Remember that Night

We were at a show, it was summer sticky, the air was thick with patchouli & peace tea.

The band was moving bodies, limbs were flexing & flowing in rhythmic contortions under the spell of their set.

Mounds of flesh blending, cooling themselves with condensation dripping with cold alcoholic wet.

We were laughing at the stage diver because this wasn’t that kind of show, he seemed so foreign, almost funny that he wasn’t ‘in the know’.

On his last failed attempt at crashing they pulled him up by the pits of his long shirtless arms.  

He thought he had command of them, doing his bidding, but for them, he held no charm.

They were pulling leaves from the palms around them, fronds peeled into strips it was strange, the audience perplexed by their actions, and then it happened jaws dropping center stage.

The musicians leaned into him, saying something inaudible, but his actions made it clear, he went pale, very sudden, the leaves were his humiliation meal.

Picking them up he started eating, looking like a conquered bully deposed by the underdog champion wearing a freshly plucked crown.

The band pulled him behind the curtains and made a gesture to us all — middle fingers raised to heaven and a quick kiss that absolved.

The music never stopped & I wondered if he vomited from the shame or eating what one aught, had he learned anything, had anything been taught?

A frame by frame replay loops in the swelter of that day, and while the band name escapes me, the memory stole some innocence, something changed in me that day.