I’m still recovering from what seemed like the worst case of indigestion in the history of my life. Only two other times have I been in an emergency room with stomach cramps, but did I heed those warnings? No. I continued to eat good food to my heart’s content.
Mind you though, when I’m at home, I eat a very balanced diet. I cook most of my meals when I have the time, but too much of a good thing is what I get whenever I’m working. For 10 years, I’ve been working in the film industry in all sorts of capacities, but the one constant has always been on the menu is the food. I ain’t got’ lie… we are well fed on set or on stage or on location. A fed crew is a happy crew, and the better you feed them, the happier they are.
Hence my situation with that turkey burger. The food truck is in no way to blame for my decision. I will go back as soon as I feel better so that I can fully enjoy what my nose and tastebuds perceived to be a delightful experience. (Did I mention that the servers were appealing to the eyes as well? Who would’ve thought that ordering a turkey burger could be such a sensory experience?) No. It wasn’t that which caused the churning in my stomach at midnight. In my past experiences, this feeling was caused by me simply overeating, I thought, and the one bite I allowed myself to chew and swallow was the over in my eating on that day.
Sharp, painful cramp in my lower abdomen. “I gotta shit,” my body told me. “No shit” would have been my witty, internal reply, but the exclamation turned out… to be my current situation! Nothing was working out in the back end, but this pain made me so want it to work out, and work out fast. I had a job to go to in the morning and I needed to go back to sleep.
I tried all my old remedies, starting with the most basic: baking soda and water, peppermint & ginger tea. That gave some relief by emptying my stomach of the one bite and whatever else I ate earlier that hadn’t made it past full digestion, but the lower stomach pain was unyielding. I then went to my Chinese remedy that has cured any stomach I’ve ever encountered, but at 4AM I was still the object of pain’s affliction…
(To be continued.)
By Loupy D
Lawrence Evan Dotson was born in Los Angeles, California. He decided early in life that he wanted to tell stories. He was a character who could entertain his two older sisters by staging his own version of a church radio broadcast that they would listen to on Sunday nights. His desire to perform followed him through grade school, and in his senior year of high school, a UCLA professor scouted and urged Lawrence to major in theater. Lawrence felt convicted to follow in the footsteps of his father, so instead of declaring Theater Arts as a freshman, he went in undeclared to sit out for a spot in the highly competitive Engineering Department. It only took one calculus class to convince Lawrence that Theater Arts was his calling and that he was going to achieve his goal of being recognized for his talents. While attending UCLA, he combined his interests in art and music and was one of the founders of the UCLA Jazz and Reggae Festival. He was on the Student Committee for the Arts, which put on the Jazz at the Wadsworth Series in conjunction with KKGO FM.
Lawrence became more aware of social justice issues affecting the African American community on campus and became active in organizations that promoted positive change. He collaborated with students from other majors and formed the African Theater Collective, which promoted and produced plays from the African Diaspora. That action inspired a performance protest demanding the hiring of more black professors in the Theater Department, and tenure for longtime Professor, Dr. Beverly J. Robinson. The performance was based upon the subject matter that Dr. Robinson taught: the procession of the Black Theater experience in America as depicted through the development of the African slave from the plantations, to the pulpit, to the stage.
Blessed with a wealth of knowledge and a rich experience from the University, Lawrence graduated and landed a job as an actor with University Express, an outreach program managed by a former student of Dr. Robinson. The troupe performed plays at Middle and High Schools that stressed the importance of continuing education. The job allowed him enough time to go on auditions, but after a year Lawrence burnt out on the acting treadmill. He met an editor for an underground Hip Hop magazine called No Sellout in 1991. Lawrence had his first article published in the second issue, an interview with L.A. DJ Michael Mixxin Moor. Lawrence began writing under “Loupy D”, coined from a childhood nickname. He wrote articles, reviews and commentary, and conducted interviews with some of Hip Hop’s top entertainers like The Notorious BIG, Wu Tang Clan, Erykah Badu and many others until 2003.
In 2015, he earned an MFA in Creative Writing, after submitting a draft of a memoir based on his experiences growing up in post-Civil Rights Era Los Angeles. He's published an academic article, “Persona in Progression: A Look At Creative Nonfiction Literature In Civil Rights and Rap,” in Assay: A Journal of Nonfiction Studies. He also served a brief stint as the music editor for the online writing journal Drunk Monkeys.
In between writing stints, Lawrence has and continues to be an avid amateur photographer and independent film professional. He will be releasing books and videos of his work over time, just as soon as he figures out how to balance work life with the life of single parenting two sons.
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