Thursday, May 25, 2006

can i just get to the damn concert, please?

date: may 22, 2006
time: around 9:15 p.m.

place: in my car, parked in front of an atm

where the fuck is my atm card??? i know i'm gonna have to pay for parking. where the fuck is it???

while i'm turning my car upside down looking for my card, my cell phone rings. i reach over and grab it off of the floor and flip it open. aries man...again. i sigh, knowing i've gotta answer it this time or be left with the voice message "why even have a cell phone if you never answer it??"

me: hello?

him: hey, nikki. wassup?

i slide the phone into the crook of my neck to hold it in place while i continue looking for my atm card.

me: i'm aiight. trying to find my atm card. wassup with you?

him: i'm pissed cuz i gotta work tonight.

at this point i'm leaning over into the back seat, my hip pressed tightly against the steering wheel. shoveling my hands through the papers strewn across the floor, i grab and toss stuff to the side before carefully running my fingers along the carpet. my hand lands on something square and plastic. THERE IT IS! i pinch my fingers on the edge of the card and pull it towards my face. SHIT...well, at least now i've found my kro.ger plus card. i toss it onto the front passenger seat and lean over again into the back. where the fuck is the damn card??? i KNOW i saw it here somewhere...

me: you gotta work? i thought you just got off of work?

him: i gotta work an afterparty tonight.

i stopped moving, a fissure of premonition sliding up my spine as i knew immediately what afterparty he was talking about.

me: you're working the afterparty for the roots?

him: yeah. they're having it at 'the mark'.

exiting my car, i stand there and attempt to mentally trace my steps back to where i last saw the card. i'm drawing a blank. my mind is partially shadowed by the current conversation.

me: well how about that! i'm on my way to the roots concert right now!

him: oh, so you decided to go?

me: yeah. i'm not gonna waste almost fifty bucks. plus, i've never seen them live before.

him: great! so i'm gonna see you tonight?

aww hell. i knew that shit was coming. this is why i don't talk to him as often as i used to because at some point during every recent conversation he'd ask me to come over to his apartment or meet him at his second gig (he 'bounces' for clubs in the atlanta area). why can't a brotha just chill the fuck out?

me: i doubt it. i've got to work tomorrow so i'm sure i'll be heading home as soon as the concert's over.

him: oh, so you can't drop by the club for even a minute, huh?

me: maybe, but it depends on when the concert's done. if it's late, i won't be coming by.

WAIT...the card is back at the apartment. SHIT. i hurriedly jump back into the car and start the engine, pulling off swiftly as i made my way back home to pick up the atm card i suddenly remember leaving right next to the computer monitor during my moment in automated hell.

him: i'd love to see you, but if you can't come that's cool. hit me up after you leave the concert.

at this point i'm barely hearing him because i'm thinking of the time i'm wasting having to go back and pick up the atm card. i've STILL gotta get to my job and print the damn ticket. this is gonna take me another thirty minutes at LEAST.

me: i'll call you when i leave. let me get offa here. i'm scrambling trying to get to this concert. i'll talk to you later.

him: aiight, talk to you lata.

me: peace

him: peace


sidebar: let me explain about aries man before you folk out there think i'm playin the brotha. i like him. he's cool folk, really. meanwhile, i'm keeping to myself because i really need this time to mentally repair myself. he's READY if you get what i'm sayin. the timing is fucked up. i'm totally NOT ready. i'm in chill mode and am cool with it. i've been burned recently and the wounds are only now starting to heal. i had to learn to check my emotions until my life was in order.

aiight, enough of that...back to the story.

so now it's about an hour later and i'm standing in line waiting to get into the concert. i could hear the notes from a heavy bass guitar shivering through the walls to the venue. someone's voice was being pounded in between cumbersome drum beats and i tried to decipher who it was. jean grae? GAWTDAMN. my impatience grew as the line is moving slower than a thought to dubya's brain. i gotta get IN THERE. the anticipation was pinching my skin into painful awareness as i realized i was missing someone give a helluva performance. i clinched my fists and looked ahead of me, noting the slithering centerpede of people crawling toward the entrance. by the time i finally got through the front door twenty minutes later, jean had already exited the stage. DAMN.

the venue was the bomb spot. formerly a baptist church, it now housed worship of divine musical composition. its mouth lay wide open, the exposed roof ridged in blisters from incinerating guitar riffs. the walls of its jaw were bruised in varying hues of rhythm & blues, wearing the mottled remnants of the pulsating punches thrusted from thumping drums. residue from the ghost of cigarette smoke coated the bared squares of its teeth with a black matte, their mute surfaces absorbing the illumination of the lights lining the street outside.

i treaded carefully across its tongue, the soles of my shoes adhering to the souls of brew previously slain, their dismembered figures laying in sticky stains upon the carpet.

this mouth was poised to sing. the instruments that would gift its vocal chords with sound were sitting intently upon the stage, revealed beneath the brightness of a single light that shown with the intensity of an orthodontist's tool.

the roots had yet to appear and the crowd around me was a shifting wave of restlessness. ganja smoke cloaked the air around us, its bitter scent clinging to the caverns of my nostrils like hands fisted around the flapping edges of a wool coat in winter. i inhaled deeply and immediately became lightheaded. that was some potent shit.

i stood wedged within a circle of four brothas, our bodies so tightly knitted together i almost asked them all to put on condoms lest i end up pregnant. there was no room for movement, which meant i had to find somewhere else to stand because i knew i'd be dancing and i didn't wanna hurt anybody with my frenzied hips. i looked ahead of me to see if there was a thimble of free space somewhere and located one a little closer to the stage. trying to get to that spot was like trying to shimmy my way on all fours across a field littered with land mines, the area around me being blasted away by raining bombs. i was dodging attack from spilled drinks and errant elbows the whole way, escaping harm for the most part accept for the phantom fingers i every now and again felt slide across my ass and chest.

sidebar: you guys think you slick, don't you? you think we sistas don't feel it when you covertly run your hands across our chests or discretely squeeze some part of our anatomy as we walk past you? what kind of desperate shit is that? is this the only time you find yourselves close enough to touch a female form? this ain't elementary school and that shit ain't cool. i shouldn't have to pull out a can of maze just to walk through a tightly populated area. sometimes i feel fucking VIOLATED, like a guy just stuck his hand down my bra or in my panties. what you doing ain't 'scooping' like it was when you were twelve. shit like that nowadays can get you arrested. take that desperate behavior to the strip club. i'm telling you now, one day i'm gonna reciprocate the touching bit, only mine is gonna be a hard knee to the groin area. you really don't want to be that cat, do you?

now that i've got both that vent and that brotha's hand offa my chest, let me continue...

so i'm standing in the thimble of space i'd made for myself, my eyes skimming over the shoulder partially blocking my view of the stage. the darkness around me was nicked every now and again with lit candle wicks as thin slivers of amber light bled in small streaks across the walls. i shifted my weight from one foot to the other, growing both excited and impatient as i stood there. this was only the second concert i'd ever attended by myself and although i was cool with it, a part of me mourned the inability to share the experience with someone. i didn't let it get me down, though. i knew i'd eventually be writing about it and sharing it with my blog fam. :)

the murmuring around me changed pitch and began getting louder and i can feel the hairs on my arms begin to stand on end. THEY'RE COMING!

then a thundercloud of a voice rains sound upon us as the mc announced the arrival of the roots on stage.


i'm already screaming and jumping up and down, my skin tightening in anticipation like muscles right before orgasmic release, my breath popping through my lungs like kettle corn over a hot stove as my blood raced through me in a rush of red elation.


the mouth began clearing its throat...

more to come (yeah, i know i'm a bitch for doing it, but oh well...)