Filed Under: Lifestyle | Posted: 03/22/2008 at 3:25AM
Comments | Region: Ghana
Michael, never Mikey.
So we were in the middle of the mosh pit. And I had that incredible feeling you only get in those sweaty, messy pools of people. It felt so exciting, to have hands on my shoulders attached to people I’d never met, tapping out the rhythm like we were old friends. And then there’s that oh-shit feeling, when you get knocked around so hard you’re scared you’ll hit the floor and not get up. The two mix and intertwine in such a way as to provide for anyone willing to succumb to it a feeling of immortality: you are literally defying your death by standing in a sea of jostling, showing, crazed rock fans.
So there we were. And there I was, barreled over by probably the swiftest fat boy either of us has ever seen, when suddenly I knew that I most likely would not be able to catch myself this time. So you turned my body and fell with me, and I ended up splayed out on top of you. Then you used your arms, which have never seemed telling of brawn or strength, to somehow get us both back up, me first. I tried to scream thanks in your ear, but my words were carried away by the music and the thrashing bodies churning all around us. But you saw my look of gratitude, of that I’m sure, because that’s when you tried to kiss me. And because I had just gotten my letter a week ago, I sidestepped that kiss and let you plant a wet one on my cheek instead.
If you were disappointed, you didn’t let me know. I wish the band would play louder, dammit.
And then, because you’re not one to let awkward situations kill the mood in the middle of a Rise Against show, you grabbed my shoulders and turned me around, to point out that they were playing my favorite song. Swing Life Away. Slower than most everything they’ve written or played, and perfect.
And because you’re so good like that, you didn’t want me to think that we needed to cuddle or anything during my favorite song that makes me think of him because he played it for me sometimes. Instead you slipped your hands around my waist and lifted me clear off the ground. The laughter and playful slapping left little room for feeling nostalgic or sad, and I loved you for that. It’s just so hard sometimes, you know. I know you know.
We backed out of the pit for the next few songs, and headed out to the lobby because we need a break. I didn’t ask, but you bought me a drink. It was strong and ice cold and that rum was nourishment for my current situation. You wouldn’t let me, when I tried to slip that ten into your back pocket. But my hand did find yours, and you let me do that. When we went back in, we stood a little farther out. You tapped people on their shoulders and pretended to know them to make me laugh.
And I keep thinking about your long hair in a ponytail, under that neon orange cap. Your faded green t-shirt that says "VIET-NOOO."
Your eyes that smile even when your mouth doesn’t. A mouth that makes me want to…no, I can’t. I’m sorry. I just can’t. I’m not ready. Sometimes I hate myself, for letting something bad that happened make me feel so small.
The show ended, we found everyone we came with. We trekked from the Nokia Theatre to the train station. Our hands ended up linked somewhere along the way, but I don’t think I realized it for a while. There was that homeless man we took pictures with, that we all posed behind with alcohol-induced smiles and comments.
The train ride back was the hardest part. We bought the best bubble gum ever–Hubba Bubba. We were having bubble blowing contests, and I was beating you so bad, and then you went and took yours out to forfeit. So I was left to blow bubbles on my own, and you decided to try and bite them every time they were big enough. Your breath was hot on my neck, every instance when I turned my head. Just missed.
So I spit my piece out, and because I couldn’t decide if I was okay with this or not, I simply let my head fall on your shoulder and pretended to go to sleep. Your stop was before mine, and when you got up to leave, you gently propped me up on the seat, next to the others.
"Make sure she gets home safe," you said.