MY ERSTWHILE FRIEND IS A DEEJAY
By Steven Acevedo
BJ stood at the front door of my house looking
dejected and sad. His face was very weary
and haggard, as if he had just lost his best
"Hi," he said in a low voice.
I stood there in numbness for a few seconds.
I didn't want to speak out of fear for driving him
away. We just stood there at the door trying to
read each other's emotions and thoughts. We
were both very uncomfortable.
"Well, don't stand out there in the cold.
Come inside," I told him at last as graciously
as I could.
He hesistated at first, then stepped inside.
I ushered BJ into the dining room table which
was situated near the kitchen. The kitchen was
very large and had lots of space to walk through.
I decided to get something to drink. I was very
"Coca Cola, Juice or Iced Tea?" I offered him.
"Juice," he said to me in an even lower voice.
Serving him the juice I sat down on a chair situated
across from him. BJ was staring at the color of the
juice and not saying a solitary word. He let out
a long sigh and then stared up at see my reaction.
I was looking downward to avoid seeing his face.
"Uhmmm. I guess you want to know the whole
truth about why I came down here," he said at
"Actually I wanted to know if you were going to
drink that juice I gave you," I replied trying to
break the ice. It was a rather lame attempt at
humor which was fast alluding me. I wasn't
sure if I had any sense of humor left at all.
BJ let out a somber smile at the dry joke but I
could tell he wasn't in the mood to laugh.
"I," he started to say to me.
"Yes?" I replied back anxiously.
"I've had a lot to think about since
I wrote you that letter two weeks ago,"
BJ said. "You were right about everything.
I wasn't being a good friend at all. I was
using you as a diversion to play games
with. I used you and let you believe you
were my friend. I should've been more forward
with you from the beginning."
In all my years I never expected BJ to come here
and apologize to me. Actually in the back of my
mind I had hoped he would but believed
he wouldn't. BJ was just too proud to admit he
could ever be wrong.
" But you have to understand. This is what I
have to..." BJ stopped short.
"Uhmmm. That is I never expected to lose my
position the way I did at WMZC. For a long
time I denied that what I did back then wasn't
important to me or anyone else. I really tried
to bring back The Old Days again but my heart wasn't
in it. Then I decided to try something different.
Something that would make me happy inside.
I wanted to be a talk show host. I wanted to
get people talking about issues that mattered
to them. Or rather I wanted to tell them what
mattered to me."
"Keep going. I'm listening," I said half interested.
"Well, There's really not too much to tell you.
I was too busy doing my job and I just forgot
who I was reaching out to. Like the other day I got
into a fiasco involving territorial rights between
two firehouse stations," BJ explained.
"Again?" I sighed when I heard this.
"Yeah. One side claimed their firehouse was on
a side of the street that obstructed their view
of the town below. The staff usually saw fires
from a hilltop. A new firehouse was built on the block
opposite to the other one obstructing the whole view."
"Then one day a fire was reported and they both
got into a fight over who was going to get there
first. Meanwhile the fire raged out of control. By
the time they settled the quarrel. They arrived
too late to save the building that burned down."
"And it's all my fault," he said.
"But why? I take it no one got injured,"
I told him.
"No," BJ said. "But the radio station I worked
for did. That's what burned down"
"One of my nephews got a hold of some matches
in a drawer another radio personality left behind.
He wanted to experiment smoking marajauna
in the sub basement. He lit the match but when
he went to light the weed it flared up in his face.
He dropped the matches near a broken gas pipe and then an
explosion occured. He ran up the stairs to get out
and was afraid to tell me until well after everyone got
out of the building. I was very angry at him and
forced him to tell me why he would do such a thing."
"So, what was the kid's response?" I asked him.
"You did, Uncle BJ. You told a fan to go ahead
and smoke pot."
I figured that BJ's nephew may have misinterpreted
what BJ said on the air and took it to mean that
every kid in America should take a whiff of LSD.
A friend told me months before he got into an
arguement over the legalization of hard drugs.
with a listener and the debate became very
heated. At one point BJ flippantly told him
and every drug addict to smoke whatever
drug they could get their hands on. Today's
teenagers as in any other time think it's
fun to get away with something if they
believe no one will be hurt by it. More
often than not people do.
This time it was BJ's turn to know the
feeling of having someone's trust betrayed.
The funny thing about trust is it's suppose
to be a solemn oath, a guarantee that
no one will be dissapointed by whatever
the trustee does.
"So. What happened?" I queried BJ.
"The management fired me for being
careless on the airwaves. I was axed
for trying to do the right thing," he
said now taking a sip of juice. "And
what's more I'm being sued not only
by the management but by the other
air staffers. They lost a lot of prized
possesions in the fire."
"I see," I said.
"Everytime I try to do something good
it all gets ruined. All I wanted
was to show another side of myself.
I want everyone to know me as BJ Malloy,
not BJ The Rockin' Deejay."
"But you are BJ Malloy AND BJ The Rockin'
Deejay. They are both one and the same
person. I stopped listening because you
weren't the same guy anymore. You
suddenly grew out of The Rockin' Deejay
phase because of what happened ten years
ago. That made me sad for you because
in your desire to be someone else you left
other people behind who cared about you.
I wanted to be there not just when things
were right for you, I wanted to be there
things WENT WRONG. But you just kept
pushing the old fans like me out of the
picture as if we weren't a part of your
"But I know I'm good at this," BJ said
"You're a very good person, BJ. A
very good deejay. You're just a very bad
talk show host," I told him bluntly.
BJ looked at me very dejected. Aww,
damn! I hate feeling guilty.
"I'm sorry," I said; "But it's the truth."
At this point he would have told me he
understood but he didn't.BJ hung his head
I looked up at the clock and noticed
what time it was.
"Would you excuse me for a minute, BJ?"
I said politely. "I have to do something."
I took a strawberry candle to my room and placed
it on my dresser draw and then a small purple
paperweight a cousin gave me a few years ago.
I've been using it as an object to meditate by.
I immediately ran to my closet and pulled out
one of my old tapes from BJ's old shows
from Early 1987 and popped it into my stereo
tape deck. I lay on my bed listening
to his voice drifting through my head. I laughed
my head off at the exchange he and his producer
are doing. Then he went into my favorite Beatles
I shifted sides to lay on my stomach and saw
BJ standing at my door laughing too. I turned
down the volume a bit.
"Damn. That was a good show I did," BJ said.
"Yep. It sure was. One of your best."
"Was it really that much fun for me then?
Was I REALLY that happy?" he asked.
"If you doubt what you are hearing and not seeing
a smile on my face. Then I don't know what will
make you see it otherwise," I said.
I laid back on my bed and turned up the volume
for the next song.
To be continued...
Created on 31-Aug-1999 at 12:22:26