I first signed up for EP not too long ago, and I loved the anonymity of it. The ability to be known for only what I have to say. I decided to divulge very little about myself. How I grew up, where I come from, the inane b-s of my day-to-day life. It didn't take long before I started writing around things, having to try to keep secrets.
The one that came up the most was my hometown. Where I live, where I come from. I'm in Memphis. I've lived within two hours of here for the entirety of my memorable life. Before I joined EP, I thought I was just another city girl in just another city, but I'm not. The history of this place is in my bones. I have bartended on Beale Street for four years. I barely escaped the adult entertainment industry before the FBI got involved. I was married on a bluff overlooking the mighty Mississippi River. (Okay, it's more muddy than mighty, but it's still beautiful.) When I hear the blues, I understand. I know the poverty, the sorrow, the history, the hope that goes into this life.
I also know the hopelessness that comes from massively corrupt local government, of an economy where only one out of twenty jobs requires a degree. Where the primary employer--by a long shot--is Fed Ex, and they want you to load boxes onto airplanes in the heat, the cold, the rain...
I know that barbecue isn't hamburgers and hot dogs on a grill, that somebody stays up all night and babysits it, injecting it once every hour. I know that you usually drink beer while performing this ritual, and that there are contests, and that it's a big deal.
I know what years of racism can do to a city, and I know that most people my age are over it. I know the fear of bad school systems. Of unsafe schools.
I know what its like to watch election returns, and exist in one little blue bubble in a red state.
I know what it's like for the temperature to hit 100 degrees in May, and for the humidity to whip off the river. Nothing is sweeter than the blues and the smokey smell of pork wafting on a gentle breeze these days.