Condom wrappers and CD casings quiver on packed gravel as the crowds coalesce. A garrison of mohawks and begrimed skinny jeans assume formation, steam my shirt with their putrid sweat. Electrified frustration is as imminent as the coming storm. Fans shove ever closer to the stage, test the tensile strength of claustrophobia. The guitar rips the fabric of time, makes a ravishing, mystical sound. With continuous gray reverberation, the ground disappears. Only ripples and waves graft me to Earth now. The lead, a hypnotist with a mullet, clutches the microphone and convulses.
He belts the crowd with a sonic hook, entices us. Bodies move like fire, syncopated, flailing, wavering. Some fly overhead with the birds and the beer cans. The guy next to me takes a boot to the face, caroms into some post-hardcore snobs beside him. My blood surges. It’s now or never. One last drag from my cigarette, and it’s crushed under my Converse. I seize a grizzly of a guy behind me mid-thrash. “Can you help me get up?” To my surprise, he mouths, “Sure.”
Before I have time to change my mind, he hoists me into the sky. I reach for the dynamic hand of Thor, take my throne among the cumulonimbus. I gasp ozone. Become omnipotent. Raindrops splatter my forehead before those below know it’s raining. I am thrown toward the stage faster than I can run. Glide atop a road of hundreds of thousands of hands, undulate across an endless sea of heads. Fear pumps in my stomach to the beat of the music as a circle pit, a whirlpool of angst and tattooed appendages, opens in front of me. Foresight gnashes my brain, shows me diving head first into the gravel. Bleeding out through the eyeballs. I shred my throat screaming, and it sounds like I am singing along. A voice from amid the roar yells out. “Don’t drop her in the pit!” In a microcosm of a second, I am tossed, flipped on my stomach, rolled in the opposite direction.
The show goes on. I go on too. Until concert security, a golem anthropomorphized from clay and at least half a dozen hams, cleaves my wings. Thrusts me from the action, back into the bosom of the Monster Energy truck, where sixteen-year-old girls are supposed to be. I take a can, pop the tab, and drink. There is a thin line between being on top of the world and cracking your skull open. And that line is made up of people wanting to get you off of them as fast as possible. Where we join as a unified people, a terrestrial family with a fetish for irrationality.