I had made it from LaGuardia back to 125th in 10 minutes. The time was 8:15pm. Rico wanted me downtown for 9. I had driven the PT Cruiser before, but not like this. I wasn’t really a fan of the car itself, but it fit perfectly into the night’s plans. I had never filmed a professional event like this for anybody, but my attitude said otherwise. Glowing with confidence, I picked up the lighting gear, tripod, camera bag and all other film gear that I needed, and cut. Told Auntie I wouldn’t be back until 5ish. She understood. I sped off down the F.D.R blasting the new Byrdgang tape.
“I love my bitches, I need em, I gota have em, soon as I hit em I got em saying…”
“.. JESSE CAN I GO WITH YOU!!” I yelled as I remixed the Max B track to my perfection. I had just passed under Queensboro Bridge. The traffic was minimal, to my surprise, and before I knew it, I was pulling into a vacant lot next to the venue.
“Say word I didn’t even play Budden..” I said to myself as I exited the Avis rental. I hadn’t heard Mood Musik II and couldn’t wait. It was cool, though. I knew I’d play it on the way back. Now it was time to focus. This was my first hired film job since moving down to NYC and was I ever pumped. Thank God John had let me borrow his Panasonic HDX camera. I knew I couldn’t use the school’s so his came in rather handy. And besides, it was the least he could do after calling me down to his midtown apartment at 12am to shoot his horror film the week before. I popped the truck, grabbed my equipment, locked the vehicle and proceeded to the entrance of tonight’s pool party.
“SPA 88” read the front sign, with steps leading downward to an underground setting. The hardwood flooring made my brand new Orange Air Max 95s sound crisp and firm with every step.
“Rico, wats up bro.” I said as he sat behind the main counter which I presumed to be the real entrance to the venue.
“Oh, shit. Wats up fam. I see you came prepared!” he replied, his frizzy afro almost covering his forehead.
“I always do,” I said sheepishly before retaining my confident esteem.
“So just follow that pathway, make a right at the end, and the hall is right there. You’ll see some people already in there. The DJ is now setting up his booth, so try to set your spot within close range of where he is, cool?” I could tell Rico was amped. I mean, this was all he had talked about for the past month and every week I would sit in his barber chair, he would ask me the same question.
“So you tryna film this event or what? I mean, you do do film, right? C’mon son, you gota come through this shit gon be crazy!” Well, here I was.
“End of the hallway and make a right? No problem.” I proceeded to walk towards the hall but not before stopping dead in my tracks. The first door on the left was open and with the wet footprints leading from it, I knew this was where the pool was located. What made me stop wasn’t the footprints, but her. There she stood, arranging her bikini outfit in front of a mirror, making sure every crevice was perfectly covered or exposed. Her brunette hair color was saturated with blonde dye, making her that much hotter. Her gold bamboo earrings dangled as she attempted to tie her hair up in a bun so as not to get it too wet in the pool. I hadn’t realized that I was staring for so long until her coke bottle figure walked out the door and towards me. I didn’t care what other females were planning to attend. I had found mine already. She had a slim, but fitted waist and an ass two volleyballs couldn’t compete with. “Wow” I said mentally, completely losing all sense of reality for a few seconds. I forced myself to blink and then tried to refocus my attention on a nearby object so as not to make my staring blatantly obvious but it was too late.
“You the film guy?” her eyes dazzled below her eyelashes.
“Uh.. yea.” I hadn’t had time to prepare an answer. My shit was hard already.
“Well make sure you get all of this of camera tonight!” she said, pointing to her fair brown skin complexion. As I staggered in my mind for a reply, I couldn’t also help but wonder that she had to have had the sweetest tone I had heard since moving down to the states.
“Oh, most def..” I finally replied, but by then she had already started walking away. “Damn. If only I knew how to talk to these super fly-ass girls I would have this shit on lock!” I said in my mind as I continued onto the hall. I entered the wide angled room and set up relatively close to the DJ booth as Rico had advised. Within 5 minutes, I had my key light, tripod and camera ready to go. It was now 9:50. People slowly started to trickle in as the DJ played Maino’s street anthem.
“Hi hater!” I could hear people singing along to the amazingly catchy single. This was genius. Why hadn’t I thought of a song like that? Relatively fresh off a 10-year prison stint, Maino was definitely reaping the rewards of his long-awaited freedom. Then I realized. This party wasn’t going to start popping til at least 11-1115pm. I was bored. I dismantled the camera from the tripod, left the key light on and decided to go for a walk around the venue. With my F train shirt and matching kicks, I was feeling pretty fly. Now, it was time to find Miss Blonde.
An excerpt from “A Smart Story”, Ch. 7: Nods and Broads: Welcome to the Big Apple