Grind (grind grind)
“I got a hustlers spirit”
-Jay-Z ‘HOV’ Black Album (2003)
Tell you one thing I know pretty good is that its hard work taking inspiration from someone like Sean Carter. I didn’t grow up dealing drugs to get by but one would imagine he promotes a glimmer of hope to those that do it on the daily.
If your anything like me your whole situation is about the taking bits and pieces around you to keep moving. I know full well how good I am and so do you. Circumstance separates everybody whilst bringing them together at the same time. I need you and you need me. ’Cause what I got you don’t have.
Monday 22 February just around lunch time and the State Library is a buzz with people. Ice-Creams are being handed out from a promo Bulla beach-van and its all good. I take my perch to the side with a cream and begin the chill-down post cycle commute. In my vision a mainstay unemployed is up to something but its not clear at first what that is. Dressed in all blue soccer apparel he slaps hands with a parting street friend and lights up a smoke as if to say ‘I’m ready — lets do this’.
To my surprise he starts seeking out games with anybody close enough within range to his end of the life-size Chessboard. With a twist a though in the form of a $5 betting incentive (bit weird right?). So I just sit there idle watching him approach a dozen people within just a few minutes and notice the peaceful rejection coming back his way again and again (the highlight a Japanese tourist pulling an extreme emoji-like smile that near froze in time).
Barely amused at what a hopeless yet tiny venture was unfolding it became clearer that this man was really playing for keeps. Thoughts of “get a job” and “you’d be better off robbing someone” passed through long enough for me to start empathising just a little as I began seeking a more hopeful outcome for this fairly awkward scenario.
I approached him on my path to the recycle bin from where I had covertly perched for the last 10 minutes and calmly engaged him.
“Maybe try asking if they want to play first, then ask about the money”
Mildly cringing he responds “Aaawwwhhhh I’ve already tried that” to which I reply “well.. it is A way” imposing a sort of verbal shrug of the shoulders.
And there we meet for a brief moment in the middle.
“Cheers bruv!” he exclaims throwing up a cheerful grin.
“Just a tup” aaaannnddd I’m out.