The Ballad of Courtney Sam

Dana?nja polizika prihaja iz kraja, za katerega pravijo, da je zibelka blues glasbe in dom rokenrola. Na ulici Beale so svojo glasbeno pot za?rtali John Lee Hooker, B.B. King in Howlin' Wolf. Sam Philips je v studiu Sun naredil prve posnetke Elvisa Presleya, tam so snemali tudi Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis in Johnny Cash. Le nekaj kilometrov stran od Gracelanda in kratek sprehod od ulice Beale je v motelu Lorraine aprila 1964 zaradi strelnih ran umrl Martin Luther King. Motel je danes spremenjen v Muzej dr?avljanskih pravic. To na kratko je Memphis.

In ?eprav so stvari danes precej druga?ne, kot so bile pred sto leti, ko se je v delti Misisipija rojeval blues, ki se je napajal iz bole?ine zatiranih, preganjanih in poni?anih, je blues ?e vedno tam. ?eprav je preprost, je blues na svoj na?in neprevedljiv. Neprevedljiv, ker je avtenti?en izraz ?asa in prostora, v katerem je nastajal, ljudi, ki so ga ?iveli in jezika, ki je pre?emal njihov vsakdan, tako da bi vsi poizkusi prestaviti ga v nek drug jezik, verjetno izzveneli prazno. Prav zato bo drugi del dana?nje polizike potekal v angle??ini, ker ne ?elim posegati v blues.

V Memphisu bluesa ne more? najti v jedru mesta, kjer tudi ob belem dnevu te?ko sre?a? ?ivo du?o in kjer so avtomobili izrinili ljudi. Ulica Beale je danes obkro?ena z luksuznimi hoteli in polna lokalov, ki ohranjajo samo fasado preteklosti, v notranjosti pa skrivajo prav isti obupni poskus ugajanja mno?icam kot povsod drugod. Tudi na dogodku, zaradi katerega sem pravzaprav ?el v Memphis, bluesa ni bilo. Bila je le mno?ica vase zagledanih ljudi, ki so v varnem zavetju konferen?nih sob govorili o bluesu, a jih je bilo na smrt strah vsakega stika z njim.

A predmestja Memphisa in tako imenovani Midtown ka?ejo povsem drugo sliko. Sliko ameri?kih sanj, ki so pri?ele propadati tisti trenutek, ko so se pri?ele uresni?evati, tam nekje pred tridesetimi, ?tiridesetimi leti. Hi?e, nagnetene v predmestne soseske, tako majhne, kakor nekdanje razko?ne vile, ka?ejo isto sliko propada. Veliko je praznih, ?e ve? jih je v stanju razsula. Zdi se, kot da ?e desetletja za ta kraj nikogar ne briga. Sporo?ilo, ki ga oddaja, je preprosto: zgodba, po kateri bodo dr?ave t.i. Tretjega Sveta neko? postale tak?ne, kot je fantazma t.i. razvitega sveta je navaden milni mehur?ek. Pot bo obratna, razviti svet se bo spremenil v Tretji svet. Midtown ni ni? drugega kot velik, presti?ni slum. Avtomobili v njem so navadne razbitine, ?eprav luksuzne, in avtobus v mesto vozi vsako uro enkrat in uporabljajo ga le tisti, ki nimajo druge izbire. Ljudje, od katerih ?e vedno prihaja blues.

In prav tam sem ga sre?al, na avtobusni postaji, pod ?go?im poldnevnim soncem, na kri?i??u avenij Lamar in Airway. Bil je ogromen temnopolt mo?akar, zleknjen na klopi, s slu?alkami na glavi in poslu?al je, kakorkoli je ?e predvajal njegov telefon. Nisem bil prepri?an, ?e je tiste vrste ?lovek, ki bi ga ?elel povpra?ati za napotke, in ko sem po?asi hodil proti avtobusni postaji, sem se spra?eval, ?e sem na pravem kraju. Tudi ?e sem bil, sem imel ?e vedno pol ure ?asa, preden bi pri?el avtobus. Posku?al sem iti mimo njega, tako da sem mu pokimal, a tudi ni? ve? od tega? Ko sem hodil mimo njega me je nekaj ustavilo in povleklo nazaj? Zdelo se je, da ni prav dobre volje, a nikogar drugega ni bilo tam? Stopil sem do njega, vleko? za seboj svoj pla?? in kov?ek:

?Hi, how?ya?doin??

Pokimal je in nekaj zamrmral.

?Is this this the bus stop for number 2??

Potegnil je slu?alke z glave in me nekoliko za?udeno pogledal.

?Where ya?goin?? Downstreet or upstreet??

?Downstreet, I have to get to the airport.?

?I?m goin? upstreet, just sittin? here because I?ve had a few beers and had to sit down. It?s been a weird day. Went lookin? for a job today, but they wouldn?t take me. I?m waitin? for number 32, but I?m goin? upstreet and the bus is on the other side, I?m just sittin? here. Been a weird day? You said you?re waitin? for number 2? Not sure if number 2 stops here.?

?Mhm? I know what you mean, I ran after the bus and fell ? scratched my palms, my knees and tore my pants. It?s been a weird day, I know what you mean.?

Ogledal si je moje praske in se razumevajo?e nasmehnil:

?Shit man, that ain?t no good. Shouldn?t be runnin? like that? Mmmm? I know 32 stops here, but I?m goin? upstreet, I?d be lyin? to tell you if number 2 stops here.?

Videl je, kako gledam napis, kjer sta bili napisani ?tevilki avtobusnega podjetja in ?tevilka postaje: ?I can call the company for you.?

?Man, that would be great, I?d really appreciate it? my phone doesn?t work here.?

?Wait bro, let me call them and see if you?re in the right place.?

Vzel je telefon in odtipkal ?tevilko:

?It?s a busy day today, might take a while.?

Operater se je kon?no odzval in izmenjala sta nekaj stavkov, potrjujo?, da sem na pravi postaji.

?You?re in the right place, bro, the bus will come at 12:27, now it?s 12:04.?

?Thanks, I really appreciate it.?

?Where you from, bro??

?Slovenia.?

?Slovenia ? where?s that??

?It?s a little place next to Italy.?

?Italy?s in Europe, right??

?Yeah.?

?What do they speak there, English??

?Nah, we got our own language.?

?Shit bro, I can?t believe I meet someone from Italy. What ya?doin? in Memphis??

?I?ve been asking myself the same thing??

?I went lookin? for a job this mornin?, but they wouldn?t take me. I have a record for a theft of 500 $ and that?s why they didn?t take me. I ain?t proud of my past, but there?s nothin? I can do about it??

?Mmmm?. What kind of a job was it??

?I was going to work for Nike, but they didn?t take me because of my record. I?ve got a disability, so I get my security check, but I can also work to be part of communing. You understand what I?m sayin?, to be communing??

?Yeah, I know what?ya mean.?

?I?ll go lookin? for somethin? else next week. What?s your name??

?Rene.?

?What?s that??

?Rene.?

Razbit poltovornjak, ki je deloval, kot da ga je nekdo sestavil iz razvalin ve? drugih avtomobilov se je ustavil pred nama in suhljat starej?i mo?akar je iztegnil svojo roko skozi okno. Vstal je, se pribli?al avtomobilu in se rokoval z njim.

?Hey bro, what?s up? How?ya?doin?? Alright, see you around?? 

 Vrnil se je na klop in se ponovno usedel.

?I don?t know where I know him from, but I know him? Lots of snitches around in this neighbourhood. It?s a small city, lots of crime, lots of snitches, lots of drugs?n?stuff? You know what I mean??

?I know what you mean. Seems to be very hard gettin? a job here and it seem that no matter how much money you have, you?re always poor, because everything is so expensive. What?s your name??

?Mhm? it is?Courtney. Courtney Sam. Nice to meet you, bro. Courtney, like court, you know what I?m sayin?? I don?t like goin? to courts, no sir, don?t like goin? there at all.?

Preplavili so ga neprijetni spomin in zmajal je z glavo, kot da se jih ?eli otresti.

?Yeah, I know? I don?t like goin? there either.?

?Mhmm? Where you said you were comin? from ? Italy? What it?s like there? Is it nice? Must be cold there??

?It?s Slovenia, a small place just next to Italy. It is nice? it is on the sea and there are lots of mountains, it?s very different from here. Our largest city is three times smaller than Memphis.?

?You shittin? me??

?No, it?s a very tiny place.?

Malce je posedel v ti?ini in premi?ljeval. Pikapolonica je pristala na moji dlani.

?Ah, another one??

Pogledal je naokoli, kot da bi pri?akoval, da ga nekdo i??e.

?Where, where??

?A ladybug, right here on my hand.?

?Oh man, that?s good luck. I like lady bugs. They don?t bite or anythin?. I don?t like bees and wasps and stuff. Where I live there?s this tree that?s full of ladybugs? There?s a particular kind of a tree that they like, you know? what I?m sayin???

?Yeah, I like ladybugs too, the house where I stayed was full of them??

?Where you said you were comin? from? Slovenia? Shit it must be cold there? Does Slovenia have anythin? to do with Sylvania??

?You mean the company that makes electronics??

?Yeah.?

?Nah, nothing to do with that.?

?Got any family back home? Mother, father? Got any family??

?I do, I we got two kids.?

Njegov obraz je zasijal ob mojih besedah.

?You? shittin? me - you?ve got kids? What?ya got??

?Two boys.?

?Two boys, you shittin? me? Oh that?s perfect man. That?s just perfect.?

Vse njegovo bitje je sijalo radost in ?iroko se je nasmehnil. Pikapolonica je razprla krila in odletela.

?Oh man, you?ve been blessed, that?s good luck.?

?Yeah, we say the same? Ladybugs bring good luck?What about you ? got any kids??

?Nah, I haven?t been blessed by kids. No kids, no woman, no job. I?m 35 and I ain?t got nothin???

Ko je to izrekel, je njegov obraz potemnel, a le za trenutek, ko ga je ponovno napolnilo sonce:

?I live with my father and he?s the kindest man in the whole world. He?s makin? about a 1000 $ per month and with my security check we pull it through. He?s the kindest man? I ain?t got no job and no wife, I drink beer and smoke cigarettes. You smoke??

?Nah, I found it easier to quit, if you don?t start??

?Yeah it?s a bad habit. I?ve got some Italian sausages in the sink and I?m gonna make them when I come home. What?ya reckon is it better to bake them or cook them??

?I?d bake them.?

?You?re right they?re greasy motherfuckers, better to bake them.?

?And puncture them.?

?Yeah, to let the juices flow out? Bro, I?ll have to go? I see that woman waitin? on the other side, means the bus is comin? soon. I?ll have to cross the street, I just sat here for a rest??

Vstal je, zmajajo? z glavo:

?Shit man, I can?t believe I met someone from Slovenia today here in Memphis. What the fuck??

?I know man, it?s been a weird day? Hey, thanks for everything. That was very kind of you.?

Preprosto je pokimal in pri?el pre?kati cesto. Na pol poti se je obrnil nazaj in zaklical:

?I love you little brother.?

Gledal sem, kako se je vkrcal na avtobus in od?el. Sede? na klopci sem vpijal njegove besede in premi?ljal, kak?no ?udovito darilo mi je pravkar poklonil nekdo, ki ga je dru?ba zavrnila zaradi barve njegove ko?e, zaradi njegove nizke izobrazbe, zaradi njegove invalidnosti in kazenske preteklosti. 500 $, ki jih je ukradel, verjetno ker jih je potreboval, ga je zaznamovalo za zmeraj. Mimogrede: 500$ je bila tudi cena konference, katere pla?ilu sem se izmaknil. Konference, ki jo je organiziralo ameri?ko zdru?enje za filozofijo izobra?evanja, in na kateri je samo catering za sadje, pecivo in par drugih drobnarij stal 20.000 $. Ko sem to izvedel, sem milo re?eno osupnil. Zlasti zato, ker so na tem dogodku kriti?ni in dru?beno anga?irani umi razpravljali o inkluzivnosti, rasizmu, dru?beni razslojenosti in potrebi po izobra?evanju, ki odpira prostore.

A prostor je v resnici zmeraj odprt in u?iteljev, kot je Courtney Sam, je na pretek. Le u?iti se od njih ne ?eli nih?e, ker ne predavajo na nobeni od presti?nih univerz, ker ti diploma iz njihovega nauka ne more prinesti napredovanja v karieri in ker ti ne morejo napisati priporo?ila za nobenega delodajalca.

In ob vsem tem je najmanj, kar lahko re?em:

Hvala ti Courtney, hvala za tvoj blues.

 

 

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