I went to a show
Recently returned to a city I had once called home, I contacted a rock ’n’ roller I met in Paris at a punk show, knowing well she was native.
She seemed sort of like a high school jock when I met her and I observed her supernova into a successful art indie starlet.
More than 18 months in as acquaintance, I asked for dates. She had shows galore the next week with multiple bands how exciting.
I have been working as an unpaid Medium blogger, otherwise unemployed for the last 10 months so had to hit my mom up for some cash to go to a show.
Rock ’n’ roller starlet gave me the address for the place she was playing and I was on my way.
I got to the address and it was unmarked. I saw only doors and one was locked and I did not feel comfortable trying any others on a main road with so many cars going by.
Then I tried a few searches for the spot. From some obscure art shows I found that some of the numbers had been scrambled and the address was actually a few blocks up.
By the time I got there, the rock star I had come to see had already played and was perched, looking cool: mechandising.
I had already been heckled by the doorwoman, who asked for ten dollars marked with blood.
“Transportation just to get to this show has cost me more than $15 so far and I am unemployed!” I started.
We talked and finally she said she got it.
I was not required to go into morbid detail about how this was my only field trip since being back.
Rock star and I spoke a little. She said that was the address in the email of the spot (but was it?) and what a dark joke to confuse it!
Past experiences of shock and the memory loss it induces made me act deferential & empathetic.
I tried to escape to the bathroom but the line was long and I did not know anyone and could not afford a drink.
There was water in one of those big gatorade sports containers and I took some straight into a red plastic cup.
I tried my best not to act surprised about my status as life of the party and asked some people if I could sit down next to them.
They were telling a highly personal anecdote and I tried to give them some privacy while also attempting to close the obvious distance between us.
It was impossible.
Finally though, I got up the courage to initiate some incisive small talk.
have you been here before? are you from around here? do you live in the neighborhood?
Another band was playing and I decided to try to un-impose myself from this social circle, but my new acquiantance followed me to the set playing nearby.
A person made a lot of noise into the mic and kept their hair covering their face most of the time.
There was guitar and drums and everyone was so into it.
It sort of seemed like they were all improvising, and the vocalist kept saying “horse,” their face still covered by their approximately Rachel (iconic haircut from Friends) locks.
The bassist listened for a while and things got better when he jumped in. I felt a whole lot better about things with him playing but the face covered by medium length hair just really fucked with my head.
I do not know how long I was standing there just wanting to see the face of this singer, the suspense became just really too much, unbearable.
My only acquaintance besides the rock starlet who had invited me moved to a vantage point behind the band and finally I got up the courage to follow.
From there, things looked like a collective jerk off session, with everyone swaying to the music, hynotized.
I did not find the music aesthetically pleasing, and was sort of turned off by the very masturbatory vibe and the earnest feeling of wanting to see the lead vocalist’s face to no avail, it disturbed me for some reason.
I had not drank the Kool Aid and felt left out.
The sounds coming out of her mouth in the next song were like a hail of bullets.
From the glaze-eyed masturbatory blasé to the weird reprisal of 70s garage band sounds that were too violent for my taste (antithetical to the heavy on vintage vibe), the lazy sway of the stupor I beheld seemed like everything wrong with America all there in one place.
I left and it felt provocative because all the scene people were so into the music.
“Excuse me, Excuse me,” I said briskly and firmly as I made my exit.
My train was in less than an hour but also I had been at this spot for less than an hour, given that I had spent top dollar and commuted 90 mins I did not want to leave yet.
Where was there to go there?
The bathroom. I had drank my water and was ready to take a piss.
Now the long line had shifted the opposite direction.
It was so long there was a cute girl asking would anyone rather go find an alley to pee in instead?
My train time meant I did not have time to wait in any lines and also I did not have any friends yet.
“I would be happy to stand guard,” I said.
She gave me her place in line instead, but the other people in the line looked at me in the hostile way that meant they wanted me to go to the end.
I decided to go outside and saw her waiting. I reiterated my offer to be her bodyguard and stand watch while she peed in the dark of an alley.
She acquiesced and I made sure she could pee in peace.
Before I left I saw her again and requested a cigarette in payment for my services.
She introduced me to her boyfriend and her friends and we all shook hands.
I asked them the name of the band that was playing when I left midsong and she said Circus of the eyes, but that it was French.
“Oh you mean cirque,” I responded.
“No, cirques like ‘circuits’ of the eyes” she said.
“Circuits des yeux,” I responded in perfect French. “I am fluent in French.” I explained.
I looked up Circuits des Yeux and was exactly as annoyed as when I had seen them live.
Transportation to and from the show cost $27 alone.