Sunday, July 24, 2011

Going To The Gym With Eminem

Thought I had it mapped out but I guess I didn't,
this fuckin black cloud still follows,
me around but it's time to exorcise these demons
These motherfuckers are doin jumpin jacks now!
- Eminem, Not Afraid

Was really depressed for a few weeks. Was getting pretty damn bleak... DARK as hell, hell, hell actually. Pretty OK now, I think. The heat wave burned away my misery. Really sad about the death of Amy Winehouse. "Wrote" about it at

Joined the neigborhood gym and went everyday last week. Listened to Eminem to get through the fact that I couldn't breathe and thought I was going to have a heart attack and his music put me in the zone and then it was all great. His songs always help me remember how far I have come in life and how good it feels to keep fighting for emotional and physical balance and health. His lyrics are so entertaining that time flies and I get a lot accomplished. The way I set up my playlist worked out perfectly because just when I got into the final stretch LOSE YOURSELF kicks in and gets me to the end of my work out feeling like I still have enough energy to climb a building. Then I go do time in the pool even though I can't swim for shit.

I remembered something cool and Eminem-related when I was at the gym.

Once I did LOSE YOURSELF in a karaoke bar in the east village. I love that song with all my soul and I really wanted to make sure that the audience heard every word of Eminem's genius. Plus my friends Jeanne and Martin were with me and they are older and they didn't understand Eminem's appeal to me. Martin was having a hard time connecting with his teenage son at the time and his son was a huge Eminem fan so we had discussed Eminem earlier in the evening. I decided to use Karaoke to teach him about the genius of Eminem.

When I got onstage the glamorous black drag queen karoke host announced my song selection. The rowdy audience was surprised and amused by my karaoke choice. The drag queen suggested I was about to ruin the whole evening by fucking the song up but she was glad I picked a song no one had the balls to pick, ever before, ever. She wasn't even sure she would be able to find the track for me to sing to. She had to look. She needed a minute. The crowd waitied annoyed with me for demanding only the best Karaoke experience for all of us. She found the song. It was time. That crowd was hungry now and not going to tolerate a poser. They wanted to see if I could hang on the the rhyme-rodeo that is an Eminem song. And if I couldn't they were going to eat me alive.

I smiled like a mental patient because that's what I always do when I hear Eminem's music. The pulsing opening of the music turned into the moment to jump in with lyrics and when I opened my mouth I gave those karaoke freaks THE SHIT! I was determined to wow everyone with the storytelling power and lyrical genius of the song and I put every thing I had into enunciating and not missing a single syllable which is not easy because LOSE YOURSELF is jam packed with winding sentence structures and irregular beats that have almost no breathing room between the rapid fire lines. After the first stanza the audience was totally hypnotized and cheering me on. They could tell I was a fucking hard core Eminem fan and I was not fucking around at all. By the end of the second stanza they began singing the chorus with me, by the final stanza they were all on their feet cheering and this guy screamed out "Can we come up on stage with you!?" and I waved him up thinking he meant him and his buddies. The fucking audience rushed the stage to get up there and sing the final chorus and more than half got up there. More would have come up if the stage had any more room on it! Were were all singing


My friends Jeanne and Martin were blown away. They had never seen anything like that and neither had I. Eminem is so beloved by so many people. His fans know the words to his songs, and they need the words to his songs, and they are so grateful when they have a chance to show the world how much they love him at the top of their lungs in the middle of the night.

May Eminem always be protected from sickness and struggle. He has done so much for those of us who struggle with sickness.

I'm not afraid
To take a stand
Come take my hand
We'll walk this road together,
through the storm
Whatever weather,
cold or warm
Just lettin you know that,
you're not alone
Holla if you feel like
you've been down the same road.
- Eminem, Not Afraid