Oh man, I was so excited for Bayside! They had already started by the time I dragged Henry over to the Tilly’s Stage (Taking Back Sunday’s set overlapped with their’s) so a decent-sized crowd had already formed. We had just staked out our spots over to the left of the stage when I noticed it.
On the ground in front of me was some kid’s school portrait, just laying there on the dirty ground, God only knows how many nasty scene feet had trampled it. I became determined to snatch it up for my collection.
(Honestly, I’m like the world’s worst magpie ever.)
The guy next to me elbowed his buddy and pointed down to the ground. POINTED DOWN TO MY PICTURE. But before he had a chance to say, “Look at that picture, let’s take it for our own,” he was interrupted and shifted just so that his back was now toward my targeted bounty.
I turned around and made eye contact with Henry, who knew exactly what was going on without needing an explanation. I started to open my mouth and he just shook his head and mouthed the word “Don’t.”
Bayside is now just background noise for a much greater scene. I sized up the woman standing next to the picture (her fat foot at one point had been flattening it against the asphalt): she didn’t seem very threatening, smelled slightly of patchouli; I determined with ease that I could take her down if she noticed my picture and decided to take it for herself.
I kept inching myself forward, forcing her to shuffle in slight incements to the right, until I was exactly next to her, flush against her side like we were old school friends whose Ma had dropped us off at Warped Tour; I’ve seen her Pa in his underwear; and she’d let me borrow a tampon if I suddenly needed one, but not without first giving my bleeding vag an introduction to all the boys in the crowd.
In other words, we were standing intimately close.
- Which wouldn’t necessarily be weird at a show except that we were on the outskirts of the crowd and no one else around us were smearing their flesh against one another.
- Even weirder is that she didn’t move.
I stamped my foot upon the picture, pinning it down with a fervor. I turned to give Henry the thumbs up and he just closed his eyes and shook his head again.
But instead of just bending down and picking it up like a normal person who collects sentimental trash off the ground at concert venues, I opted to keep my foot pressed against it, which seemed like a great idea until my foot started to cramp and the only solution aside from picking it up or walking away from it with some tiny vittle of diginity was to cross my legs so that my left foot could get a chance.
This not only made me look like I had to pee, but it was also hard to retain my balance. So I went back to standing normally (i.e. with the mannerisms of a strung-out bitch looking around for cops and rapists while trying not to urinate).
I stood this way until the very last note of the very last song, until almost everyone around me had vacated the premises, and then I lunged down and with one swift swipe….I missed and had to grab it again.
Having it finally in my possession, I fanned it in Henry’s face and made exaggerated o’s of jubilance with my mouth. “What are you going to do with that?” Henry asked wearily, as he was past due for his scheduled Old Man at Warped Tour Sit Down.
“Probably take it work?” I answered with a question. I couldn’t just leave him and his jacked up lip out there to disintegrate and parish to a place where no one looks at him anymore!
Johann is currently hanging up at my desk by a magnet. I keep putting off buying a frame, because I’m a shitty adoptive portrait mom.
Thank god you didn’t come here to read a review on Bayside’s set.