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Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Concert

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Suggested prompt...
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Tell creatively of a concert you have been to.



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She had no business being out at night, but what are big sisters for?

I was twenty and she was barely sixteen, just coming into her own, curly strawberry hair hanging down to her waist and pale blue eyes flashing with excitement.

She'd almost given us away when our parents dropped her off, her cheshire grin far too devious for a quiet night watching videos in my tiny apartment, but she managed to pull it together until the tailights of Dad's station wagon disappeared around the corner of Maple and Elm.

We were forty minutes down the road when she stripped off her sweatchirt and proudly showed me the Playboy tank top she'd borrowed from the friend of a friend who's parents were obviously a lot more lenient then ours.... and I raised an eyebrow but stayed quiet.

This was our adventure after all, and you just can't lecture someone during an adventure. You save it until after you get home and then you throw statistics and self-respect speeches at them to your heart's content.

Besides, this was her night. Who was I to rain on her parade?

The crowd was thick when we arrived and I grabbed her hand to avoid losing her in the dark arena, both of us wincing at the deafening noise as we stumbled up to our seats.

They were nose-bleed, but we didn't care because the energy was just as real in the bleaches as it was on the floor. She grinned at me, bopping up and down the way teenagers do, her voice overloud and practically begging for attention.

I grinned back... it would have been impossible not to.

Kid rock came out, yelling lyrics that I couldn't follow but that she knew by heart. "Bawitdaba da bang a dang diggy diggy".. whatever the hell that was supposed to mean. Must not have mattered much anyway because the crowd was up, screaming along and dancing...

And she was right there with them. So different from me. Taller and blonder. Reckless and outgoing.

If we weren't sisters we probably wouldn't have been friends, but it was the week after her birthday and this was my secret gift to her... so I let her coax me up to stand on the metal bench beside her, raised my arms and shouted that I wanted to be a cowboy with the rest of the crowd.

This was her element, not mine. The lights that blinded me loved her, streaking jewel tones through her hair and turning her pretty face into something beautiful.

Ten years later the strobe lights have been traded for laundry, and she's settled into who she was probably always meant to be from the start... a good wife and a great mother.

She's still taller and blonder, still has that cheshire grin when she's up to no good.

But sometimes when I see her sitting at her kitchen table, writing out grocery lists and scribbling little league practice times into her day planner, I wonder if she remembers that girl standing on the bleachers as clearly as I do.

And part of me can't help wondering if she misses her, too.

Sanitykill

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13 comments:

A Fart in the Cosmic Wind said...

The summer of 1968 on the West Coast,a defining time in the lives of many of us. After the "Summer of Love" came the time of engagement, moving from individual to collective.

Two local activist publishers in Vancouver were arrested and charged with criminal libel for suggesting an award be given to a local judge who had convicted poet, Stan Persky, on charges of loitering in a public park.

Beat poet,Allen Ginsberg and Phil Ochs, still my favourite folksinger, visited Vancouver to stage a benefit for those charged, as well as The Georgia Straight, well known underground newspaper, which faced obscenity and libel charges.

The concert opened with "I Ain't Marchin' Anymore." Some of us still aren't.

Dan Felstead said...

I love it Cosmic Wind!

Dan

Dan Felstead said...

1969...just got off work (liquor store part time during college)my roomy and me left Lafayette and hit the road for Indianapolis. It was concert time! 3rd row seats for The Rolling Stones...Mick was outrageous and Kieth was playing right on the edge of insanity! What an experience. But the one caveat was this...the opening act...almost blew it off but decided to get there in time to see who this guy was...never heard of him before.

During the era of Jimi Hendrix, Robert Plant, Mick Jagger, John Lennon and Rojer Daltry...how could this one guy possibly compete? I was wrong...it was an unknown singer that went by the name of Stevie Wonder...boy, was I wrong.

Dan

glnroz said...

Rhythm and Blues


“What would you like to have for supper”?

“I don’t know”. “It doesn’t make me any difference”.

“Me neither”.

“How about this rhythm and blues and seafood bar”?

“OK”

“Yes ma’um, this table will be fine”

“Is it too close to the PA speakers”

“No, that will be fine. we don’t want the bar stools”

“OK, I will be back in a minute to get your order”

The bar was on a lower level of the building that had been standing since the civil war. It was refurbished in a simple manner that was to the period of its original construction. It looks like it may have been a large office or a small mercantile store. He was standing by the bar. He was of average build. Graying hair. He appeared to be about my age. Born somewhere around mid twentieth century. You would not have been able to tell him from any tourist in town. Shorts and deck shoes.

He walked over into the corner of the upper dining deck and picked up a solid black acoustic flat top guitar and positioned himself comfortably on a medium height stool. He dragged the mic stand across the floor with a scratch and a thud. He did not apologize. He started playing. Kansas City and stuff like that. I think he threw in several Johnny Rivers numbers. Truthfully, I can’t give you a list of all he sang. All familiar. None great.

The food was good. We continued to sit and listen even after we had had our fill. It was easy to correlate the music with things that had happened in the past. To me at least, that is what music is half about. You hear it the first time and later you hear it, it reminds you of the first time you heard it.

“Are you ready to go”?

“Yep, you”?

A couple of steps away from the table, I stopped and turned around. I walked over to where Mr. Guitar picker was still perched on his stool. I stuck a twenty dollar bill down into the empty beer mug to keep the two singles and loose change company. He looked up and smiled and nodded as if to say “thanks”. I recognized the look that he knew that I knew what a “slow” night was. I nodded and said “good show”.

She was already waiting in the warm night outside on the sidewalk.

“What now”?

“Let’s just walk around and look at a few of these old buildings. I feel much better now”.

I draped my arm around her shoulders and we started up the street. I looked back through the window inside, noticing the rhythm of the blues. He didn’t notice. I smiled.

rosebud101 said...

My last concert was one that I did not physically attend, but I was privileged to hear. The Elton John and Billy Joel Concert at Wrigley Field was one that my son attended, but called me through the concert with his phone held high in the air so that I could hear the music!! It was sweet and awesome!

Merriam said...

The curtains part and the crowd parts for the photographer sashaying down the aisle.

Lime and fuchsia spotlights clash, blending into something close to gold.

Noises layer over one another, first the prerecorded background music, followed by the contribution of live instruments, and finally the much-anticipated vocals.

Sanitykill said...

She had no business being out at night, but what are big sisters for?

I was twenty and she was barely sixteen, just coming into her own, curly strawberry hair hanging down to her waist and pale blue eyes flashing with excitement.

She'd almost given us away when our parents dropped her off, her cheshire grin far too devious for a quiet night watching videos in my tiny apartment, but she managed to pull it together until the tailights of Dad's station wagon disappeared around the corner of Maple and Elm.

We were forty minutes down the road when she stripped off her sweatchirt and proudly showed me the Playboy tank top she'd borrowed from the friend of a friend who's parents were obviously a lot more lenient then ours.... and I raised an eyebrow but stayed quiet.

This was our adventure after all, and you just can't lecture someone during an adventure. You save it until after you get home and then you throw statistics and self-respect speeches at them to your heart's content.

Besides, this was her night. Who was I to rain on her parade?

The crowd was thick when we arrived and I grabbed her hand to avoid losing her in the dark arena, both of us wincing at the deafening noise as we stumbled up to our seats.

They were nose-bleed, but we didn't care because the energy was just as real in the bleaches as it was on the floor. She grinned at me, bopping up and down the way teenagers do, her voice overloud and practically begging for attention.

I grinned back... it would have been impossible not to.

Kid rock came out, yelling lyrics that I couldn't follow but that she knew by heart. "Bawitdaba da bang a dang diggy diggy".. whatever the hell that was supposed to mean. Must not have mattered much anyway because the crowd was up, screaming along and dancing...

And she was right there with them. So different from me. Taller and blonder. Reckless and outgoing.

If we weren't sisters we probably wouldn't have been friends, but it was the week after her birthday and this was my secret gift to her... so I let her coax me up to stand on the metal bench beside her, raised my arms and shouted that I wanted to be a cowboy with the rest of the crowd.

This was her element, not mine. The lights that blinded me loved her, streaking jewel tones through her hair and turning her pretty face into something beautiful.

Ten years later the strobe lights have been traded for laundry, and she's settled into who she was probably always meant to be from the start... a good wife and a great mother.

She's still taller and blonder, still has that cheshire grin when she's up to no good.

But sometimes when I see her sitting at her kitchen table, writing out grocery lists and scribbling little league practice times into her day planner, I wonder if she remembers that girl standing on the bleachers as clearly as I do.

And part of me can't help wondering if she misses her, too.

christine said...

The stadium was crowded, the audience waiting, expectant, longing to see the icon that was due to mesmerise us.

We'd followed his music for years. Felt with him as he fought for others, such as Hurricane, imprisoned for a crime he didn't commit. Or, more broadly, pointed out the errors of the ways of men who allowed, nay, encouraged, man to fight man - when will it end? "The Answer is Blowing in the wind".

Foot-stamping and cat-calls sounded by the time he was half an hour late, with no excuse or apology given to us.

Mass discontent when it was nearly an hour past the due start time.

Finally, he arrived. The matches and cigarette lighters flared, held steady to welcome him.

I remained angry and disappointed. No apology was given for the delay - he's stolen my precious time, and it wasn't ok.

I've never since paid over a week's salary to go to a concert.

Monica Manning said...

Ahhh ... 1983. Loverboy. Last row. Me and my best friend, Michele. It was my first concert and I was excited. Hot guys in skin tight leather pants. What more could a hormonal teenage girl ask for? What I remember most about that concert was the ditsy blonde in front of us who had her binoculars trained on the group and suddenly started screaming "He looked right at me!" Michele and I looked at each other and burst out laughing. I didn't have the heart to tell her that given she was sitting in the second-to-last row, it's not likely he even knew she was there.

Dani said...

I love it, Sanitykill!

Dani said...

We went to see Rush in concert. Standing in the darkened seats while the music blasted before us, I felt a shiver run up my spine. There was a static electricity between us. I sneak a peak and find he's looking at me too. Quickly we both look away. He starts pretending to be completely interested in the performance, yet I sense that he is not. I try my best to pay attention to the lyrics in the song being played. I try in vain. My body is aware of his so close to mine. His warmth, I can almost feel. His shoulder brushes mine and I am soaring. I have to concentrate on standing. I could easily lose my balance. Every move he makes next to me is felt in my chest. Suddenly I feel his skin next to my hand, like fire. I look up and meet with his gaze. His eyes stare into my soul. He takes my hand. This is when it all began again. It was a rush I will never forget. When we went to see Rush in concert.

Sanity said...

Thanks, Dani.. and sounds like you had a great time at your concet, too. Haven't heard Rush in forever. :)

Monica Manning said...

Congratulations, Sanitykill. That was so vivid -- I think my ears are even ringing!