Language

You look at the world differently when you’ve traveled it.

Seen some things.

Done some things.

Although I haven’t travelled the world; I ‘ve been around a lot of different people.

People that make me grateful for my experience.

People different from me.

The beauty of moving to a different environment is the language.

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Accidental DJ

 I love music.

I think its what kept us together.

The year was 2006.

I was working at a Pizza restaurant.

He cheated….I forgave him. (Smh)

The Story goes like this.

He became more controlling and throw his affair in my face. So… naturally I locked him in the house and I went to work. At work he called and called until finally I went home.

When I got home he had taken a knife to every piece of clothing and shoes that I had. (Prom Dresses, Graduation gown and cap etc.)

At the time we were renting a room in this old mans house. I knew we weren’t going to spend very long there. Burch was in the process of purchasing himself a wife.  I feel bad because we began to fight and we broke some stuff in his house, and then I left. I begged my mother for a place to stay. She always let my sister come back, but she kick me out for being with him. Needless to say she let me stay at her house.

Then he called…..

He begged.

He cried.

I was inexperienced with men and he was telling me that he wanted to be with me. Nobody had every said that to me before. I never felt wanted and my parents never really said that they loved me. He told me that he didn’t know how he could spend his life without me and that he would change, for a while. He told me that if he wasn’t with me he would turn into a straight dog he would never fall in love again. He told me everything I wanted to hear.

So

I cracked the garage door, crawled out with my stuff and hopped on a plane and went to Jamaica for 6 months.

Sounds crazy, right?

It was (smh).

I wouldn’t take it back for anything in the world. It was a dream. A nightmare. We followed our hearts.

Remember this though: Love can keep you alive but passion… Passion will make you immortal. It will also drive you crazy.

We were both.

Too much.

In Jamaica being a DJ (aka Selecta) is common. Many are musically inclined due to upbringing, the place has a lot of churches. The music industry here resembles that of the world male dominated. I got a lot of different reaction when people realized that I could Select. Surprise was mainly the reaction, later on it turned into jealousy.

Jamaica wasn’t really new to me when I got there I had already visited for Christmas the year before. I never thought about becoming a DJ, M had a dream so I went for it in a big way and I gave myself unconditionally for love. We were cutting edge. Fearless. We had a turn table, CD player and the laptop. Sometimes the laptop would over heat, so we had the CD player ready to pop one in to keep the vibe going while we fixed the problem.

But lets not get too far ahead.

We moved to Jamaica!!!!!!!!!!!

M bought two huge crates and a couple of barrels. We packed all of our stuff and moved to Jamaica. He and I went to his parents house in Mandevilla. I had no clue… I had no clue what I was doing. I absolutely 100% was winging it. I smiled the whole way or at least most of it. I love Mandevilla, its the coolest perish in the whole country. Its hot and very humid in most parts of the country, but Mandevilla always stays cool. I don’t know why but for some reason when you pass throw Porus from Town(Kingston) and you hit that little jungle area where all the fruit stands are on the side of the road, the temperature just drops. The feeling of relief when the cool air hits my face is so nice, it was enough to make me stay forever. As you’re driving by you can hear the sound of birds chippering and kids laughing nearby as there mothers wash clothes in the stream. It’s peaceful.

M’s dad saw that we were serious about the sound ting, so he bought him a truck. He bought it so that we could move the Sound.

We had a sound and now we were getting a truck. Things were looking good.

We played.

We flopped.

We made some money.

We had fun.

When we weren’t playing there really wasn’t much to do. I would mostly lay around the house. Help out were I could. Hang out with M’s Dad. We had a big dance coming up tho, 200 hundred chickens were in the freezer. M was in Daviton preparing a goat for the night. It was a big deal. M organized it all out. We had selectas from town coming it was  suppose to be lit, it was almost like a grand opening for our sound.

The Days Before the Dance

It was a beautiful day.

Mr. Mac was it the front room I was in the back. Doing something, I forget. Mrs. Mac was in Florida taking care of a family friend and she had hired a lady to come clean up the house and wash clothes while she was gone. I don’t know were she was. Then I heard the screaming.

Maid: Laud Jeasus

Me: OMG!!!!!!!!!!! What happened?

Mr. Mac was on the ground having a seizure. We called everyone.

The wife

The sister

and M

Me on the other hand.

I didn’t know what to do. It was almost like a mirror because I had already watched someone lay on the ground struggling to hold onto life, I couldn’t handle anymore death. I thought Mr. Mac was going to die, so I cried. I was scared. Mr. Mac was taken to the hospital and the next day it turned out that he would be ok. His daughter was with him, but we had another pressing matter to attend to the truck M’s father just bought needed to be picked up from Clarendon.  The seller was a truck driver and he was saying he wasn’t going to have time to meet us again to pick up the truck. Plus, we needed the truck for the dance we had already planned and the guy was pressuring M because he knew what his intentions for the truck was. He didn’t want to hear about M’s dad being sick in the hospital, so we reluctantly left to go get the truck.

It didn’t feel like a long drive because we drove with Mr. Mac’s best friend. I forgot his name but he kept us talking the whole trip.  I could always tell Mr. Mac’s good good friends from the parasites, they were there when he needed them the most. We get to the Clarendon. Met the man and got the truck. M and I drove in the car while best friend drove the truck. M kept on saying that the seller wanted gas money for having to drive and M was like he ain’t getting shit, so I thought everything was ok when we left.  However as we were driving back and the seller kept calling about the gas money.  He was demanding the money. Time was running down and we couldn’t stop because best friend in the truck in front of us didn’t have a phone and we didn’t know our way. M told the seller we couldn’t stop but this man was determined and literally chased us down.  Personally I think he got too much money, but it wasn’t M’s money, so he didn’t care. I had just got my last check from my job in America. That’s all the money I had and he knew it. M asked me and I gave it to him, I don’t even remember the amount but it was just gone. This moment cemented a trend within our relationship. I was continuously over giving and not really getting back much in return. Even when I had personal dreams or aspirations the support was never reciprocated and the only reason why I recognize it as such is because that’s all I knew my whole life. Do as your told. You have no dreams you’re invalid. I created you. You are nothing without me. So 20 year old me handed over the money and out the window like we were in some high speed chase it went. I was so sad. M was relieved.  We had a dance that night so it wasn’t the time to be mad.

Now that I’ve become aware of theses personal revelations. I realize that my dreams matter. I am valid. And If you cannot bring to the table the same level of support of my goals or aspirations don’t even look my way. I am not the one for you and frankly I don’t think you could handle me.

Right before you go up the hill to Davidton there’s a fork in the road. To your right a road and on the left a shop. This is the road we took to get to Jungle. The place was poor all I could see were little huts everywhere. Thousands of electrical cords hanging from one house to another. The cords were hanging so low that Ol’ Brown and this other guy had to stand on top of the truck to lift the cords so that we could get through without ripping all the lines down. It was exciting. People looking out of curiosity, I could tell nothing like this had ever been in a place like this before.  When we arrived we began to unload the columns. The trunk could hold everything with room to spare the mixers and QSC Amplifiers, all of it. It took a while to set up M had created these thick cords that had to be unrivaled. It started to get late and we always started off with the classic reggae music, very one was scrambling to get everything in place. It was going well everyone was enjoying the vibe, but the bass was too much. It was pulling to much current from the community and weakening the power at the same time. M told me to come with him. We followed the main lines to a path that lead to the bottom of the hill. There were found the main electrical box. He asked me to hold the flashlight so he could get a better look at what he was fixing. It only took him a few minutes to fix the power for the whole village. We went back up to the dance and things were going well Ol’ Brown was on the mic and then M was called away. He was the DJ and he left and asked me to play. It was bad. I flopped the dance. I was nervous and I had never played in public before, not like this. It was getting later and later. M was gone he wasn’t answering his phone. Then he shows up with something wrapped around his hand. His Dad chopped him in the hand. Plus, we couldn’t go back to the house. I could but I wasn’t going anywhere without him. So, we went to Davidton.

I was told that his sister was jealous that we went to go get that truck while his father was in the hospital. Plus, that morning M had helped a neighbor up the street move and was using the truck. Which also made her mad so she kept going to her father trying to instigate some mess. Well she succeeded. Yes we had small dances here and there however we had a big dance coming up so we were also preparing for that. She was mad that the cook came to the house to prepare the chicken we were going to use for the dance. She unplugged the deep freezer with 200 hundred chickens ready to cook in it and said it was the baby that did it. M went crazy, plus his sister had whispered in her fathers ear enough to convince him that M was misusing the truck (he was flashing but not like that). M was so mad he kicked the door open and was threatening his sister so his dad chopped him in the hand.

After a night of worrying about whether the bleeding was going to stop we ended up going to the hospital and he got stiches.

Hilltop

Davidton is where his Fathers family come from. Where M spent a bit of his youth. Many of the people here live off the land. Don’t have jobs, most don’t mind. During the day many of the young boys either hang out with peers or tend to little odd jobs to get some pocket money.  Much of the land in this area has been owned for generations, so they only really have to pay taxes. Some never leave. I would say that the atmosphere here during the day is, sleepy. However at night everybody is dressed to impress and there isn’t any big parties(dance) most night, just people walk to the bar so they can get a drink and chat it up with people. This kind of simplicity I find beautiful.

I forgot the name of the guy we were living with. His house was moderate, in all respects and what I would like to call historically quaint. Many of the older homes in Jamaica that had bathrooms a kitchens attached to them in order to modernize were built in such a way that you can only get to the bathroom by walking through someone else’s room. Which was a bit difficult for me because I always needs to pee when the owner was having sex or in the middle of the night, most nights I would go outside and relieve myself.

In Davidton I learned how to cook rice. Catch water from the well. Wash clothes by hand. (Smh, forgive me I was young.) I learned how to do things the way they did.

On this stretch of road in Davidton where we  lived for several months. There was maybe six or seven little bars and about four sounds. At the time that was a lot of competition. When M’s hand finally got better and we settled in we started to play music again, but no one wanted to here him play. One night we were playing in front of the house it was getting a little dark but he didn’t care. M just turned on the sound and people just gathered and he told me to select while he spoke to someone. I was like ok, again not knowing what the fuck I was doing. I played and people started to smile and then people started to dance and when M turned around with a grin to the crowd I knew I was now the Selecta for  Tripplecrown Sound. No one could pronounce my name so they called me Empress E. The shit was even more crazy because I was a women with a laptop. A lot of people had never seen that before, many loved it. Plus I would design flyers for dances. When I really became serious about Selecting I would download so much music and then I would spend most of my time sorting listening and practicing what I wanted to play. I practice a lot and with each show I became better and better. I learned how to blend and I would surprise the crowd with popular  track. It was exciting and I loved every second but it wasn’t easy. In Jamaica your expected to play until dawn and I wasn’t prepared for that. We had to learn the hard way. Many of the big shows I would play and another DJ would take over. At the time I was one of 2 female selects(DJs) in Jamaica the other one was on the radio.

We played at so many places its hard to remember them all.

I know how to move people whether it be to dance or to the bar. Town or Country. We even played at a school once, the kids loved me for that one.

We eventually moved to a house up the street. Big white one with gates it was nice but it became my prison. I was being used as his instrument for his financial gain and not even considered equal even though I handled most of the creative elements of our business relationship dynamic, no one would’ve ever really worked with us if it wasn’t for my presence. M is too underhanded and self-serving most of the time. He’d rather tell his version of the truth then tell the whole truth and he was 30 at the time. Which leads me to another life rule: The only people I want around me are those that are compassionately honest. If you can’t keep it %100 like me, stay away from me and you definatlly know I’ll stay away from you Libra Style.

I heard this saying that when there is fighting or arguing money leaves the house and that’s just what it did.

When the Power Goes Out

I can honestly say that I have experienced abuse in its many forms. From my Mother it was more like metal and emotional abuse which prepped me for the physical stuff. And as I’ve grown and lived I would say that when I was younger I was physically stronger then I was mentally. Meaning my body never gets too tired I heal quickly but the mental scars those are the ones that hurt the most. Sometimes to the point were I cant even remember or want to remember them. And when these memorize do surface they carry so much of an emotional weight that it trumps any scar or burse.

The power had gone out in the whole country, but we still had a dance to play. A generator was brought in. As usual I was one of the main Selectas there. We set up. We started playing I was dressed he was dressed. Everyone having fun dancing, drinking, laughing. Were I was at I could see into the bar from across the street. I see M leaning close in whispering in this girls ear and he’s grinning while she’s blushing. So I wait. I wait for him to come back over to me and I ask him, “Why you talkin to that gurl like that?” and He says, “She’s been trying to talk to him.” So I start taking off my jacket and I’m about to cross the street when M grabs me and then pushes me. I was so angry and he’s pushes me telling me not asking “What’s you problem.” ( But in a aggressive Jamaican tone) Like wasn’t supposed to get mad. Like I was supposed to have a reaction. We arguing back and forth but shorty after that we end up walking up the hill. We were still arguing at the top of or lungs because the music was still loud. Walking and arguing. Then he hits me across the face and starts to laugh and he keeps on doing it  until I say something he really did like and kicks to the point now that I can’t even walk and he has to help me the rest of the way home. I was so depressed. In so much pain. I stayed in the house for days. Tried to bring me food. Tried to get me to go outside and when people came inside I would lock myself in the room I didn’t want anyone to see me. Shortly after that and few other incidents we left the country.

Here’s the thing. These memorizes they hurt. What happened to me hurt. I forgive but I will never forget. And the first person I forgive is myself, I didn’t know any other way of being. And I also forgive everyone involved.  That being said I will never go back. I never want to see him or my mother ever again. Because I can only change myself and I obviously trigged something in you that would make you want to have so much control, you will have to deal with that. Self Proclaimed Proclamation: I am the water you will never drink. The air you will never breath. The Earth that you will never feel beneath your feet and you will be eternally cold for you will never feel my heat. Dramatic yes I know, but the truth. If you feel that you need to be controlling or manipulative to be with someone or get your way, then you have deeper issues then the one you try to project on me. I matter and how I think and feel counts. I’m blessed.

I never got to say this to anyone before I left but Thank you to all the people that helped Tripplecrown go as far as it did. Thank you for your kindness and your time. I am truly grateful for all the experiences  I had there and I’m proud to call myself a Jamaican. Not only a beautiful place it has extraordinarily beautiful people.

Thank you

Empress E