Saturday, May 17, 2008

Indianapolis, Racism, and a touch of Depression

So I had my monthly trip to Indianapolis this last week. Usually I just can’t wait for these trips because it gives me the majority of an entire week to do the girl thing. For some reason, I just couldn’t dredge up must interest this week. I even had an entire extra day to play as I had to make a warranty service call in addition to the contract work I normally do on these trips.

The ladies at the counter of the hotel recognized me and went out of their way to chat with me a bit. That’s kind of nice as I most places I go I don’t have a lot of people to chat with.I got in at about 3PM Monday night and just couldn’t call up enough interest to get dressed up and go inflict my presence on the world. Instead, I got a bottle of whisky, some soda, and dragged my guitar out into the stairwell where the acoustics are AWESOME!. If you have ever been in a stairwell where the steps are concrete with no carpet, you might have noticed that there is a LOT of echo and this is something I like when playing and singing. Yeah, I felt a little silly at first, but as I got warmed up, and got my first drink down the hatch, I wasn’t all the worried about who I might annoy anymore.

The next night was Tuesday – usually one of my very favorite nights in Indy because I like to do Karaoke at “The Metro”. Tonight though? Nope, still feeling sort of depressed for no real reason, and just can’t dredge up the enthusiasm for getting dressed up and going out so I exorcised for a half hour or so, and headed for the stairwell with my guitar again. Before I headed for the stairs though I stopped by the front desk and played a little for one of the ladies there. She had commented that she was disappointed I hadn’t come down and played any for them the night before so I thought I’d bug her for just a moment. As I was playing, I saw her manager walk in out of the corner of my eye. At least I assumed it was her manager, figured she might not appreciate my annoying her guests and so I got up to leave. This was when they started telling me I shouldn’t leave and they were enjoying it, but at this point I felt kind of self conscious and shy – would you believe it? I thought I was over that shy stuff, but apparently it’s still lurking down there to rear it’s ugly head every once in a while.

Wednesday rolled around and I decided to eat the hotels breakfast. I’m sitting there eating while reading my book when a woman in her early to mid 60’s walks by and says
“That boys gonna wind up missing!” I had not idea what she was talking about.
“Excuse me?” I asked. She looks at the TV where Senator Obama is speaking and then back at me and repeats herself quite smugly as she started to walk away.
“That boys gonna end up missing and I had nuthin to do with it!”
I guess I am naïve because it actually took me 10 or 15 seconds to put it all together and then I just sat there stunned with my mouth hanging open. The woman looked so damned normal and yet was apparently a raving racist willing to share her opinion with others. Shouldn’t they be wearing sheets and silly hoods, or maybe a flashing yellow light to let everyone know they are freaking crazy?
Here the man had achieved the status of being a Senator in the government of the United States of America, and as far as this woman was concerned he was a “boy” to be taken out back and whooped, deserving no respect or consideration simply because he was black. One of the next thoughts that struck me was why in hell she chose to share her opinion with me? Do I look like a racist or something? What made her think I would share in her delusions – my white skin and blue eyes? The next thought to strike was that gee, if you don’t like Senator Obama, I’ll bet you will really LOVE me tonight when I get off work and head out in a skirt!

Got back to the hotel that night and I still wasn’t exactly filled with excitement at the idea of going out, but I sort of forced myself to do it anyway. Figured I was going to regret not taking the chance to do the girl thing later, when it might be weeks before I got another chance.

I recently saw a friend of mine had posted pictures in a suit just like this, but in black and blue, and so I pulled mine back outta the closet just to see what it would look like these days. I really love this suite but am a bit worried that it might not exactly be the current fashion. I had it on just for the purpose of taking pictures – I did not wear it out. I have this unique little condition called Erythema Nodosum that results in huge swollen bruises on my lower legs, and so at the moment the inside of my lower left leg is one huge bruise that is NOT pretty to see in short skirts. The only amusing thing about it is that it is almost entirely a female problem – it’s very rare for men to have it. I thought that was pretty ironic. Anyway, short skirts are out of the question for a few months so I just took the pictures at an angle where my leg doesn’t look like it belongs to a monster, and then changed into a long skirt.

 This outfit has always been a favorite of mine as I think I look good in it and so I always feel confident in it. I did some shopping and then headed to a lesbian bar called “10” that I had found on line that was supposed to do Karaoke tonight. Compared to some of the places I had been, this was a pretty large place . . . with no one in it! There were maybe 8 people in it, and that’s counting the two running the Karaoke, the guy that owned the karaoke company and his boyfriend, and the bartender. Had one good laugh. The guy that owns the Karaoke company kept coming over to my table and sitting and chatting with me. I don’t think he was really flirting with me, just trying to be a good host. Anyway, his boyfriend was up on stage doing a song and pointed at me and announced over the PA system that I could flirt with his boy friend all I wanted, but “he’s going home with me!” I laughed and held my left hand up high while pointing at my wedding ring – I hoped that got my point across! These folks were perfectly nice but for some reason I just didn’t feel terribly comfortable – still not sure why. Called it a night pretty early and was back at the hotel by 1030.

Thursday night I got dressed up and did a little more shopping. Found a pink knit top at Goodwill for $2.00! I kid you not, only $2.00 and it still had the department store tag on it. Found another mall NE of Indy and went for a walk.
While I’m walking around I get a call from a good friend of mine in Indy – I wont mention her name as maybe it wouldn’t be appropriate to share her personal pain. Well, she has been married for almost 40 years and her wife does not know she cross dresses. Unlike anyone else I have met, she had no interest in cross dressing until she was in her 40’s, so it’s not that she was lying or hiding it from her spouse all these years. Anyway, she got busted – left some shoes in the car the wife never drives, and for what ever reason the wife got into the car and found them. It didn’t go well. Apparently at one point, the wife stated she would have preferred it was an affair over cross dressing. Ouch. Suffice it to say my friend, a very decent and good person, is in a lot of pain right now with forty years of marriage in serious peril.

I can’t recall the name of the department store, but their thing is to have a piano player at all times. I’ve been in a few of their stores and usually the person playing is bored to death and playing very mechanically – no art, no heart, and no feeling. I was therefore surprised to hear this lady play her heart out and sat to enjoy it for a moment. She was playing right under a dome and the best spot to hear it well was to sit exactly across from her which is what I did.
I gave her my compliments and chatted about 30 seconds with her and then headed out.
I went to “Illusions” again because they do karaoke on Thursdays. This is more of a neighborhood bar than a club scene, and in some ways I like it better for that. They also appear to like older music and country music, so I enjoy the music there more than at other places. This place was also not exactly crowded and had maybe a dozen people there – one of them passed out and sleeping on the bar stool with his head lolling backwards over his chair. He wasn’t hassling anyone and no one hassled him!

Unlike the other place though, I just felt comfortable here. Everyone there was genuinely friendly, were quick to bullshit with you, and just made you feel like one of the regulars. The bartender was very friendly always walking by and asking “You OK dear? Anything I can get you?” Since there were not a lot of people there I got to sing a lot and just had a lot of fun. The bad news is, toward the end of the night some drunk guy started to irritate the hell out of me. Invited himself to my table, started bitching about the people singing, bitching that he couldn’t play the jukebox, bitching, bitching, bitching. Someone got up and started to sing and this guy starts to almost shout though I’m only a few feet from him.
“What?” he demands. “What is he doing? What is he singing?!”
Anyway, the guy was clearly trashed, was a pain in the butt, and I had to work in the AM anyway so I called it a night at about 1130.

Someone recently asked me to start providing details about where I go and so here are a few for you:

English Ivy
944 N. Alabama
Indianapolis, Indiana 46202
This is where I eat dinner most nights when in Indy. They have great food and are very friendly.

The Metro
707 Massachusetts Ave
Karaoke on Tuesday and Thursday and sometimes the talent is amazing. Pretty young crowd that is a mix of gay and straight and is always friendly

1446 E Washington St,
Neighborhood bar that is very friendly and not so crowded as the Metro. Good Karaoke on Thursdays especially if you like Country and easy listening.

1218 N. Pennsylvania St.
Indianapolis, IN, 46202
(317) 638-5802
Lesbian bar that has Karaoke on Wed nights. Sorry, but the Karaoke here did not impress me, and while they were clearly friendly, I just didn't feel all that comfortable

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