Bizarre Launch to Finish
Written by A Bystrom on June 8, 2016
Scary to hitchhike alone in unknown territory, though most pickups seem friendly, sharing expensive cigars at pit stops. By hook or by crook, I managed a way there, with front-facing army shimmering green pack, magenta rimmed false gold mirror sunglasses, and black back-facing pack weighing me down. Out of boredom, doodled all the vermilion ink from last pens, staining pants, hat, and laptop in the process. Oops.
Camped for two and a half days – terrified – before gaining the courage to set out to the inaugural Rock ‘N Derby. Somehow, (TMI alert!) the dry-heaving from lack of food didn’t halt me. A magenta $10 parking sign in nearby yard held by a nice looking couple brought a pang of nostalgia to my belly. Of course, a nature startled would cause turning back, mistakenly or not, several times before finally entering.
Fear certainly unwarranted, though my press pass and belt mysteriously vanished, so had to make due with a fishy email printout that almost barred me from the scene except for a fortunate new friendship with professional photographer Lizzy who sported frizzy hair like me. Wonder if my louche presence opened the floodgates of hobbyists with cell phone cameras to jump the fence and hog prime shooting spots. The white-maned master guru in our midst commented, “they think you’re a terrorist,” when security guards kept picking on me, blocking me, or suddenly enforcing strange rules. “I fit the part.” Maybe the scarlet splatters across my black and grey clothes helped.
A serious follower of procrastination, hadn’t yet invested in a new camera nor snazzy lenses to capture best moments. Plus, lazily avoided emptying SD card so each snap prompted a pause to delete pics one by one, which probably annoyed everyone. Soon learned to squeeze between lensmen and lean against the soundsystem for best angle and heavy sonic pounding. Think my hearing capacity dropped several decibels this weekend.
Obviously, crowdsurfing, redshirts, and hot sweaty musicians ruled this event. Patrol directed me against the tide of bodies and I ended up behind the behind-the-scenes after ducking below some scaffolding, wandering amongst band crews, familiar faces, and the very famous. When the extremely sexy headlining mainstage act began hitting on me in their golf cart and the love of my life walked by, surprised I didn’t keel over and die.
Lost on a random dead-end path, a tall handsome man offered a smoke with the sheriff and some turnips.
Inspired by Russell Brand’s advice to hide in train bathrooms to skip fares, my journey West gave the impression of decadence in a sleeper car, though starvation-induced nausea precipitated missing meals for the fifth day in a row. Meanwhile, dudes in uniform echoing codes over radio pacing back and forth outside my room gave me a case of the paranoid blues to which no real tune can be played except flipping the bird.