This musical brothel-the swaying faces of the possessed whores and vipers, round and round in sync with the beats. The red lights from the district-whirling with the sounds of panic and pain and sadistic enjoyment, gave way to the fear and the pain of being crushed by the moshing pit. Pressed brutally against the cold, metal, grated fence, so cold and ungiving in its response to my bodily structures. I turned slightly to see my husband behind me. He was loosing his grip on the fence and me. I was pinned and couldn’t get out with him. He took great pause in leaving me, but there was not choice. What he didn’t know was that I had my eye on a bigger prize. On the other side of the fence was a guitar pick out of the sweaty hands of Mike Ness, and contained the SD emblem. I had to have it.
Drunk, high, sweaty, battered and bruised, being the subject of this brutalization by choice was nothing short of insane. Definitely not what I thought I was getting in to when I agreed to go. I had gotten close enough to the pick that if I jumped the fence I could grab it as if I had fallen upon it, totally by accident. The chic next to me was in worse shape than I was, she looked a faint, I nudged her and offered to throw her over the fence to freedom. She agreed and with great thanks I helped her over, with the help of the bouncer on the other side. As the crowd quickly tried to fill the void of her spot, I told the big guy who had thus resulted next to me to fill the gap-throw me over-he did with pleasure-but before the bouncer could return-so there I was hanging off the stage and the fence with a four foot drop to my hands and knees if I chose to let go. Hesitating for a second-I saw the prize-I dropped grabbed and ran. It was at this point, a few minutes to see exactly what I was in the middle of, that caused me great social anxiety. What was the susceptibility for normal humans to go feral. It was as if the music had somehow hypnotized the normality and created these animalistic behaviors that were being played out before me. The individualism was lost in most and had turned to group chaos. It was in this eerie process of calm thoughts that I was reminded of Dante’s “Inferno”, from The Divine Comedy. All I could think of was the cold of the fence, which is symbolic of Dante’s Hell, and the escalating violence comparative to Circle seven. In Circle Seven, those who commit violence against art, selves and neighbors are committed to an afterlife of repetitious despair that repeats over and over for all time.
I spent about 80 percent of this experience as a participant observer and 20% from this Ariel perspective. And it was from this point of view that I came to my attendance counting. There was roughly 2-3 hundred people and only 50-75 females (please excuse my counting skills, I wasn’t exactly in my right mind and the flashing lights were a little distracting.). I got to breathe and sit and not have to worry about being crushed to death. But that breathing lead to the knowledge that I smelled really bad. Walking out of the facilities after the end of the concert was the worst smell I have ever encountered. This smell beat out the dirty diaper smell, the drunken puke smell and many hazardous others. It was the combination of sweat, body odor, stale urine, beer, and vomit.
I looked like hell the day after. My ribs were bruised, I had massive swelling and bruising that extended the entire length of my shin starting at my knees. My hips were black and blue, my arm had my husbands grip print from holding on to me from protecting me from the raging crowd. I looked like I had gotten in to a fist fight with a car and lost. And I lived to tell the “Story of My Life.”