Sharing Personal Stories , Harmonica Playing, and unfair Joking around

I have had a very difficult and traumatic life, to say the least. It is imperative for me to do things that make both sense and are fun. It is also important for me to be unabashedly myself, and I have been known for my sense of humor. It gets me through working 3 jobs, it got me through living in a 2 room basement that opened into a drug/gang infested alleyway with no hot water or heat for over a year, got me through more heart ache than I care to remember, living with sickle cell disease – genetic blood order that came with my re-vitaligo, when I got evicted from my apartment etc

At night while I relax home or write these posts, I sing and sometimes do an impromptu dance. I’m a  blues man without even trying or having  a bad perm. To this end 2 months ago I bought from Sam Ash  a beautiful Hohner  Blues Harmonica – why for two reasons:

    1. I love the blues and I dont have a guitar at the moment to continue my self teaching and crappy playing
    2. The Harmonica is called also the harp, and by some “the mouth organ.”

I’ve been teaching myself to play, and am doing well but I’ve been using it as a means of ribald mockery and joking. Here are some funny scenarios me and my mouth organ have gotten into 🙂

Scenario 1

(Desperately looking through my pockets for change)

This picture made many readers uncomfortable so I kept it around to use again

Female Friend: Why are your pockets always so full ?
Me: Oh its my mouth organ
Female Friend: Uhm….. Really….?!?!?!
Me: Being Black has really helped me out in some ways …. Just kidding
Female Friend: oh …(awkward pause) ..
Me: yeah, I keep it around when I am nervous and just wanna blow out a few notes
Female Friend: (Childish giggles…)

Scenario 2 

Chilling with my mom and pops

Me: Hey Momz …
Momz: Yeah Dave ?
Me: Do you got an old rag, perferably soft I can use
Momz: Sure what for
Me: I want to blow my mouth organ a bit, need to clean it, rub it down make it shiny
Momz: You’re disgusting, is that where all our money and catholic school …
Me: <cuts her off> Who wants to blow a dirty mouth organ? – Cleanliness before Godliness Didn’t you tell me that
Momz: Leave me alone
(sister giggling in the background)
Me: According to the instruction,
(reads instructions)
Wiping the wood down with a cloth and lightly blowing …
Father: What is wrong with you ?
(Sister giggling/cackling even louder)
Me: Me ? You look like I asked you for porno, a tube sock and 5 minutes
Father: Oh Jesus!!!
Me: I just want a clean mouth organ to play with
Sister: isn’t that a sin?
Me: Practice doesnt count

Scenario 3

( Same Female friend from before a few weeks later)

Friend: What was that you were just playing?
Me: Heart of Gold by Neil Young,
Friend: oh never got into Neil Young …
Me: Leave that to his proctologist
Friend: Lol funny …<giggles> Is it hard to play ?
Me: Nah you just have to be relaxed and dont suck  too hard
Friend: Uhm your joking right ?
Me: Hear, I wiped it down put it in your mouth and try to play
Friend: (giggles) That’s wrong ….
Me: You can’t press your lips to it and blow you have to commit, have to really put your lips over it make a tight seal

( BTW Readers: Everyone knows this is called in music Embouchure)

Friend: uhm… ?!?!
Me: Yeah breathe from the diaphram
Friend: ok that was clean
Me: huhn ?… uhm yeah whateva ….. this is how you hold it
Friend: Ok cool
Me: If you hold it too tight you wont be able to move your head around and slide it up and down to….
Friend: Giggling …Wtf is wrong with you, (says my real name)
Me: It’s called a glissando in music means to slide down the harmonica or to go up or down a few notes. The verb glisser in french means to slide
Friend: Why do I talk to you, you’re hopeless
Me: You were calling out my name a few secs ago must be doing something right. You cant act and were never a drama student at NYU
– laughter and shit talking about NYU students


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  1. Wow ! That’s quite a lot for one post. I was initially trying to slot the post but then gave up. Your coverage seems to be very wide. And very open. And I don’t mean it as a complaint.


  2. A difficult and traumatic life is perfect for playing the blues with your mouth organ! You’re such a strong soul, and a funny one at that! I can learn a lot from you.

    I’ve been wanting to learn the harmonica. My dad plays, but I just manage to blow a lot of spit into it which I suck back out when I take a breath. Sounds gross doesn’t it…

    Also, thanks for sharing something so personal; it’s not easy to do, but I guess your readers are just so awesome that you’d want us to know 🙂

    Now I’ll share something personal; I GRADUATED FROM NYU!!! hater.


    • The readers who read and comment are worth their weight in Gold. One of the most interesting signs of our times is the silencing of the idividual who’s thoughts and experiences lie outside the realm of orthodoxy. I think American history is a great example of this. As an immigrant I found american history fascinating (and got 5 on the AP US history test woo woo) because I myself really have no solid history. I think the greatest act of Mercy one can do nowadays is listen to someone, like really listen.

      Anyways the harmonica is fun and doesn’t involve so much spit, if you hold it correctly. Sounds like a joke ive told around here. It is almost impossible to have a conversation about most wind instruments without sound like a pervert.Jokes aside how are you holding it? what is your embouchure like ?

      Once you can laugh about something, healing can start 🙂 plus it also brings people together like music. Everyone loves a good joke and to laugh
      At any given moment there is an orthodoxy, a body of ideas which it is assumed all right-thinking people will accept without question. It is not exactly forbidden to state this or that or the other, but it is “not done”… Anyone who challenges the prevailing orthodoxy finds himself silenced with surprising effectiveness. A genuinely unfashionable opinion is almost never given a fair hearing, either in the popular press or in the highbrow periodicals.
      George Orwell


  3. (I only got a 2 on my AP US history. Shameful.) It’s interesting that you say you don’t have a solid history. How so? What exactly is a solid history? Can history be solid? Not being difficult, just genuinely wondering 🙂

    I agree with you about listening to people, and I must admit it’s something I have to work on. I get distracted easily and tune people out with my own thoughts which is horribly selfish, I know, but I’m working on it. As for laughing, the second you start laughing I will too. I truly believe laughter is contagious. As is yawning (how weird!?).

    As for the harmonica, I haven’t actually picked one up in years, and have only been thinking about giving it another try. If I remember correctly though, my embouchure is just like the person in the photograph; lips hovering over the holes, but ohhhhhhhh I see now! The top of the harmonica should face downwards, whereas I was holding it so that it was angled towards me! Interesting… I must give it another shot and start a country-blues band in China.

    Finally, that George Orwell quote quite accurately defines Chinese society and “individual thought,” or lack thereof. Sad reality we live in, ain’t it?


    • Hey Emily,

      Yeah if you don’t hold it angled its makes it difficult, and the saliva becomes an issue. try it and let me know. Should i send you a harmonic from sam ash near time sq to get you started :-)?

      My parents left haiti during the dictorship in the late 70’s. My father’s mother was killed by a family member or so I was told when he was 9. At 6 he saw his older brother shot to death in front of him and left to die. There is a lot else he has been through. My mother grew up in an orphanage they both left And never talk about the past. I only know a little bout my family history on either side. They refuse to tell me or my sister. we used to see soem uncles but i dont know why that stopped. The earthquake in haiti crushed whatever was left I would imagine. Other than the pain I can sense from their habits and other things I dont have much to go one for personal history. Both


  4. Wow. I’m so sorry to hear that, and I’m sorry I provoked you to have to say all those things to answer my questions. Your parents have gone through so much, I can’t even imagine. But actually I think you have a very rich history that you might not know a lot about, but it’s definitely there. perhaps you can do some digging? That’s one reason why I’m here in China; to get to know more about my family, their history and therefore my own. That would be great blogging material too! I’d love to read about it!


    • Hey Emily, – I’m cool with it no worries 🙂 I kind of feel there are so many stories like theirs the world over, some much much worse. It’s a shame that we are being denied hearing them. My father has been I feel through more than any person must go through, he doesnt really reach out or let anyone in and watching him is like watching a flower from a first date slowly fade. You keep it for a keep sake, but its never as fresh as the first time you’ve seen it.

      To do some digging Id have to go back to Haiti. which is tough now. I think it would be nice for me to find a way to help first and then search for clues and such later. Your post on Identity really mad me pause and think. Maybe some writings soon to post 🙂


      • There are so many untold stories out there. The kids I teach here in China don’t even know about the Tiananmen Square Massacre. Oy vey!

        I hope the best for your father, but it seems like he’s done good since he has you as a kid 😉

        I’m glad my post struck a chord with you. It’s always nice to be able to “identify” with others 🙂


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