Friday, June 2, 2006

Last day of the punk show

"Someday," you say. "Someday we'll go back down there. Late at night like. We'll dress all in black," you say. "Black jeans and hoodie. Maybe I'll even dig my old Ramones sweater out of the closet for the occasion. Pair of black Chucks for creeping around all quiet like. What do you say? You in? We'll pry open that rotten door at the back. The same door we used to skip past the line at. All those suckers waiting in line; you remember that? Head in through the back door," you say, "jump up on stage and give it one last go. You'll have your guitar and I'll-"



"The old hall burned down years ago."


"Four years at least."


Circa 1992. Lost in the pit, just a boiling mass of bodies, ripped jeans, and concert tees, damp with sweat and beer. Blood drips from my nose, the result of a wicked elbow to the face; an anonymous hit - no harm, no foul. My own knee connects now with the cheekbone of another, sending us both crashing to the sticky floor. There's the mad scramble to resurface before it's too late. Before we're trampled to death. My eyes briefly meet his through the chaos of legs and I'm offered a bloody grin. "No harm, mate," he seems to say. That second, we're both pulled back into the fray by the anonymous hands of the mosh angels. Got to rediscover the rhythm. Got to slip back into pattern, that swirling, agitated muddle. Got to get back



Back to the calm of a sunny suburban day. Relaxing in the easy comfort of my backyard patio, I watch as you adjust the umbrella to better shield our eyes from the blazing sun. Hoisting my bottle of imported beer, I prompt you to do the same and offer a toast.

"To temporality," I say.

You echo the sentiment before allowing our bottles to clink.

"You know what the true failure of suburbia is?" I ask.

"Enlighten me."

"The true failure of suburbia," I say, "lies squarely in the very safety we all seek here. Its failure lies in its homogeneity, its uninspiring blandness, and in its rampant unoriginality. Where are the weirdoes and freaks to inspire our future children? Where are the decrepit arcades and concert halls they'll frequent?"

"Downtown, of course. They'll move out of here as soon as possible," you say, "and move downtown."

"I know. And then the adult switch will get flipped like an overloaded breaker and they'll all move back out here, each with the same burning question on their lips: why did I ever leave?"

"So much for antiestablishmentarianism."


"You know, we used to mock this life and now we live it."

"There's just no way of getting around the way things are meant to be," I say.

"Formulaic, our lives."

"It's the natural progression of things," I say. "We all grow up yearning for anarchy only to wind up embracing antiquity."

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