I am not who I am.
The things that occupy most of my week: my day job as a cubicle monkey, helping my mother around the house, are not me.
Instead, who I am, the real me, comes out every Saturday night. I push aside the Oxford shirts and pressed khakis and bask in the glory of my sequined tuxedoes. Red, white, blue, of course. They shimmer back at me and I change into my real self.
I’m Raiford’s bound.
They know me, so I walk past the line and step right in. Finally coming home after a long week away.
The air vibrates from the music, tingling my nose with the vapor of cocaine and the musk of sex. I grab a cold forty from the bar, and leave the cup behind.
It is still early, the place has a long way to go before it hits maximum boil. There’s still space on the disco light dance floor, and no one’s passed out on the white leather couches yet. By the end of the night, there won’t be space to move.
Then I spy the drum set, empty and beckoning, and I know where I’ll be spending my night.
Raiford’s was a Memphis institution, a place where the only rule was that you had to have fun. And the place’s namesake owner, did his best to make sure that happened.