No, I Don’t Want To Go To The Show
Because doors open at 8:00, which means it really opens at 8:27, given the ingratiating oddly entitled casualness of these kinds of chronically latent events, which means — because everyone involved is either still hung over or on hallucinogens and isn’t fully employed at ominously large and unforgiving institutions, unlike me, who has to be at work at exactly 8:30 a.m. the next morning — the opening band won’t start playing until around 9:12, and since the opening act is always the most excited to perform, they impulsively hog up an inappropriate ratio of time by playing nearly their entire album, so now it’s 9:57, nihilistic haircuts are bobbing in front of me, and there’s still another band before the main one, what people refer to when they say “the show,” and since it takes a good 30 minutes to set up between sets (the musicians believing that their amps, and only their amps, can convey their “sound,” such that they, along with entire drum sets and effect racks, need to be replaced, and rewired, and re-sound checked), we’re looking at a good 10:30 until the second act even begins, an ebullient if not somewhat emotively cloying act, which won’t end until 11:17 — now exacerbated by that one earnest yet becoming very annoying fan who calls for an encore — and if you haven’t guessed by now I’m very tired and feeling either sui- or homi- cidal (can’t decide). My lower back is sour, strained, spent from standing since 7:42 waiting in line for doors to open (4:38 hours of standing), and I’ve dropped $14 dollars for two mid- to bad-range domestic flat beers served in a thin collapsible plastic not-even-full-pint (14 oz.) cup, in addition to the $25 dollars for the ticket, and did I mention I’m extremely tired, both physically and emotionally, due to the standing and my company, respectively, and everyone a decade younger than me seems to be handling all this bright eyed sweatiness just fine, and with just one more 30 minutes of languid set interim, at the golden moment of 11:52 p.m., with just eight minutes left until midnight, Cinderella herself freaking out, a group of dour lanky men with unkempt hair and great jeans, whose smug disposition betrays their ambivalence to their success and our loyalty, finally employ their respective instruments at a decibel level my already-ringing cranium cannot fully perceive, playing arrogantly “bare” songs, drawing out each chord, to which I nonchalantly nod, vaguely moving to the 4/4 time so as not to seem too out of place, my “date” next to me subdued or even deflated by my restrained body language and somewhat passive-aggressive grim demeanor, as if to suggest that I somehow resented her for inviting me to this horribly youthful and supposedly edgy experience — going over the semantic mishap of even calling this a “date,” given the invariably platonic ending of our night, my libido conceding at her stoic countenance, then a quick friendly wave of our hands before we encroach upon our respective vectors towards different bedrooms, our heads bowed at the future of probably never meeting again, all this existentially trite drama at a nice f-ck me in the ass 1:20 a.m., the show finally having ended, the venue’s perimeter now loitered with competitive groups of young attractive people all exchanging drags, hits, texts, and verbal reviews of the show, supplementing their vocabulary with a prolonged “soooo” to emphatically express any stirred sentiments, my cold bare hand now back at home tugging away at another version of how the night ends, the one where you come home with me. So no, I don’t want to go to the show.
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Even as I write this now I am debating whether or not to erase it all together.
When I say I’m in love with you, I mean I love the story I can tell to my next lover, about my ex-lover, about how beautiful things were, how intense, how storybook, what a couple we were, and how you gradually, inexplicably, painfully, bit by bit, disappeared.
“I used to be afraid of failing at something that really mattered to me, but now I’m more afraid of succeeding at things that don’t matter.”
I was 24 and, while not gay, ever since college I had been getting more attention from gay men than from heterosexual women.