Penny's Story

A cute little drummer living her dream.

My new Pal Marv

I drove to NYC yesterday for yet another gig with Bryan. It seems like we’re doing a bunch of gigs at this point. It’s so awesome. This was our first Saturday night gig in Manhattan. Things are happening. As always, life as a musician is almost as valuable for the stories that you get to tell as it is for the music itself (I’m only slightly exaggerating). Come, let me regale you with my latest installment of “wow, the world is an interesting place.”

I often drive down and back solo, but on this trip I had the pleasure of having not only Bryan for company, but our wonderful and ubiquitous Holy Roadie Mike. I expected an entertaining ride, and I wasn’t disappointed. Mike is a sort of new friend, so I got to tell him many of my more colorful stories, some from my deep and distant past, some from a more modern vintage. Mike and Bryan held their own as well, and we just had an amazingly enjoyable ride down with lots of laughing.

We arrived in Manhattan a few hours before the gig, and, as usual, I scored a pretty decent parking spot on my first time around the block (Mike calls it my “Rockstar Parking”).

As we were by Tompkins Square Park I heard some jazz cats playing in the park. I walked over to them, hoping to hear something truly special. They were okay (it was a trumpet, sax, and drummer), but nothing special, so I resumed my trip to the club and quickly caught up with Bryan and Mike.

We got to the club and went downstairs, which is kind of the “green room.” I ended up taking a little nap. When I woke up, I was soon joined by a man I had never met before.

As he was walking over to me he asked why I was downstairs. I told him I was a performer. He sat down and started talking to me. He was pretty drunk. He asked how long I had been performing, ended up asking how old I was. I told him that was rude, but I can never say no to a question (why do I care if people know the truth?), so I answered him.

Then the real fun started.

He came right out and asked if I am a transsexual (so much for thinking I pass flawlessly always  ). Me being me, I said yes (if I had it to do over again, I think I would say no – it’s not in me to tell some one that something is “none of their business” – but I apparently will lie  ). Anyway, my conversation with “Marv” was very interesting. It went from him asking if I found him attractive (when I was non-committal he wanted to know if it was because he was fat or because he was black {“um, it’s because you’re totally fucked up” – thought only, not said}), to him asking if I minded if he did a bump (I honestly told him that I didn’t know what that was – I’m so innocent) to him asking if I had male genitalia (I honestly don’t really know how to answer that question anymore – and god bless me, I tried – look at me, trying to do outreach to a drunk moron trying to get laid – I crack myself up) to him asking if I’m promiscuous (“um, no”).

Bryan left me alone with Marv for a little while, but then Mike came back downstairs, which lead to another interesting chapter in Marv’s brain. He wanted to know if Mike was a cop. This triggered a great story from Mike about when he had been mistaken for a cop in the past.

Then Bryan and another of his friends came downstairs, and Marv was further distracted from me (though, he did say to Bryan: “Bryan, did you know that Penny is a transsexual?” to which Bryan answered, without missing a beat, “What!?” it was kinda funny). Eventually we had to head upstairs to get ready for our set, but I’ll have ~very~ interesting stories of Marv for quite a while. It was funny, because I had just told Mike on the drive down that being a transsexual makes you develop a thick skin for rude, impertinent, presumptuous question. So he got to see it first-hand.

I must say, Bryan and I have been playing some screaming shows lately. Last night was no exception. We tore the place down. I was so happy with just about every aspect of our performance. We were just really on. I love playing good shows. The crowd was awesome as well. It was just an awesome trip to the Sidewalk (as they almost all seem to be).

Right after our set Mike and I took the cymbals and guitar to my car. While we were on our walk I mentioned that I was a little annoyed that Marv read me. Mike, who knows a couple other trans women said that when he met me there was a question in his mind, which actually made me feel much better. I can live with people having questions (hell, I’m 6’2″ for Pete’s sake). I do think if someone I don’t really know in the future ever asks if I’m a transsexual again I’m going to react the way plus-sized women do when morons ask when “the baby is due.”  In some ways it just goes to show that NYC is very accepting, but that’s also ~really~ hard to pass there, because people are so used to seeing trannies that they have more of a sense of people that are more in the middle of the two polar genders.

When Mike and I got back to the club we all hung out for a while (my new buddy Marv left ~before~ our set – you know, if you’re going to be rude you can at least listen to some of my music), and then went out to dinner.

We ended up at the Odessa Diner (I wanted a diner). The waiter was another character (as Mike said, he “belongs in New York”). He came over to our table and started with “ladies first.” Of course, I wasn’t ready to order, so I had to have the guys go first. When I did order the waiter asked me if I was British (?!?! – does anyone I know think I sound remotely British?). I said, “No.” So he said that he liked my voice and that it was very “romantic.” What the hell was with me last night? I must have been wearing my “bizarre people magnet” or something. He was nice enough, but the food was mediocre.

After the food, and some hemming and hawing about whether we should head right back or not, we started our drive back to Boston. I was tired enough that I asked Bryan to drive for about half of the drive home.

And then I was home at 5:00 this morning.

Yo-Ho Yo-Ho, a musician’s life for me.  

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