Journal – Busking & Heroism

Dear Reader,

Today being a new month, I shall be including a new experience: keeping a journal. If the content is not too risque, I shall post it publicly. If I deem it too private, it shall be password protected and possibly shareable upon request. Just ask me.

That said: here’s what happened today and yesterday thus far.

We opened our store yesterday: I have been hired as one of the original sales associates for the DV Love Boutique in the Stratosphere Hotel and Casino. Yesterday was the first time in nearly a decade that I have worked in retail, and my first time selling adult toys. The amount of different types of lubes, alone are astounding.

Today, I left for work early in order to busk on the Strip, reciting poetry to raise money for a trip to CT in August, for my niece’s bat mitzvah. I found a public place and began to perform – made no money: someone shook my hand and wished me luck or may have blessed me. I stood there, conviction wavering, trying to finish my poem and go but then a fight broke out.

A hip-hopper hocking his CD was beating a man on the ground, punching him, yelling expletives: by the time I got there he landed a kick. I pushed him off the man down and said, “What are you doing?”

“He threw my shit to the ground and said it was crap!”

“That doesn’t give you the right to knock him to the ground and start kicking him.”

The man got up and trounced off. The hip-hopper gathered his stuff and walked the other direction on the bridge, talking about how “that white boy fucked me up. I ain’t no east coast nigga, I ain’t gonna get played like that.” I called after the man down and asked if he was all right: he ignored me. I saw a little girl with a candy necklace.

“Are you all right, darlin’?”

Her mother smiles at me, having seen what happened, and says she is all right. I gather up my stuff and leave. Walk to the bus. I should have stayed, kept my spot as king of the overpass, but like heroes are wont to do: I walked away, washing myself of what I did, resolute that my purpose there was accomplished though in retrospect feeling cowardly for running.

I took the upper deck of the Deuce, take a seat toward the stairwell for departure, and I contemplate busking on that bus. A vacancy opens at the front of the bus and I take it, but spend the rest of the trip fighting my fear, watching the Stratosphere loom nearer, trying to resolve myself into action that never comes. The stop in front of the hotel comes and I get off there: go to work.

The mall is practically empty all night: we get some customers though. I meet one of my quotients of product but not another when I talk myself out of a sale between a couple. It has been a long time since I have worked retail and I am rusty, being too eager to give too many options: I have never believed in products as much as I have here.

The work day ends. We close an hour early for being slow, after our last customer; a boisterous but actually shy Australian man who insists he won’t buy anything and who in fact doesn’t despite my best attempts to sell him something, anything; leaves upon my amiable escort out of the store. My father comes to pick me up, too late to see the inside, but I give him a tour of the retail shops, also closed, instead.

He and I head home, with me driving, and dad regales me with his exploits at karaoke; how he stopped at McDonald’s and was given eyes by a girl whose mother was his age and how nice it is to be flirted with. I tell him of the sale I failed to make, the politics of the store, and he goes off on his own exploits: my father and brother have an uncanny ability to make everything about them – it is through them that I have learned to be a good listener.

Arriving home, I text S—, who is seeing someone but learn wherein there is drama and circumstance that frustrates her and understandably. I call my love, A—–, and we spend nearly two hours on the phone: something we do easily – lose time around each other. I stay up way too late after and finally succumb to sleep.

Therein lie day one of May. A good start to the new month, I think.


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