Dear Couple Next to Me,
I am not so good at concerts, probably because I grew up going to the Kennedy Center every few months to see the National Symphony Orchestra, and in the Kennedy Center there are throat lozenges available for people who think they might cough during performances, and coughing is frowned upon. Loud breathing isn’t good, either. When I am at a normal, non-grandma-funded concert, I try to remember to sway or wrap my arms around myself or yell when it is that time during a concert where you are supposed to yell. I keep track of my hands because sometimes they want to hold onto each other in a way they do when it’s time to walk the aisle in church to get communion. Not concert cool.
I am telling you this so you know that I know how difficult it can be to decide what to do with yourself at a concert. I noticed that most people leaned on each other, literally, or did a weird slow dance, or drank beer after over-priced beer. But did you have to make out the whole time? Did it ever occur to you that the pink-haired person awkwardly swaying next to you may be actively trying to forget she’s been dumped at least 22 hours a day? I’m going to take your constant smacking noises as a “no.”
Mostly, this letter is my cowardly yet peaceful way of telling you that you suck. And I don’t just mean each others’ faces. I mean in general. I’m sure you are both very nice people and that you really do
love each other text on a regular basis, but I’ve never wished a fight and/or whiskey [sick] on anyone else more in my entire life in the last 24 hours.
Dear Dancing Man,
You are an inspiration to me. For one, you are very very tall and you have a very very tall girlfriend, but I saw that you tried to move out of people’s way so everyone could enjoy the concert as much as you were. Except that would be impossible.
I love that you knew every single word to every single song. I love that you just mouthed the words instead of singing them, because then I would have been forced to hate you. I love that you had choreography ready. To Counting Crows.
As you bobbed and you weaved and you used your hands to make strange little pictures out in front of you, your girlfriend looked so incredibly uncomfortable. She tried to calm you down by rubbing your back or by making small talk, but gosh darn it — you were unstoppable! You outmaneuvered her by bringing her into the choreography, by touching her face, by mouthing the lyrics to her. I’m pretty sure at one point, you used her butt as a way to keep rhythm. That’s kind of when I lost track of you, but I commend you for the use of your surroundings!
But I just wanted to let you know, I respect the hell out of you. Thank you for automatically feeling like no matter what I did, I could never be as awkward as you.
Trophies and One Stalker Photo,
Dear Backstage Refrigerator,
You are just what I dreamed a Backstage Refrigerator would look like! So full of magic and talent and beer. I wasn’t sure that I would ever get to meet you in person, especially since ten minutes ago I didn’t even have a backstage pass and someone had to personally come tell the scary bouncer man that I am indeed cool enough to stand around awkwardly while my friends hug members of the band and reminisce about their days living in New Orleans together. What a trip!
Now that I have my very official-looking backstage sticker (that won’t quite stick to any of my clothes because someone actually took it off their own shirt to pass back to me, kind of like how we used to pass back fake ID’s at those stupid college bars in DC), I feel like it should be okay to approach you. I mean, I am wearing all black and the guitarist did hug me and I’ve told at least three people that I’m with the band even though really I am just a pipsqueak whose big break was playing Evita in a community theater production like five years ago. Okay, like three years ago.
If someone saw us talking, would you be embarrassed? Probably not. I guess I should be embarrassed, getting caught talking to inanimate objects again, so I will just keep my distance. I watch people open and close you like it is nothing. But I know the truth! You are special. You got through the fridge auditions and the callbacks and now you are on tour with Counting Crows. I can’t imagine all the famous hand prints that have graced your glass door.
Someone says we have ten minutes before everyone has to leave. I could drink a beer in ten minutes. I think there was a point my senior year of college where I could drink one in ten seconds. And, besides, I want to touch you. Who knows when I will see you again, if ever?
I don’t draw attention to myself. I walk over to you, as if we are already acquainted. I open you like you are my own, like we have done this dance a thousand times, like you let me belong here.
I gulp down the Corona. Your gift to me. Best beer I’ve had in a while.
Yours in Gratitude,
An LA Pipsqueak