Whew! What a day! The 10th of October blew with a gust of wind for me. The day prior, I woke up at 7am and hadn’t had any sleep since. My journey started in Accokeek Maryland on October 10th at 12am, which is when I thanked the Uber driver and ran with my bags inside the automatic doors of Baltimore International Airport. I was 13 hours away from starting my new life in Milwaukee and New job at Ex Fabula. Fortunately, I was able to experience a StorySlam my first day. This month’s theme was “Signs,” and the topic alone was enough to draw me in. The slam took place at Company Brewing, a local bar in Riverwest Milwaukee. Doors opened at 6:30pm and the show began promptly an hour later. By that time, I had gone 36 and half hours without any sleep. My eyes were as low as a bent back playing limbo, and physically it was a challenge to stay awake. As soon as the first slam contestant started speaking however, both literally and figuratively, my eyes were wide open.

Nine slammers graced the stage and shared interesting stories with topics ranging from complicated love, to unexpected changes in their realities. No one story was like the other. The first person to step on stage was a woman named Barbara, who gave a lighthearted story about a trip she took to Merida, Mexico. The stars worked in alignment to make sure she got there with all the things she needed. She faced some complications along the way, but the universe had her in favor. The next person to bless the Mic was a man who went by the name of “Has-Been Merens”. He gave a funny story about a drive he took to work that led him down a ten- year journey to find the answer to a crimeless mystery. The audience was able to chuckle at the humor of a license plate sign that would later turn into a great story. Third, we heard an intense story from a man named Clay, about a complicated relationship he had with a friend of color.

Following Clay, a woman named Emma spoke on the spiritual interactions (or at least it seems that way) her and her family have been having with a deceased grandmother. A woman named Jennifer gave an entertaining story about how one excited night with an ex at a Harley Davidson party would leave her clinging to signs for answers. The question being asked will shock you. Shortly after Jennifer, a woman named Jessica had a story that made the whole crowd laugh. The moral at the end was “You can see the sign and read the sign, but unless you understand the sign…” After Jessica, a woman named Rebecca took the stage. Rebecca told a touching story about how a dream about Milwaukee motivated her to leave a high crime neighborhood and start a life. As she exited the stage, the audience was blessed to hear a story from the experience of another dreamer. A woman named Sahar talked about her three-day dream that sent her on a scavenger hunt for a ring she had counted as a loss.

The final speaker of the night was a person I knew personally from the poetry community in Milwaukee. He goes by the name of “I-AM” and I was happy to see him get on stage. His story was a metaphorical story about his lifelong friendship with a family dog, and how it molded how he viewed himself, and his “hood”. “I-AM” wasn’t aware of the signs indicating that his beloved dog would soon pass on.

My eyes had forgotten that they needed to rest at that point. I couldn’t pull them away from the stage. Every story was worth listening to and made my long day worthwhile. The theme “Signs” was perfect and personal to me, because prior to moving back to Milwaukee I pondered on whether or not I was making the right decision. I guess Ex Fabula was a “sign” I made the right choice. I am excited for my second experience being involved with the story slam, I look forward to all the joy that is to come. If you are reading this and missed this go-round you missed something great. I seriously recommend you allowing your soul to be touched the way mine was. The next event will be at Sugar Maple on November 6th. I hope to see you all!

Listen to Jessica’s HILARIOUS story here on our Soundcloud!