A bunch of us had tickets for the Indigo Girls concert at the zoo last night.
"Let's take MAX," Andrew suggested. "Courtney and I have a top-secret spot. We'll park there and ride over. It'll take a little longer maybe, but we won't have to worry about crowds."
So we stopped at Bi-Mart to get some "event chairs", and then at Trader Joe's to buy kalamata olives and salami and chocolate covered red licorice, and then we drove to the secret spot.
We missed the train by thirty seconds, but that thirty seconds cost us ten minutes, and then half an hour.
MAX trains come every ten minutes, so we waited nine minutes and thirty seconds for the next one to arrive. Courtney and Kris talked about knitting. Andrew and I discussed our upcoming backpacking trip (with Mac and Craig and Tim).
When the train arrived, we boarded at the back. Somebody around us smelled strongly of alcohol. Almost immediately, Andrew said, "We've got to move." I didn't understand. "We've got to move," he said again, and he stepped down into the middle of the train. We followed, and as we did, I saw the reason we were moving: a young woman — a girl, really — had passed out on the seat behind me. Her head lolled from side-to-side. In her sleep, she had vomited on herself. And, it appeared, she had wet herself.
At the next stop, Andrew fetched the driver. The driver made his way to the back of the train, where he tried to wake the girl. She would not be roused. "Goddamn it," he said. Then, to the entire train, "We're going to be here a while, folks."
The woman across from us was miffed. From her remarks and demeanor, it was clear that she felt the trains should just continue despite the girl's condition. She used her cell phone to call some friends. "Come pick me up," she said, cranky. She gave them poor directions and got off the train. She was one of those women of an age and attitude that the world belongs to them, is at their service.
An ambulance arrived, and the paramedics came aboard. They wore rubber gloves. They tried to wake the girl, with some success, but mostly she was unresponsive. One of the paramedics documented the scene with a Polaroid camera. They removed the girl's jacket and stuffed it in a bag. They picked up her stuff. Then they brought a stretcher, and carried/dragged the girl to it. When they wheeled her away, she had curled into a fetal position.
Eventually we reached the zoo, where we waited in line for half an hour before reaching the expanse of lawn before the stage. The only space we could find was above the sidewalk, near the elephant paddock. (Throughout the concert, I'd catch an occasional whiff of elephant dung, which smells surprisingly similar to your garden-variety horse dung.)
Jeremy and Jennifer soon arrived. Jenn seemed very happy. (Courtney's friend, Mo, had joined us at Lloyd Center.) The seven of us lounged on the lawn, eating bread and cheese and olives and various meats. We soaked in the sun.
The temperature was fine. We were feeling fine.
We were feeling fine.
The sunset came during the opening act — Shawn Mullins — and the clouds were rimmed with pink and orange. Joel called from South Dakota to let us know they'd arrived safely and were already unpacked. "No way," I said, but he assured me it was true.
Everyone saw somebody they knew except me. I didn't mind. I just ate more chocolate covered red licorice, watching the mostly-lesbian audience walking to and fro.
"The lesbians at Indigo Girls concerts are getting older," I said.
"So are you," said Kris.
When we saw our first Indigo Girls show sixteen years ago, we were still young. We sat in the front row center. Nobody knew the Indigo Girls. Now we're middle-aged, and so are the rest of their fans. They all have kids, even the lesbians.
On the sidewalk in front of us, three little girls (each with a different set of lesbian parents) danced to the music. Another lesbian brought her young son to join the party. "Do you think he feels out of place?" I asked Kris.
"I like seeing lesbian parents," Jenn said. "I think lesbians make the best parents. I think heterosexual couples are probably the least suitable parents, then gay men, and lesbians the best. Imagine having two mothers." She seemed wistful at the prospect.
Jenn and I argued over which Indigo Girl was better: "Come on, J.D. Emily's songs are beautiful. They're poetic. They're from the heart. Don't they speak to your heart?"
"No," I said. "Her lyrics are trite. I like Amy. Her lyrics are passionate."
"Trite?!? Emily's lyrics beautiful. You have to hear them with your heart" — she touched my chest — "not with your head."
Kris tried to interrupt. "Stop," she said. "No arguing!"
Jenn and I often disagree, and we delight in arguing our points. At length. This makes Kris tense. Me — it just reinforces the feeling that Jenn is like a sister to me, more than any female I've ever known. We argue like siblings might.
"Think of The Power of Two. Love's Recovery. The Southland in the Springtime. Those songs are beautiful," she said. "Don't you like any Emily songs?"
"I like Ghost," I said. "It reminds me of H."
by indigo girls
there's a letter on the desktop that i dug out of a drawer the last truce we ever came to from our adolescent war and i start to feel a fever from the warm air through the screen you come regular like seasons shadowing my dreams
the mississippi's mighty but it starts in minnesota at a place that you could walk across with five steps now and i guess that's how you started like a pinprick to my heart but at this point you rush right through me and i start to drown
and there's not enough room in this world for my pain signals cross and love gets lost and time passed makes it plain of all my demon spirits i need you the most i'm in love with your ghost
dark and dangerous like a secret that gets whispered in a hush when i wake the things i dreamt about you last night make me blush when you kiss me like a lover then you sting me like a viper i go follow to the river play your memory like the piper
i feel it like a sickness how this love is killing me but i'd walk into the fingers of your fire willingly and dance the edge of sanity i've never been this close in love with your ghost
unknowing captor you'll never know how much you pierce my spirit but i can't touch you can you hear it a cry to be free or i'm forever under lock and key as you pass through me
now i see your face before me i would launch a thousand ships to bring your heart back to my island as the sand beneath me slips as i burn up in your presence and i know now how it feels to be weakened like achilles with you always at my heels and my bitter pill to swallow is the silence that i keep that poisons me i can't swim free the river is too deep though i'm baptized by your touch i am no worse at most in love with your ghost
Then Jenn asked, "What's your favorite Indigo Girls song?"
"Dead Man's Hill," I said without hesitation. She wasn't familiar with it.
"I'll make you a CD," I said. "All Amy. An Indigo Girl CD."
dead man's hill
by indigo girls
we were down at deadman's hill smoking vines like cigarettes looking through the trashy mags trying to feel what's coming next you told me of crashing cars older brothers and late night bars i told you what i feel most and you kept it like a ghost forever
don't you write it down remember this in your head don't take a picture remember this in your heart don't leave a message talk to me face to face
lying on the bright blue jumping mat dinner bell is ringing barking dogs and model planes and the sound of passing trains we watch for bonfires in the sky on the beach in july spin the bottle steal the kiss postcards to the one i miss forever
don't you write it down remember this in your head don't take a picture remember this in your heart i'll leave a message when everything comes apart talk to me face to face
i remember cats on fire gasoline a burning spiral standing underneath the night fighting back with all my might empty cans and charred remains find them in the heat of day on the top of deadman's hill this is what i know of shame forever
After the concert, Kris and Jenn and Jeremy walked out arm-in-arm, smiles on their faces.
(For the record, this is the eighth time Kris and I have seen them now. Last time documented here.)
On this day at foldedspace.org
2003 — Thai Beef Salad In which I share a favorite summer recipe, and in which I recall the summer when I watered the lawn for three hours every day.