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I Kan't Spell



Friday, November 07, 2003

 
An Evening at a Concert With Me and Without Her

And there I was wondering into the Recher Theatre after a couple drinks from across the street. I was pretty excited to be able to shuffle my way up to the semi-front row, in the general admittance small venue. I made way to the bar previous to my placement and ordered two Nati Boh's after paying for the tab next door and then being reimbursed by slightly taken back chums. I had never seen Damon Gough and his alias band known as Badly Drawn Boy (BDB). I was excited and a tad apprehensive after perusing the crowd for cute faces to chime with. But alas there was no one. I did manage to chat with a small Indian girl, of about 20 years old, about her musical interests. I tried to come off like a Badly Drawn Boy expert in the hopes that she may simply drop her jaw and tell me that she wants to leave. Quite presumably, that failed to happen.

The show began no more then ten minutes after my entrance. BDB came out solo with his big guitar with electric tape over the opening that is used to resonate sound. He greeted the audience with a story. It was exactly as I predicted it would be. He played songs from his new album, old album, and yet unreleased album. Many were good and I had a great time simply watching his intensity and peace while owning the stage. During the first set break I realized that I would drink no more and that I needed some interaction with the people around me. My back was hurting slightly, as it often did now in my aging early twenties, from having to stand for so long. I spotted the little Indian girl and what appeared to be her lesbian friend. She said that she was having a great time. I echoed the same but in a more long winded approach as if to sum up my entire life and love for music after one set, there in that tiny shit-hole venue. Just as the conversation was about to get awkward BDB came back on with a full band.

The show was really picking up. He made his way down to the crowd, and on the floor, to talk to people with the microphone still hot. He was singing and making up verses. Since I had been shouting what I thought were humorous banters during the show, he picked me out. We had made eye contact several times during the set and I had made him smile twice with my retorts to his open ended questions to the crowd., He came over and asked me my name and I told him it was Bret. Minutes before he had been talking about Bruce Springsteen, since he loves him so, and he had mentioned what a horrible name "Bruce" was. I, being the sly witted gent of the audience, immediately and without hesitation bemoaned, "My name is Bruce". Now this caused a slight quandary upon our floor interview. It actually caused an extended dialogue between him and I, in the crowd, with people watching, and me underneath his now shared spotlight. I momentarily froze and simply pleaded some sort of ignorance to the question after failing to quickly come up with a retort to follow his, "But I thought your name was Bruce". He moved on after singing a small verse about me, that he was mixing in to his spontaneous song. Luckily the spotlight was off me and I was relegated back to being another one of the crowd. It felt good to be there with him. I was looking at his hideous British dental work and his nappy hair and baggy sagging eyes. I felt pity for the life he must have led trying to get to this point. The years of torment and, what must have seemed to be, fleeing goals of rock immortality. He moved on with his fat little man swagger up and down the aisle that he previously had asked that the audience make for him. He talked with the crowd and made everyone laugh. Everyone was falling deeply in love with the stout little man from Manchester.

The second set ended and BDB returned to play two of his more radio friendly songs for an encore. At this point I found myself out of the trance and the moment. I kept thinking to myself that something was obviously missing from this moment. I should be really enjoying this theatrical music. I wasn't enjoying anything. I was merely forcing myself to enjoy at this point. I had lost the meaning in the night. I was without libation and was facing my own loneliness, sober and alone. I was without her.

I thought to myself there on that floor as he was belting out his last song over the heads of the audience, which was beginning to stagger and wane from the beverages and pot. I thought about her. I thought about how everything I do that is good is somehow ruined by her absence. As if everyday I were walking across the stage at my graduation and reaching for my diploma only to look over my left shoulder and see an empty auditorium. There was nothing I wanted more than to shout to her that I was enjoying myself. There was nothing I wanted more than for her to shout back the same sediment. I wanted to see those big brown eyes and slightly insecure smile. That smile that was like a pat on the head and a bowl of hot soup after a day of shoveling the walkway. There I was at the height of the encore, arms folded, head bowed, and personally drained.

I had lost the war of denial. I had failed to defeat the thought of defeat. I was enraged. I wanted to drive to her new home in the lap of nothingness, shared with a scarecrow man and rip her out of it. I wanted to bleed on the concrete of their driveway. I envisioned myself pounding my fists in rage of knowing that it wasn't right without her pride there guiding me. I wanted to take her with me to wherever I was going and watch her cheer and join in the life that waits. I wanted all these things to happen.

I got into my car and rooted for a CD that would bring memories and heartache. I found nothing. I had ridden myself of so much that I once involved with the thought of her that all I was left with now was the attempt at discovering new music. I rummaged and rummaged through a stack of CDs. I was desperately looking for something to drown myself further into. I found nothing that would drench me in pity. So I reached back and put in the BDB CD that never got played on the trip to the theatre. I put it in and enjoyed the songs that he played for his encore. I enjoyed them alone while driving home and singing at the top of my lungs.

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