We waited until around 7 to leave the apartment.
I wore my favorite skirt- it's a wrap-around patchwork india silk number that I know Alisha would borrow in a heartbeat- and a teal beater-style tank top, with my trusty comfiest flip flops. I didnt care about looking cool, I cared about staying cool. In a 100 degree+ heat wave, less is less, and that is more.
We met up with our pal and a girl he had met at a bar the night before. She was very sweet, but very...young seeming. It was a little weird, but thankfully we only had to socialize for a few minutes before Death Cab showed up on stage.
For those of who who haven't been to McCarren, it's a pretty great venue. It used to be a huge community pool like back in the 70's and it's about the size of a football field. Now it's empty, and a few nights a week they fill it with people for these awesome summer concerts. Last year, Dan and I saw the Beastie Boys play for their first ever Brooklyn show. It was so sweet.
Anyway, I was geared up for something huge: my first Death Cab experience. I was expecting to be physically and emotionally...transformed, I guess.
So they started, and the sound was all off. It all felt like we were wearing earplugs. The bass was way up and the treble was way down, and you couldnt hear any of Gibbard's guitar. His voice was tinny and weak. This makes it tricky to get into the groove. After a song or two (lots of new stuff, which I'm not totally entranced by), they started getting the sound levels right, but something was still missing.
Gibbard sounded really weak, still, and he kept coughing. He wasn't hoarse at all, there was just no power behind his voice. He was making a valiant effort to keep his enrgy level up, but I was still waiting to be grabbed. Also, his guitars were all out of tune and the sound would come in and out. SKFHAD;SGH;D
Finally, about 45 minutes into the set and after 3 or 4 guitar exchanges, he screamed "FUUUUUUCKKKKKKKKKK" (not into the mic) and pitched his guitar to the sound guy backstage, then grabbed his mic from the stand. He went apeshit. He jumped into the crowd, he danced around, he totally let loose. That's when my heart soared out of my ribcage and went to rest at his feet. He was amazing. He was on, he was alive, he was beautiful.
And then his mic went out.
While waiting for the sound guys to fix THAT, he bounced around and greeted fans and danced on stage with Chris Walla.
Also, the bass player (name?) was amazing to watch. Dan mentioned that he used to hide in the back and just do the bass groove thing, but he was SO INTO IT. He was my fave to watch. I could feel every bass line in my fingertips. I loved it.
So the mic turned back on, and the night progressed ever upward.
I was lost, I was in love.
I kept thinking, this is my life.
This is my husband.
These are my friends.
This is my city.
This is it, this is it.
The little tendrils of hair that escape my pony tail and usually rest on my neck were lifted in the wind and tickling my face. The air was moving in such a way that I felt weightless, that if I moved just so I might be swept up in it and float around as if in a dream ...my skirt was swirling around my knees, I could feel the night air on my eyelids and my scalp and between my fingers. It was fluid. I can't even explain it. The purple sky, the brillant flashes of lightning miles behind us, the music, the heartbeats...
It was magical.
We were electric.
And then the wind changed, and brought with it stinging dirt and leaves and twigs. Suddenly the gusts were cold as ice, and traveling with all the speed and strength of a barreling semi truck. The lights above the band were swaying precariously, violently. The banner at the back of the stage billowed out like a sail and looked as though they might tear at any moment.
They wrapped up "Sound of Settling", thanked us, and ran.
The park directors asked us urgently to get home as soon as possible.
The sky was no longer a brilliant violet fading into a soft lavender- it was the angry purple and gray of a painful bruise. The wind was swirling and stinging, the trees were bent low to the ground.
We left as quickly as possible, but not before a beer tent released itself from its holds and nearly came hurtling through the air at us. I felt Dan throw himself over me, and force me into crouching position with him arching protectively above me. People screamed and shouted and raced to the exit.
We figured we had time to get to the train before the rain came.
Wrong. And the rain, like the wind, was merciless. It came in fat, stinging drops that felt like exploding water balloons on our bare skin. Slowly and painfully at first, then faster, and sideways. We watched it move in circles and waves on the cross streets. People clustered on stoops and under awnings- but some of us pushed through. Wet is wet, so we kept walking. My drenched silk skirt was flapping in the wind and whipping my legs, my tank was plastered to my stomach and ice cold. Water fell in rivulets down my face and in my eyes. I tucked my glasses into my bra for lack of pockets, and we ran.
About 5 blocks later, I no longer felt my glasses.
I yelled for Dan, and we turned back. Nearly blind and with raindrops careening into my eyes, I walked slowly back up the sidewalks, scanning the ground for a darkish blur or a shining reflection...nothing.
I'm crying, but the tears get lost among the raindrops.
I can't see. I can't see a thing.
Dan catches up with me, and he stops and swipes his foot through every ocean-sized puddle in every gutter. I stoop to peek at every glittering surface. Dan keeps telling me "It's just broken glass, honey." But I'm blind and crying and I can't tell the difference between a beer bottle and my glasses.
The rain slows, and we're just left with chilly night air and water dripping from every surface. I watch water run in rivers towards sewers, feeling my spirits get pulled in with all the debrit.
I walk ahead to ask people if they've passed any glasses on the sidewalk, and I hear Dan yell my name from a block behind me.
I can only make out his silhouette. He looks like a soldier coming back from the war.
He's holding my glasses in the air, and his shoes in his hand. They had been in a gutter, in a puddle of gray water.
I hug him so tight and kiss his wet beard and tell him he's my hero.
And we walk home barefoot and wet in Brooklyn, holding hands.