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Readers Blog: Dobie Maxwell's 'Dented Can' Diary

Bitch Or Do

Friday November 4th, 2011 - Nashville, TN

   I’m the invisible man in Nashville this week, and that’s just how it is. Nobody cares I’m here, and I don’t fit in with the flow of the show or the town. I can choose to be upset and bitch about it or I can get to work on my projects. Those are my two choices - bitch or do.

   I’m choosing to do. It’s not all bad. I’m going to get paid, and that’s the reason I’m here at all. It would be nice to feel like I’m wanted or needed, but that isn’t the case. Nobody is mean to me, and the staff at the club are extremely friendly. It could be a whole lot worse.

   My accommodations are ideal, a major upgrade of what they used to be. The club is in a pretty rough area of town, although it seems to be on the upswing. They used to put is in a ramshackle crack house looking hell hole that was located right across the street from the club. Any convenience was far overshadowed by the fear of being attacked by a vagrant.

   There were bars on the windows and doors, and I’m sure there was mold, lead paint and asbestos all working together to sterilize those who stayed there. I used to abhor having to stay there, and it would end up depressing me by the end of the week. Sometimes sooner.

   Now, they have us in a brand new beautiful apartment about half a block from the club and right up the street from the crack house, which has now been renovated and used as a business office. The apartment complex we’re in now wasn’t even here until just a couple of years ago, and it’s a difference of night and day. I have a clean, happy place to work.

   They’ve got fully loaded cable TV here, but I’ve been so busy working I haven’t turned it on at all. I’ve got work to do, and I’m not going to sit around and feel sorry for myself. I took the gig, and am grateful for the chance to get paid. I could be driving a school bus.

   I did take a break from my work to take a long exercise walk today. I wound up walking several miles and ended up downtown.. That’s a part of Nashville I haven’t frequented for all the times I’ve been here, and I really have no reason why. I guess I never wanted to get lost in the tourist scene, and I was never a huge fan of country music so I didn’t go there.

   Today was different. I was all over the main strip, which is Broadway. There must have been two dozen little bars with live music playing at 2:00 in the afternoon. I kept hearing the same old country classics being sung by people nobody had ever heard of, and I felt a kindred spirit bond with all of them. They’re in the same boat I’m in - the S.S. No Name.

   They’ll all be able to tell their family and friends they played Nashville, but who knows how long they’ll be here? Next week there will be a new crop of wannabes getting off the bus wanting to take their place. Like comedy and life in general, it’s all a numbers game.

   My walk back to the apartment was a lot cheerier. At least I’ll be getting paid this week. Those people were doing it for free, hoping to get seen. Both shows tonight were in front of the same drunk, stupid chatterers I remember. I did my time, and life on earth goes on.

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