Thursday, April 28, 2011
There were tornado warnings, and the wind was heavy and wicked and large. I drove up with some Steves to Pittsburgh, because what's a trip there these days? My territory has expanded itself, pushing through the hills and toll roads like my life is too large these days to fit in the old limits. I will emotionally piss on all cities between me and the oceans, they will become mine.
Years ago I had seen Mogwai at the Beachland, and if you ask me to name my favorite concerts ever, that's on the list and when I tell you it is, you will see me shiver a little, remembering how frozen in place I was the minute it started. Closing my eyes and remembering the feeling standing up right against the speaker left to stage, and the guitars electrocuting me through a hand laid on the black wood casing. I remember the feeling of that show better than I remember most sex. I have a glow in my chest when I think of it. I love the Beachland for that show like I love the feel of motel room sheets.
And somehow I ended up right against that speaker again, only in a different place and time. I tried to move back and away, I really did. I said "this is going to make me deaf". But by the middle of the show, without even realizing it, my body had gravitated right back there, a junkie's body, the desire totally in control and ear drums fuck off. The justification of whatever, it's one show, I'll give up a year of hearing later in order to stand here with the song slamming into me, real and concrete as a jump on my chest, as a very large thing shaking me, and me powerless and hungry and desperate for it to be harder and louder. I couldn't even move of my own volition, I was paralyzed by this wall of sound, a deer being kissed by headlights and doom and a knife being slipped into a lung, and my stomach turned up in tight little knots, and I didn't know if I was going to throw up or come. It's a drug, a thick steel reverberating coffin, led by this little smiling soccer hooligan who kept going to the mike after each song and saying "thanks, cheers!" and I have to believe he knows exactly what this feels like and that's why he's so happy, reveling in the slaves he's created just by playing an instrument. For exactly the time and the length of them playing Like Herod, I would have done absolutely anything and everything that Englishman asked me to.
Afterwards, as the last encore song was dying down, I stood outside against the church wall, in the light rain, and I smoked a cigarette. I wasn't supposed to but I did. I haven't done it again today, but I don't regret it last night. I fell asleep in the car, and when I woke up to drive home from Euclid at 4am, the wind was even stronger and there were whole trees lying across the road, and I think that what I was feeling at that show is what made that happen. The echoes of it ripped across the Midwest.