I was unable to attend and perform at Bodega for the month of November because transport was still crippled (as well as parts of the city including Staten Island) due to Hurricane Sandy. Here’s my account of October’s reading.
I was having a weird day. In the space of a few hours I’d learned that my flatmates in London were moving out, I was getting published in another magazine and two of my ex-s expressed interest in my reading at Bodega which I was at the time preparing for on little sleep and lots of tea. So the glass of wine I practically gulped down before going on stage was well needed.
While I was reading I heard someone off to the side say “hmmp” each time after I’d read a few sentences. They sounded like grunts of approval (I hope) and actually helped me to slow down and pace myself.
I got off the stage feeling great. I wanted to get right back on and read again. I did wish that I’d gone on later, since in between the set of 4 readers I was in and the next set, more people had arrived at the bar. I wondered if I could keep up this streak of Bodega-pleasing stories, but either way, I knew I need to get back on stage. I’m addicted.
Prospero Vega was celebrating his year at Bodega reading his Bushwick Diaries series, so he read a piece specifically about that. In it, he said how Bodega became his AA for writing, writers writing about alcohol and drugs.
Mike made his debut and did way better than I had at my first Bodega reading. The crowd, as usual, was supportive but we also had some of our Staten Island writers group out that night. Later on, saying goodbye outside Bodega, Rob, the organizer, tried to get more of our writing group to come back and read next month. Perhaps that’s why at the closing of the night he had said “And a shout out to Vinny, Allie, Mike and their friends.” The three of us looked at each other like “What? What did we do?”
The place seemed to clear out faster than usual, leaving most of the readers hanging around which meant I actually got to talk to a few.
Prospero Vega told me he liked my story last month and how I tore apart hipsters. I was flattered especially since, as I told him, my story was inspired by his Bushwick Diaries. I figured if he could write about Bushwick in that way, I could write about Staten Island. Then Puppet Bus Man said to Vega “You missed her story this month. It was about sex!” (“Puppet Bus” refers to the first hilarious story I heard him tell at Bodega. He has a real name, but my sister and friends and I know him as this.)
Puppet Bus Man and I exchanged bad day stories but I felt like his was far worse even though he claimed I won. Vega also revealed that he’s lived in London for 10 years and that he might have connections to get me a job over there if things fall through.
We all exchanged business cards, Puppet Bus said it’d be cool if we could all get together and bounce ideas off of each other “ . . . and then get wasted”.
I have to admit I was a bit star struck. This never happens to me besides when I try and talk to Ted Leo after a gig and make an ass of myself and that I’m retrospectively star stuck that David Johansen kissed me on my cheek when I was a tiny tot at a Buster Poindexter gig.
Puppet Bus and Vega are two people I respect from the stage, people who I’m in awe of when they perform and here they were saying they liked my work and wanted to hang out with me and do writerly things. Wow.
Speaking of idols, here’s a pic of two of my fave. David Johansen and Joe Strummer taken from http://awesomepeoplehangingouttogether.tumblr.com/