August 6th, 2007 |

SATURDAY, AUGUST 4: Where have I been? Well, that’s a very good question, but maybe I haven’t been anywhere–maybe you’re the one that’s been missing. Forgive me, I’m listening to Pink Floyd and feeling rather existential. (That’s the only reason I think Pink Floyd is really good: it invites high school kids to journey outside their self-absorbed lives, or maybe it makes them concentrate more on their small worlds.) Anyway, I had one of my best friends visiting from Los Angeles for the past two weeks and she finally left on Friday. She’s going to read the word “finally” and feel mortified, but really, you shouldn’t. In these past two weeks I’ve managed to go out almost every night without exception, report to work on time and still not fall face-forward down the subway steps and cut my eye open on a can of Red Bull. And yet when it comes to seeing bands play, I couldn’t seem to get my physical person there. I did manage to see Werner Herzog’s Rescue Dawn and Lindsey Lohan’s I Know Who Killed Me. The first one I was dragged to by visiting Swang (who it should be noted is a graduate student at Cal Arts and reads a lot of fancy books by Celine and Baudrillard and talks a lot about stuff like Death and subtitles and works of Ahwt by people with names like Anselm Kiefer.) For the record I wanted to see The Simpsons, but that’s something else.

But all this movie watching had me feeling like a boat floating on an ocean of unfamiliar waves. I longed desperately to go see some live music. I was beginning to feel as if I might die inside somehow. I was incomplete. I was having fun but being energized on someone else’s excitement. Even in the theatres of the movies we went to, I had to let my regular routine go, sitting in the middle of the row instead of on the edge like I was used to. Swang liked going to art galleries and I find them boring, but being twisted up into her long evenings of fashionably dressed wine-drinking snobbery began to rub off on me. I could feel myself switching gears (okay I would tell myself, less Harvey Pekar, more Keith Haring) And then we’d hop off to Heather’s Bar, where Cooper Union Students would mingle with up-and-coming art whatever.

So by Friday afternoon, it was time for Sarah to leave. We aren’t big on goodbyes–what’s the point? Either you see someone again or you don’t. The streets hummed with drills and cell phones and babies and mothers screamed and cursed as they walked by and each yellow cab had a passenger. Finally we saw one and just as it started to pull to the corner, a cab-snatcher tried to grab the door. I shoved her in the gut with my elbow and Sarah hopped in. She didn’t turn around to wave but I waved anyway, and just when I thought she was gone, I saw her arm stick out into traffic.

Yesterday Blonde Redhead played for free in McCarran Park. The line wrapped around the park twice. It was impenetrable. I walked to the back of the pool, sat against the brick wall and listened to the entire show alone. It was a significantly cooler day then the day before and a breeze blew the clouds by in herds. I stared through the limbs of an oak and thought about Sarah and the time we saw Blonde Redhead for free at the Henry Fonda. We were backstage in the wings and Amedeo winked at me when he turned around to jam. Even though I couldn’t see the band this time, I didn’t have to, because I’d been there.

Reporting live from New York,
I’m Nikki Darling and you’re not!