26 Feb / I saw the light
Last night my darling and I tried something new.
We went out on a school night to a pub on the wrong side of the tracks to see a band perform songs that haven’t really been performed live since the lead singer topped himself thirty years ago, and which only one of us (me) enjoys.
I have not been to a pub in a very long time. We’ve been in restaurants that pretend to be pubs while really being places that people gather to eat and talk. We’ve been to restaurants that just happen to have a bar service (no matter how many ye oldes they put in their signs), but a proper pub that exists solely to sell alcohol to the general public and support people’s addiction to TAB betting? It’s been a long time man.
But I breathed in the smell of many people, some unwashed, crowding into a small space which a couple of manual fans were really not well equipped to keep cool, and I cradled my Coke Zero in a fancy plastic cup close to my chest until the ice melted.
The good news was that the band was due to start at eight, and the songs I wanted to hear were due to be played first. That meant, all going well, we would be heading back out the door at eight-thirty and hailing a taxi home.
Apparently bands are not known for their punctuality.
I waited, and grew accustomed to the fact that it was going to be standing room only. My knees locked into place to hold me upright, unused to being utilised in such a way for such a long time. I wasn’t looking forward to when they unlocked.
But then the band came out and began to play. My darling inquired after one song if I knew it and if I liked it, in a way that implied incredulity.
Eight songs later, and we were out of there. We asked the doorman if there was a taxi stand nearby, but from the confused look on his face we gathered we were on our own.
My least favourite thing is to talk to people on the phone, but since it was my night out I swallowed my anxiety and dialed up the taxi company.
The lady dispatcher said that she’d send a call out and a taxi should make it out there soon. I was slightly concerned at the implication that a taxi might fail in the attempt to make it across the wrong side of the tracks, but one did eventually arrive.
All up, even though we’d ventured out from the safety of home on a school night, we were tucked up in bed a mere half hour later than we’d usually be.
So, a night’s disruption, a couple of painful knees, a two-hundred and ten dollar investment for eight songs lasting just under half an hour. Was it worth it.
To see and hear Joy Division songs performed live in front of a crowd of people my own advanced age? Sure it was.