Duke Ellington – Satin Doll

By , August 29, 2003

I was sitting at my desk, wondering what to write, when this song came on:

Currently Playing: Duke Ellington – Satin Doll

“Satin Doll” transports me back in time to my days DJ’ing college parties. A typical such party would end at 2:00 am, after which I had to pay the security, bartenders, and other vendors. Then I had to pack up my sound system and stash it in its rented storage space. By the time I was done with everything, it would often be close to four in the morning.

Now, I never played any Duke Ellington at those parties; rather, “Satin Doll” was on the jukebox at King Diner, a 24-hour hamburger stand in San Francisco, where I would sometimes go to unwind after a night of work. I’d sit in that diner and drink a cup of coffee, and maybe eat a burger, and at some point I’d invariably drop a quarter into the jukebox. As soon as the first tinkling piano keys filled the diner, a feeling of calm would wash over me. For three minutes, I felt transported fifty years back into time.

DJ’ing is a lot lonelier than you’d think. I may have been the center of attention at the parties, but I was also the only person present who was sober, working, and dateless. After everyone else rode home on the buses, it was just me and the big city. Sitting in King Diner, watching the cashed out souls shambling down Mission Street, I’d contemplate my lot in life, as around me night gave way to day.

Duke Ellington - Satin Doll

I often used to wonder about love. I had no idea what it meant to be “in love,” or how I would know if I were, and was more than half-convinced I would never find out. Sometimes I would think about whatever crush I currently had, and lament my “don’t date sorority girls” rule, when that crush happened to be on a Gamma Phi Beta. The rest of the time I’d spend asking myself if my chosen profession was what I really wanted to do with the rest of my life, or if I should be preparing myself for something better, or at the very least different. Then, because most of those parties took place on Thursday nights, I’d head back to Berkeley to catch an hour or two of sleep before going to school.

Things have changed since those days. I’m out of school, and working on different sorts of events that seldom require such late nights. I’m happily in love with the girl of my dreams, and while my job may not be quite the world-changing, fulfilling profession I once dreamed I’d have, it pays the bills and affords me enough free time to indulge my more intellectual and philanthropic pursuits. In short, life is good; but “Satin Doll” still puts me in a thoughtful mood.

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8 Responses to “Duke Ellington – Satin Doll”

  1. YukiTonbo says:

    secret crush…i guess i am not very good at keeping this kind of secret, i eventually show/reveal a lil of my feeling. i am listening to “Officially Missing You” off someone else’s site. I have a CD of all the “missing you” songs if that’s cheezy.

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  2. yah thanks for the comment, you’ll never get on my bad side.

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  3. “Her skin is cinnamon…” I have had a crush on a girl before and I never told anyone. I was raised differently and I have an appreciation for beauty in the human form. I never wanted to BE with her, I just found her voice, body, smell, laugh, etc. so appealing, so tantalizing. I more wanted to BE her. I could never tell anyone let alone her. She would probably think I was psycho/obsessed or gay. I enjoyed being friends with her because she had great charisma, not to mention she attracted quite a flock of beautiful men! ;)

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  4. tammygirl says:

    i’m really excited about goin surfing again. the water is my home. where do you or did you enjoy surfing? oh and i just read your metro entry. metro men are every girl’s dream. =) lucky you. as for secret crushes…i’m a true blue romantic and always have let the cat out of the bag. yeah, i’m a dork basically.

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  5. words_r_art says:

    Since it keeps coming up in the comments I’ll chime in. Yes, I have had secret crushes…but my favorite one was this girl I met in my Biology class. She caught my eye this one fall day when she asked me for a cigarette, she was wearing a lingerie top with jeans and a scarf. She always wore scarves, had a loud warm laugh and soft full lips. We hung out alot that semester and the semester afterwards. I even spent the night in her bed with her one night after drinking too much that night. (That was weird) I never said anything about the crush, because our relationship would have been awkward afterwards, plus she had already stated that she was “not into women.” And I am married…..but that’s besides the point. But, oh I did enjoy looking into her big brown eyes and tracig her lips while she was talking. Not to mention the great philisophical discussions we had together. Oh well. I still enjoy thinking about her, I don’t regret not telling her as some things are much better as a secret.

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  6. Auriale says:

    Thanks for the note. I missed xanga for a while I forgot how therapeautic it is……. I spell bad but okay. Thanks for the lovely comment. The biggest crush, I guess you could say I’m not that shallow because I would always go out with someone because of personality and I would like someone because of personality. I never told him though, and we’re still friends. haha.

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  7. Hybrid_girl says:

    I’m not sure where I knew you from on IRC. Where you ever in #ucb or #berkeley or any of those things? Perhaps it was on those? I’m not sure, or maybe there was someone else on efnet with your name. I have no idea man, sorry. But I do remember a peasprout. =) Were you on efnet? or undernet?

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  8. Janetets says:

    You sure know how to make a girl feel nostalgic for the bay area haunts. As for crushes…I’m quite impulsive and act on most of them for a girl that is quite picky in terms of finding someone. For the ones I did not act upon…hm..there was this one, his name was Tommy. Jason talked me into working his show and Tommy was the video tech guy. I’ve never felt that way about someone so quickly. He was warm, friendly, and fun…i went to the next show, but he wasn’t the video guy anymore. He had this cute studded leather band…you know how I feel about studs and leather…great accessories!! LOL…I think I’ve said and shared too much. I miss xanga and sf…

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