Bo is fifteen minutes late. I’m getting restless because I’m only in L.A. a few days and there are things I want to do before I go back to the frozen tundra that is Minnesota this time of year. The jet lag is slowly creeping in but it won’t really take effect until a few glasses of Grey Goose remind my body that it’s been deprived of sleep. In between them comes a shot of rail vodka missing the succulent finish the Goose always provides. That shot almost didn’t happen though.
“You only drink Goose?” The bartender asked while he lined up four shot glasses.
He wanted to pass me a taste of whiskey but I told the guy I can’t do it.
“Tequila?” he asked instead, holding up a bottle as long as his outstretched beard.
I shook my head again and he gave me a weird look. He didn’t want to pour a free shot of Goose and I couldn’t blame him.
“You know, man, I don’t really need a shot. Don’t even worry about it,” which was the truth because now the man’s generosity was stressing me out.
I tried to disavow drinking during a yearlong stretch in China and now I’m trying to keep this abstinence alive despite the fact I’m clearly failing. I know that behind a shot of booze rests an unhealthy urge for Tinder, and I’m in L.A., back in the States where temptation is easily accessible, and where there is no language barrier. If I ask a woman where she’s at in her life, she won’t respond with her literal location. The bartender grabs a vodka bottle and pours a shot. My life is easier if I don’t drink that libation. But seconds later we are raising glasses and now I’m headed down another long road.
I’m 26 but I feel 46 because all I really want to do is polish off another Goose or two and then go curl up in bed and watch a British sitcom about four losers in high school. There are only 18 episodes but I have seen every one 100 times. It’s been a good day because I have what I came for, time spent with Bo Moneyy, the smooth-talking rapper I met two years ago in St. Cloud, Minnesota. Now he’s in L.A. trying to make it along with countless other artists. Truthfully, I don’t know if Bo has what it takes because I know little about the music industry. But his music has gotten me through some obstacles, like one time when I was forced out of a bartending position at a high-end Italian restaurant because of their fraternization between coworkers policy. I spent the next month washing dishes for $7.50 an hour while I searched for a better gig. His album, The Rap Circus Vol. 2, got me through those shitty nights when my hands would char from grabbing steaming hot plates. Now songs from wRap n Roll 2: Easy Listening get me through sets of an ab workout that make me want to puke after five minutes. Life is a progression.
It’s been two years out west already for Bo. He’s still only scratching the surface, but he’s got a compass showing him where to go.
“Had 250 dollars when I first got here,” Bo says while taking a sip of beer and reminiscing on his arrival in California.
***to be continued***
Quentin Super’s debut novel, The Long Road North, is available for purchase here
Also purchase any one of Bo Moneyy’s albums here