Them

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Memoir  |  House: Booksie Classic
A simple flashback to one of the better nights of my life thus far.

Submitted: April 14, 2014

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Submitted: April 14, 2014

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It’s Them. They’re barely twenty yards away, and They’re real human beings. They weren’t a figment of my imagination all along, and I take a short moment of time be grateful for it. They’re probably covered in sweat, our faces have all mushed into one big sea of skin tones and salt, wrist bands and disheveled hair as they look out at us.

Two opening acts, twenty-five songs, and nearly five hours later, They play the last song of the night. I drink it in, let the lyrics dance through my consciousness. The kick-drum fills the room, beats in rhythm with my heart. You become the music when it’s right in front of you, not just hear it. When the music is right in front of an arena filled to the brim with thousands of others who probably feel the exact same way as me.

The show draws to an end. The lights die down, and I feel the exhaustion that’s been building up in my being. I nearly choke on my tongue as I bid the blondie, supposedly from New Jersey, a good evening. I never bothered for her name, I’ll undoubtedly never meet her again, anyway. When was the last time I drank?

Either way, I fight through the dispersing sea of bodies to find my father. He asks me something, probably along the lines of “How did you like the show?”, but I’m too awestruck and practically deafened to hear him. I just reply with, “It was amazing,” and he nods.

I head up first, my wallet digging into my hip. The rest of the arena has practically shut down, except for the flooded merch tables. I push my way into line, my wallet flying instantly into my hand. It takes a bit for me to get up there, but I can feel my tongue sliding down my throat. I keep from gagging on it. I lick my lips but there’s no moisture.

I just get a shirt and a wristband and we’re off. It’s cool outside and I throw on my new shirt, it’s two sizes too big, perfect for sleeping in. It’ll keep Them close to me. Maybe I’ll dream about Them this way, I barely have nice dreams, let alone dreams at all. But with my luck, I’ll dream about Them, but it’ll be something horrid. Them breaking up, Them dying and me stuck with no way to save them.

I can feel the shirt soak up my sweat already. This shirt is officially mine now. My DNA is laced in it’s fibers, like sometimes I wished my fingers were laced in someone else’s.

The car is comforting. It’s familiar. It’ll be mine, soon enough. But my favorite part about it is the water sitting in the front seat. I open up a bottle and I can’t seem to drink it fast enough. I can feel my entire mouth rehydrating, or at least I hope it is. I can breathe easy now.

I look down to see my dad holding out my case. I begrudgingly take it, popping the plastic back in my mouth. I hate retainers, they give me a lisp, and I can’t sing in them.

I lay the chair back. Tomorrow I have school, and we’ve still yet a two hour drive home. I barely ever drive this far for anything, usually only relatives. It was worth it though, and I’m pretty sure I felt like I was with thousands of kin tonight.

I close my eyes and let my mind wander for a bit. The radio is on, muffled acoustic guitar spewing from the speakers next to me. I peek one eye open and see light poles fly by. “The shadiest part of a city he’s ever been through,” as my dad had said on the way in. Of course, it’d been light outside when that happened, and the atmosphere was different with no people on the street.

Lights from apartment complexes blur in the indigo night sky. The yellowed glow from headlights behind us casts shadows along the dashboard. The seatbelt digs just a little too much into my thigh.

I think about Them again. They’re stars and this was the first time I’ve seen Them from any perspective than from a television set or through a pair of cheap earbuds. Probably the kind you get free when you buy a new MP3 player. Tonight was a new experience, and I can finally check that off my bucket-list.

My dad opens up the sunroof. I can’t see the stars through it, but maybe they’ll show up once we’re out in the suburbs again. Except, I’ll be asleep by the time we get far enough away from Philadelphia.


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