November 10, 2003

[for 48 hours]

I had an awful summer.
It started out looking great; 18 years old, job applications out all over the place, finally had my own room, prime spot in east van (far enough that I could use it as an excuse, close enough that it really wasn't.), and it looked like the world was my oyster.

four months later, I had no job (aside from the PNE, which was more being paid to tan than actual work), I'd moved to Delta(it's exactly like Surrey. no matter what anyone says, it's all the same), and my room was pink. with jungle animals on the wall. the sense of isolation was overwhelming, and the commute to my summer class was crushing; watching endless city landscapes slide by was like getting my heart torn out - I still don't know why.

granted, there were random bursts of joy; outings with friends, for normal things like turntables in the states, or ridiculous ones like slurpees in squamish, but they only served to outline the despair that had suddenly entered stage left.

I spent my the last seventy dollars in my chequing account on my radiohead ticket, and I would sit and stare at it, hoping to extract some of what I knew was coming. It didn't work.

but the day came (and paige had come back shortly before, which made it even awesomer), and I headed down to the stadium, ticket in hand. lost paige shortly thereafter, when I had to break off into the elitist wristband section (where my extra $10 went) and head in alone, guided only by a text message to meet graham stage left. (we found paige later, and another friend of ours outfitted her with a wristband.)

long story short, I had an embarassingly good time. knew the words to every song, called out titles after maybe four bars, usually more, watched, absorbed and generally enjoyed the experience of being immersed in music I loved, surrounded by unequal parts strangers and people I loved, and knowing that I was free.

that night, I had one of the most enjoyable bus rides I've ever taken. and this is my 7th year of taking the bus.

two days later, I received an all-access pass to the show, from a friend who was working backstage.

whenever I felt dislocated, or alone, or angry, or whenever I heard an argument through the walls, I would look at my pass, remember the bass of the gloaming passing through me, or phil dancing during backdrifts, or ed's improvisation at the end of just, or jonny rocking out during go to sleep, or any one of countless moments from the concert, and be back on the field at t-bird, free again.

it's a rectangular piece of cloth, somewhere between gaffer tape and denim, yellow bordered with a black and white rendition of the Hail to the Thief artwork on the cover, stamped with VANCOUVER, 8-30-03 in black.

and it's everything that's right with the world.

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