At home, life is messy and covered in broken amber-colored glass bottles. Here the noise drowns out the screaming in him; there’s a test tomorrow, and he should be in bed. Here, Andrew could ignore how terrible his home life is and move with the crowd. He could bend and twist and shout and clap and dance and experience the one thing he’ll never truly have at home: freedom. The band onstage began their second song. It was full of high note choruses- lines of masterful poetry that made him become someone else. This- this is it. This sense of belonging and escape. It’s why Andrew wasn’t at home studying late into the night for tomorrow’s math test and keeping an ear to his bedroom door in case his mother came back from the bar early. At home, Andrew is an undead thing being pulled through life.
Here he came alive.
Laura knew she’d never get back the money spent on front row seats. The guilt will eat her later when there’s a bill due or when she goes out for groceries. But that’s later. Now is an entirely different story. Now is where she’s her real self. Surrounded by friends who actually loved her, who believed in her. They pulled her along with a promise of spending the night in a hotel and playing video games until the sun came up or the adrenaline rush went away. In her ears, her heartbeat in time with the pounding of the drums. As the band began their loudest song of the night, she closed her eyes and swayed with the crowd.
This, this was where she belonged.
There were many reasons Taylor impulse bought these tickets two months ago. They’ve been a fan of this band since the first album. When everyone in their friend group had moved on and found the next hit, the next big pop star, they stayed. And they were there now, supporting the band whose music helped them. When identity became a struggle, when understanding themselves became a fight, the music of this band took them to a safe haven. As the band began their loudest song of the night, Taylor threw up their fists and let out what’s inside them.
On stage, the band saw the crowd moving and swaying at their very whim. They saw the magic their music created. It sparkled in the air in little specs of blue light. With several somatic gestures, the specs grew in size and eventually burst, covering those beneath them. Eventually, a thousand people were glowing in the dark. The band looked at each other and shared a single nod.
The lead singer put the mic back on the stand. The bass guitarist laid his instrument back in its case. The drummer stood up and set her sticks to the side. The backing vocalist took off their jacket and clasped the necklace around their neck.
Now, without a single word-
The crowd sang.
The glow got brighter.
The words got louder.
The band members transformed.
Tonight, the world is theirs for the taking.
Photo by Marcela Laskoski on UnSplash