Back Alley is packed.
As I'm playing a Talking Heads song, this girl walks up and says to me, "You're not cool."
"Ok," I say.
She puts her hand to my face, as if to say, "Talk to the hand."
A bit later, my artist friend Jesse walks in and I give him a hug and he cringes.
"What's wrong?" I ask.
"I just got my ass beat," he says, "I went to All Hallows Ink (tattoo shop) and showed them my work, asking if I could be an apprentice and they said, 'You have no potential.'"
"That's bullshit," I say, "You are an awesome artist."
"And then, when they rejected me, I said, 'Fuck you.' When I walked outside three guys from the tattoo shop jumped me with a baseball bat," he says.
He shows me the scars and bruises on his back.
When I am finished, I begin carrying my four crates of records and Dj equipment upstairs. It takes about six trips. After each trip, as I knock on the door of Mulberry Street to let me in, this guy at the bar says, "Not by the hair of my chinny chin chin," and walks away. I stand outside, and continue knocking, knocking. I just want to get inside so I can take my equipment upstairs. Finally, Rene opens the door, and lets me in.
This happens every time I take a load upstairs, so it takes me quite a while to pack up my stuff.
I walk past the girl who said to me, "You're not cool."
I want to say aloud to the bar, "I do this for free. I do this for you." But instead, I quietly walk upstairs, feeling depressed, but not defeated.