“Fuck them all,” he said. “To hell with them all!”
I looked at him, dazed and confused.
“This whole thing. Fuck it!” he yelled as he gestured fiercely at the stage and crowd of people. “They’re all part of THIS.”
He was incredibly drunk, repeating the same thing over and over again. It all clicked. The people in the crowd, they’re all part of THIS. THIS, meaning our youth going to shit. The intelligence dwindling. The party-drug scene. And THIS—wasn’t just at the concert. THIS was everywhere. At bangers in college, at house parties from my hometown, on booze cruises by the shore.
He told me to watch the people around us. To watch how they danced and hugged other people, drinks spilling and clothes coming off. He made me aware of the destruction around me. Everyone was drunk or on drugs. This wasn’t the way we were supposed to be.
The stage with beaming lights was directly in front of me. The sea of people were dancing and the rain falling down made the night magic. But to my left, there was the Ben Franklin bridge with its modest lights compared to the ones on stage. The bridge looked so beautiful. It was more beautiful that night than any other night because no one was paying attention to IT. Everyone’s focus was on the stage where Jack U was. I turned to see the bridge and all the little cars crossing—on their way to their somewhere. Sometimes, the most beautiful things are hard to notice. But when you look look hard enough you’ll be awed at its greatness (sunshine between tree leaves, ripples of the ocean, fireflies in a flood field).
I was part of IT. The beauty that is overlooked because something else is the main focus—the cooler thing is paid attention to. The unseen. IT, meaning the self-awareness. IT, meaning what you wanted to end up with when the summer high was gone. It’s the person you ended up with in the fall because it’s got substance. It’s real. IT is what we all search for unconsciously, but some are too narrow minded to step out of our comfort zone to find. Too caught up and narrow minded to step out of the chaos mislabeled as fun. IT meaning the big picture and reality staring at us in the face.
When the concert was over—when the fun was over and the drugs wore off and everyone’s worn down—the bridge, IT, was crossed to get home.