My Record Deal

“Just listening to your recording. It appears you are white.”

“Yes… Is that in my recording?”

“I gathered that from some things. Not to mention your skin color.”

“Yes, my skin is white.”

“Yes. Yes it is. Now tell me, how does a white boy know the blues?”

“Like anyone I’ve had life’s comeupin’s.”

“Nobody talks like that anymore… where are you from?”

“Wisconsin, but we have black people too.”

“Oh is that how black people talk?”

“They used to. I read it in Faulkner and Twain. They are always gettin’ their comeupin’s.”

“Ok anyhow. Did you ever work a chain gang? Or flea a coon hunt? Or overcome an addiction? Or get your heart stomped on by a woman? Or do any bluesy thing in your life?”

“That’s not really what the blues are about sir. They are about facing trials and obstacles that don’t relent. They are about that forlorn sentiment that accompanies relinquishing hope to a life of daily bludgeoning by unseen forces.”

“And you know this, this sentiment?

“Well, yes sir. I do a lot of reading on the internet. And putting aside the awful lack of general prosaic literacy, the writing tends to nurture the utmost depravity by means of insinuating my ignorance, and this leads me to indulge in a superficial vice which diverts my general frustration.”

“like?”

“like the sensual delights of the female figure.”

“Like Playboy.”

“Yes, but a little… anyway yes.”

“This ain’t the blues son. You gonna sing about that? This is plain old lack of confidence.”

“What makes you think this?”

“Please.”

“Ok. I find this a terrible judgment of my character from my otherwise homely appearance.”

“You ain’t so ugly son. Just wimpy is all.”

“Yes, I have a bit of a feeble constitution.”

“Wimpy. Just wimpy. You got to sit up straight and try to put some meat on those bones.”

“That’s fair.”

“And how can you sing the blues with those wimpy pipes? Give me a little raspy Satchmo will ya?”

“Technically Mr. Armstrong was a jazz musician. But here it goes…”

“Really terrible.”

“How do you know? You are not African American either. You’re whiter than me.”

“Ugh, now it’s a racial thing…”

“But you…”

“I know the blues son. Plenty of white artists know the blues too. Now I have a jet waiting, but if you want to send in an audition recording my staff in the foothills will look it over.”

“Tell me now sir, what will it take?”

“To make it? The grace of God.”

And with that, my life took a religious turn.

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