After being stuck in that hallway for an hour and breathing in the subtle aroma of Clearasil (I think I witnessed some of those kids reaching puberty, even), they finally opened the door to all of us non-skaters. We had our hands stamped and claimed our spot by the stage. Naturally, Pink Sleeves and Pot Belly in Stripes (the adolescent bimbos who never stopped flitting back and forth on the heels of the roadies) beat us there.
Waiting for Emarosa to come on, I killed time by analyzing the scene kids before me, wondering which of them were in it for the music, and which were just pretentious retards who have to rip off other people’s styles to look cool. Christina and I deduced that probably it was mainly just the boys who were real underneath the assymetric coifs and skinny jeans. Don’t get me wrong! I love me some scene kids at the post hardcore show, but some of them are just ridiculous. (And I know, it’s like that no matter what the scene is. Posers never die out.) And then I make the mistake of getting close enough to hear their oral banality and I’m reminded that at the core, most of these kids are just obnoxious teenagers. It’s going to be hard weeding through the fake ones to find the good ones, like Blake, if I ever get off my ass and put that book together.
The cool thing about this venue was that, if I got bored with kid-watching, I could pivot to the left and take in some skateboarders on the ramps. There was this one guy, he looked older than the rest (like, he could have been TWENTY, OMG), who was riding his bike on the ramps. In true asshole fashion, I cried out “OH MY GOD BE CAREFUL!” in mock-concern. I guess he took that as the mating call of a new fan, because when he reached the top of the ramp closest to me, he got off his bike and rested there, smiling goofily at me. Stewing in discomfort, I quickly slid behind the pillar I was leaning against. But every time I peeked around, he went back to grinning at me. Christina thought this was hilarious and was practically passing out wedding invitations.
But then I became distracted by this bitch who was totally stealing my gimmick of being the plain, older girl at the show. I glared at the back of her ugly head and shouted to Christina, “This broad’s usurping my demographic and I hate her!” She stood so close in front of me that I could smell the product wafting from her too-shiny black hair, which was unacceptable considering the show hadn’t yet started and there was around, oh I don’t know, 678765 cubic feet of empty space around the stage.
In the middle of thinking thoughts generally reserved for the minds of the criminally insane, Emarosa took the stage and I went from being a homicidal head case to a teary-eyed girl with a melting heart.
Jonny, I love you long time.
Many times I have attempted to explain how I feel at these shows, and I know fail miserably. It’s like when you get a tooth ache and you swish with scalding hot tea, letting it seep into the nerve pocket. That’s how it is for me at these shows — I derive some sort of sick pleasure from the pain I feel in my heart. It’s like passionate torture and part of me wants to run out the door but the other part is like, “No, this feels good. Let’s break out the nail-studded dildo now.”
I didn’t pay much attention to the people around me during Emarosa’s set, but there was one incident involving a scene kid who, when you factored in the height of his Robert Smith back-combed hair-scraper, towered at least six feet and planted himself right in front of me. Then his puny little girlfriend joined him and they dove into an impromptu reunion-slash-lovefest of sorts with the kids next to them. There was a lot of hugging and before I knew it, I lost track of whose jelly-braceleted wrist belonged to whom.
There’s good old Pink Sleeves, probably devising a plan to get on the band’s RV and dole out statutory blow jobs.
While Jonny sang, I forgot about the cocksucker who wrecked his Hummer, leaving me with wet bangs. I forgot about Christina directing me to the wrong Holiday Inn because she’s an idiot who couldn’t remember where she made reservations. I forgot about the fight I had with my mom. I forgot about making a grooming appointment for my cat Marcy. All the shittiness got pushed aside and I was able to just relax and breathe for a little while. I never realize just how much stress is building up in my muscles until I go to show and the thundering bass releases it all from my body. Thank you, thundering bass. Mama’s neck was so TIGHT. (I can’t stop calling myself Mama lately and it’s freaking me out.)
Since Emarosa was the opening band, their set was very short. I caught myself putting my hands to my heart a few times though so it was probably best that they left the stage when they did, before I ended up on the floor in a piteous puddle. I knew seeing them live was going to fuck with my emotions. Just listening to them in the car has forced me to pull over and bury my face in my hands on occasion – I WON’T LIE. Thankfully, they didn’t perform any of the songs that leave me vulnerable to a razor’s edge. I know, it sounds lame, but aside from my kid, this is all I got.
(Part three: Making underage friends with near-Canadian accents, meeting Jonny against my will, and what hair looks like after a chick fight.)