I called my Mom on my way to the show. I was nervous. It had only been three days since the horror of this weekend; the images of bloodshed and grief burned in my mind’s eye, fear and disbelief subtle but palpable in my home city. At work, we reported and wrote and thought about it all day. At lunch, the street next to our office was cordoned off with police tape. A suspicious looking car parked halfway down the street and a string of small explosions – though how far away we couldn’t tell – turned out to be a false alarm.
I didn’t feel brave. It was raining and I talked to my Mom, looking for reassurance. It seemed foolish to go to a concert; foolish not to. We can’t let these things limit our freedom, we both said.
As I’m checking my coat, wine glass in hand, drinking fast, a little claustrophobic in the crowd, my phone buzzes. My Mom, and then my brother, both suddenly anxious, both asking me to leave. I just don’t understand why you have to be there, my brother says – usually so even-keel, so quick to make fun of my tendency to overthink. I don’t know what to tell them – that’s what I say. I tell them I love them and I hang up.
I slip into the crowd. And into a dream. It’s ecstatic, delirious, loud. Everyone’s getting down. I keep my head down a little while, and start to move. The beat is so smooth. I feel safe and intensely lucky. Alive and totally enraptured. Fat Freddy’s Drop reminded me of the good things tonight. I’m so fucking grateful.