I wish I had more to say, but I don’t. I’m pretty hollowed out this week. I can’t even really say that I’m at any particular level of disgust, at least not anymore. I’m not really feeling much of anything. Instead, I’m just going through the motions, anticipating the next worst thing.
Robin and I were discussing somewhat recently about how she was feeling disillusioned with going to shows. I was just coming off my MDF high, so I couldn’t quite relate at the time, but it seems like the tides are changing. Everything, from getting done up, to listening to music turned up, to simply standing up, has slipped into being no more than an annoyance
Sitting on a bar stool, I desperately tried to stay awake as one of the opening bands droned on for what seemed like since the dawn of time. Finding myself in a continuous circle of jolting and faltering, I knew in my heart of hearts something has to give. I’ve tried so hard to keep up this double life, constantly trying to straddle the line of handling legal field logistics and rock and roll and reporting. My capacity to stay creative despite spending forty hours a week in a khaki box is dwindling, and I know that every spark will be stepped on if a pile more school on top like I have planned to for so long. To follow the id, to roll in the money that I know I could make, to strip myself of a conscience – it’s a life that could be mine, if I choose it to be.
That chick with the tote bag with all the patches. A brief diversion from the inner workings of my exhaustion-driven existential coma. She marches to the front of the bass drum, screaming at the man behind it about the whereabouts of her ice water. Her boyfriend, the guitarist, stares absently, waiting for it to be over. I was waiting for her to physically climb into his asshole, but I knew that would only be futile on her end, because then she’d be invisible, and he would no longer be marked as her territory. The prospects of exposing him unbound in front of the other four chicks present would be way too risky.
After what felt like a full evolutionary cycle (backwards), my sister and I needed a door out. There was still one more band before headliner and we were being dragged by The Hunger. Unfortunately, having the audacity to encroach on a convenience store while dressed appropriately for the 102 degree climate only led to snapping into the jaws of the small game trap. To be followed for blocks by a predator, to be reduced to something subhuman, to fight back, and to subsequently be accused of stepping on to someone else’s turf in an attempt to patch over the shallow ego of the Neanderthal…it’s disheartening, but also ironic, because he is the one that is sub-human, so much so that he fails to recognize that he shares turf with other creatures besides that of his own being.
Returning to the outside corner of the venue, we took a seat with the company of the roaches. Some other show attendees must have had the same idea to go scavenge, as they sauntered down the sidewalk carelessly eating Air Heads and drinking Gatorade. I sat envious of the man, who, even at a fraction of my own age, can walk without fear. The camo shorts, the wallet change, the dirty hair – all being sported in a series of circles in which contests of music knowledge are conducted, some of which becoming so heated that some fist-to-chest pounding wouldn’t be too unexpected. I looked at my weak wrists, my tiny ankles. Thank goodness the Neanderthal distracted me from actually obtaining sustenance. Now I can continue to sink slowly into myself, taking up less space. The odds are stacked against me.
Clearly miserable, my sister asked if I just wanted to retreat, but I refused. We had made it through the trek this far. As the circles broke up and descended back inside to take in the delights of Primitive Man, my sister dragged me up from the concrete and led me through the pack.
Despite the vast improvement in sound in terms of cleanness as compared to Princess Patches’ boyfriend’s band, my heart wasn’t in it. I tried to snap pictures, attempting to be brazen by taking a knee in front of the whole crowd in order to get the best angle. Frustratingly, I couldn’t shake my self-awareness. There’s nothing quite like the emptiness that comes from having what you know is your passion being kicked in the gut by every force of reality.
Admittedly, my resentment waned as I watched the couple, two boys with exes on their intertwined hands, reveling in the deliberate drones of Colorado’s finest doom. It was a reminder that what seems like a privileged spot in the rat race can prove to be no more than an illusion and that safety must be sought in the peripheries of the world. But lest we forget as we turn on the internet and see the shattered bullets and the blood of lost music heroes in a venue that wasn’t as safe, we will always continue to be fed the depravity of the human condition, reigning in the advancement of the mind’s full potential.