Sweat and Bruises

I found my old LiveJournal account, last updated in 2006. Somewhere among the fan-fiction and the endless obsessing over icons (profile pics for the younger crowd), was a documentation of the time I spent as a nomad, following Nine Inch Nails from town to town. This piece of writing was edited down to become a Blogger flash fiction post and later edited down even further to appear in The Seekers' Tarot companion book. But now that I have recovered the original version, I believe that it is the best version, closest to the source. And so, I share it with you today.

"I can’t remember what city we were in, but we traipsed through the cobbled street at three in the morning still high off the adrenaline from the rock show that ended two hours earlier. We stepped over puddles of god-knows-what while Lucas gushed about his favorite band eating just two tables away from us at the diner. We walked arm in arm, hardly able to contain our impatience for the next show, the one we would have to drive six hours in the dead of night to get to. Will and Carrence wanted to hit a bar before we got on the road promising to keep us awake as we barreled down the interstate at ninety miles an hour. Predictably they fell asleep ten miles outside the city limits, so we pulled over at rest stops and cut lines of coke on the backs of CD cases to keep us awake. We managed to catch some sleep on the concrete outside of the venue while the police watched over us, a sea of still bodies wrapped in black fishnet and sleeping bags. The next morning, someone told us that the drug dog went crazy; barking its head off, but the cop just told it to shut up because he was chatting up some underage goth chick and didn’t want to be bothered. We exchanged glances that said “Thank god he didn’t find that eight ball in our luggage.” The show was everything we wanted, loud sweaty and violent. We clung to the metal railing that was the only thing between us and our rock gods, not letting go even when the men with shaved heads and leather jackets punched at us and pulled at us hoping to pry us off so that they could have our spots. We would withstand any abuse to show our devotion to the rebels without causes that waved their flags and made our nostrils flare with the promise of sex and glory. Afterwards, we hobbled out of the venue, covered in sweat and bruises. We all piled into the car, convincing ourselves that we could hit one more show, one more city, that we could miss one more day of school, of work. We never wanted that trip to end."

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