(I wrote this in May for the li.st app about ten minutes after these events. Below is that list, now changed; verb tenses and words have been modified, and the whole thing has been chopped into paragraphs because long lists are a drag to read.)
Stuff That Happened at a DJ Gig in Chinatown
Most of this involved an Older Drunk Guy (ODG).
I arrived at the bar at 5 PM to meet Felipe, the bartender, who I had never met. The other half-dozen times I have DJed the Procedure night, Jessica Espeleta has been the bartender. (She is, in fact, the only bartender I've ever seen at Melody Lounge.) I was filling in for Richard Chartier, the man who started the Procedure night a year ago. He was entertaining guests that night and needed a break. I owed him one since the last time I tried to DJ, my Traktor set-up borked and I played half of one track all loud and crackly and super garb, and then abandoned trying to play music out of my laptop. Since attendance at Procedure rarely exceeds ten or twelve humans — once a dog put us over twenty — I figured I could handle a last-minute hand-off.
While I was waiting for Felipe, I was talking on the phone, turned away from the bar's front door. ODG was lurking. He ignored my Obvious Phone Engagement Stance™ and called out to me: "Is this one of those places that opens whenever it wants?" I turned and delivered what I thought was a universal gesture: the shruggie. He kept asking unheard questions, walking in circles.
Once the bar opened, ODG walked in. Felipe helped me set up. While I got ready to play, ODG talked loudly on the phone to someone, apparently about another phone. "So tell me WHOSE phone you have now? Do you know anything about them? WHY do you have it?" I expected I was going to have at least one interaction with ODG in the next few hours.
I had an interaction with ODG almost immediately, when I played my first song — "Tangled Up In Blue." (It was Bob's 75th birthday, so: duh.) ODG walked past me and asked, loudly, "Are you going to be playing a lot more Dylan?" "Probably not," I said, though I hadn't made up my mind. "Good," he replied, planting himself on a nearby banquette. Wheeeee.
After an hour or so, he came up and asked me if I had been playing John Cage. Though I hadn't, it wasn't a bad guess. I told him as much and he walked backwards, mumbling and gesturing.
When he sat nearby, he was in the company of a Handsome Younger Man (HYM).
About half an hour before I finished, ODG walked up and said, "The music is much improved since the Dylan. If wanted to hear another whiny Jew, I'd go back to Chicago."
I was playing a long track. I cued up another Dylan song to end with. ODG waved to everybody and left.
While my last song played, HYM came out of the bathroom. "Did you see that guy I was with? Did he leave? Oh shit." HYM ran out of the bar.
Once I was packed, I pulled my bag over my shoulder and walked towards the bar to get some water. A man sitting on the banquette gave me a silent thumbs up. I returned it.