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03.15.01 6:57 p.m.

"I wanted a perfect ending... Now, I've learned, the hard way, that some poems don't rhyme, and some stories don't have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment, and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next. Delicious ambiguity."


 -Gilda Radner  



I dove into the koi pond last night.
I decided that, to celebrate no longer being trapped in my house, I would go to see Dexter Freebish and SR71. To be social. Actually, I'll be honest; I half hoped to meet someone there. No one specific, if that wasn't clear to you.
Oh, the humanity.
I attended the pre-show party, though the bouncer nearly tossed us out owing to the fact my younger brother and I were not 21, as though we would be drinking. Finally, he deigned to be goodly enough, despite our lack of age or femininity (very obviously underage girls had no trouble getting in), to allow us entry.
It was tiny within, but not crowded. An acquaintance from my college (we'll call her Luna, despite the fact her name is Laura, just so you do not get her confused with other Laura's whom she is not) approached me and decided she would socialize with me for the duration of the show. Do not get the wrong idea, I firmly believe and hope this was merely because I was the only familiar person there.
I wandered about slowly, taking in the atmosphere and company. Neither particularly took to me or me to them. Que cera. Finally I settled on the arm of a Dalmatian sofa close to where the bands would be signing autographs. I didn't particularly care about the bands, I just wanted to people watch.
My father and younger brother had pictures signed by the bands, which I was told to guard as I was being stationary (the second best kind of paper, next to flat paper). Guard them I did. When my father returned and asked how the pictures were, I stated that it was a tough fight but I had protected them from the shifty person standing near me. The girl I had labeled shifty got very confused, as she did not in fact know me. I explained to her that I was joking, that I did not expect she was at all likely to commit theft of the pictures. She smiled, evidently enjoying the jest now that she comprehended she wasn't being accused of attempted petty theft. This lass, Jeanie, and I continued to banter lightly. She was obviously attached to some faceless boy (in that I didn't care enough about her cadre to assign them room in my mind) and I was only using her as a prop in a quick joke with my father.
Then Luna came back, lamenting not being old enough to drink. Jeanie took pity or sympathy on her and offered up her wristband. Ten minutes later and a trip to the skuzzy girl's bathroom (I really do not want to know. Really), Luna had a wristband and was very happy. Oh that it should take so little. (Like glittering snow!)
She asked me how I knew Jeanie. I stated that I didn't know Jeanie, that she helped Luna out of the goodness of her heart or liver. This rather shocked her, though I'm not particularly sure why.
I noticed my little brother chatting up quite a few lasses, evidently somewhat successfully as he was still talking to them a few minutes later. He seemed particularly taken with a lass in a tie-dye Superman shirt and leather jacket, which he later identified as Sara-The-23-Year-Old (henceforth known as Sara23).
After the bands departed and excessive amounts of free tickets (anything after two is excessive when you have paid for your ticket) were distributed, we entered the concert. I had lost Luna, who said that she wanted to stick by me for safety. I circled the club a few times in search of her or comparable female companionship. I did not locate her or a comely femme, so I situated myself in the pit!
Okay, so it is no where near sinister enough to warrant italics. It just seems like a word that requires italics.
The pit was full of an inordinate amount of, to quote a rather filthy man I encountered in the pit, "preteen poonie." Ah, the colorful language of the pit and its pit dwellers. Though I imagine that man dwells in more pits than those of the mosh variety. Since we encounter his equally old and filthy friend and him later in this story, we shall address them as the DOM (Dirty Old Men. Cut me some slack, they can't all be clever). They were maybe 50, wearing puffy, brown leather pilot jackets, and peppered mustaches ripped out of the 1970's. That they even looked at lassies that could damned well be their daughters was reprehensible enough, but that they so chose to title them made me feel these men undoubtedly left slime trails. But we will get back to them later.
The opening band tried their hardest to get the crowd excited and audible, and succeeded only slightly. An admirable feat, nonetheless.
The moshing began. I participated in that I was pushed into the fray. I was frankly more interested in making sure no one got hurt. I actually apologized every time I hit someone on the sidelines because I was about to fall, much to their bemusement.
At one point the DOM decided to push unwilling people in as hard as they could, just to be pricks. I happened to be one of their victims. So when I rebounded backward toward them, I made sure one of them caught a ringed hand to the face "accidentally." They behaved after that.
At one point, during Dexter Freebish, I got thrown toward a couple of girls who couldn't have been more than 13. The stouter of the two decided to try to bitch me out for hitting into her friend. Over a rather loud band. Playing a rather loud song. Arms reach from ten-foot tall speakers. Less than effective. But this caused me to start viewing the mosh pit as a microcosm for life. Here was this girl who had fought her way into the mosh pit, knowing full well what occurs within it. When she actually gets moshed into, she acts indignant, as though disparaging faces and underwhelming words was enough to change this entire system THAT SHE ENTERED INTO IN THE FIRST PLACE! Ridiculous!
Ah, but the metaphor didn't end here, no no! I also decided that crowd surfing was a parallel to politics (only in the most basic sense). People decide to elevate their friends and attractive strangers above them, knowing full well it is nearly definite they will fall and hurt those below them. If the people do not continue, through effort, to support these people above them, down they go. The ultimate goal, get on the stage where everyone sees you. Eventually you fall anyway, just later. And if two people are elevated at the same time, there is likely not going to be enough support to get them both to the stage. One will fall, maybe both, and people will get hurt.
Maybe I attach too much meaning to insignificant events.
Between Dexter Freebish and SR71, this somewhat comely stranger approached me with the words, "You're hot, wanna make out?" I damn near wet myself, I thought it was so funny. I smiled and said something to the effect of, "Who are you and who do you think you are?" She walked away without even a goodbye, let alone actually telling me who she was. Bad form.
My mother suggested afterward that I would not have been so flippant had the girl been a small breasted, lithe, fairy of a girl (she was slightly chubby). I would have, I assure you. I do not like being hit on. I adore being flirted with (if the party thinks I will be receptive). If you do not see the difference, you aren't looking hard enough.
I admit it, I did have my eyes wide for those with certain attributes. A small part of me expected that the dream girl Sirus would magically appear. She did not, of course. That is what makes her a dream and not a prophesy.
One who did interest me, albeit briefly, was a lass I will call CD for Cut Diamond. Not that I expect she will likely appear in future stories, be she has another potentially confusing name and I don't actually know her too well. I had spotted her at the beginning of the show, mostly because she had pink hair. Quite hard to miss. So when I saw her, unaccompanied (I thought she was with a black haired lad and it is not my wont to approach girl who potentially are there with someone. Actually I'm not sure what my wont is in these matters, but that is what is isn't), I sought to strike up a conversation with her.
Okay, so I sought to stand near her in hopes she would speak to me. She had the longest and loveliest eyelashes I had ever seen. I do hope they were real, it would be a pity to adore faux lashes. It was well worth standing near her just to see her lashes, actually.
After a minute of this, my old friend who we will call Dezi, as he is called Dezi, came near and introduced CD to me and vice versa. Excellent. She and I chatted a bit; she asked how I managed not to get my hair ripped out. Nothing particularly profound occurred between us, aside from a few knowing glances concerning the band and those around us. Which was nice, in its intimate lack of consequence.
I was kind of dazed during the concert. Not from cigarette fumes or those of similar substances. Rather, I think it was the energy of the crowd. At one point, my hands were palpably buzzing with the assembled energy. A friend has said of me that I am like an amplifier for energy. I would not know, since I am evidently doing the amplifying.
The energy was frothy during SR71, bubbling over the edge. They knew how to work the crowd, though their liberal use of the fog machine certainly helped. And they threw three picks my way. I kept two and handed the third to an appealing stranger who was lamenting that she had not been given a pick. Again, in all honesty, I had hoped this would lead to some manner of conversation between us. While it did not, I was still thankful I had brightened her night a little. It's all a series of moments.
After the show and scouring the floor for a pendant Bryan had lot in the pit (no where to be found, to no ones surprise), we went to the adjoining post-show party. We found my father being chatted up by none other than Sara23! It's a circle of life, my friends. Sara23 was lamenting how very old she was, to my father's slight annoyance. I afterward told him he has every right to shoot me if I complain about my age at 23. We left her company after a few minutes and went home.

On other fronts, Eileen told me a few days ago that she thinks she will always be a little jealous when I tell her of another girl (brought on by the fact that I confessed I was jealous when she told me of another boy). Do you know what I did? I thanked her! I'm not sure that was all the right response, but I was thankful to feel requited in that manner. Someone who causes me to feel jealousy for them feels jealousy in return. I am positive that is wrong on so many level, but it makes me happy.

On other other fronts, my father has been reading my entries. A few nights ago, he walked out of his room, hugged me, and told me how amazing he thinks I am, that he thought I knew that. Umm... wow. I really don't know what else to say.
So this journal is influencing reality. You, yes the one reading, are a part of that. How does that make you feel?


reading: The House on Mango Street
listening: "Light My Candle" from Rent
wanting: Answers to questions I forgot to ask.
interesting thought: Yesterday at this time, I didn't know CD. I could have read her obituary and felt nothing but the vague sadness I feel reading the obit of one my age. Now I would genuinely mourn, she has touched my life ever so slightly.

Thomm Quackenbush is an author and teacher in the Hudson Valley. Double Dragon publishes four novels in his Night's Dream series (We Shadows, Danse Macabre, and Artificial Gods, and Flies to Wanton Boys). He has sold jewelry in Victorian England, confused children as a mad scientist, filed away more books than anyone has ever read, and tried to inspire the learning disabled and gifted. He is capable of crossing one eye, raising one eyebrow, and once accidentally groped a ghost. When not writing, he can be found biking, hiking the Adirondacks, grazing on snacks at art openings, and keeping a straight face when listening to people tell him they are in touch with 164 species of interstellar beings. He likes when you comment.



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