Letter From My 48th Year (May 30)
You may be middle-aged if your first thought after the Jack White concert at Anthem last night was, “Boy, that was loud!” And also, if you missed parts of the concert because you were overly distracted by the throbbing of your middle-aged feet, which are no longer used to standing for four hours straight while a weird and also weirdly attractive man takes his time showing up to the stage upon which entrance he decides reverb is the night’s key ingredient. Oh yes, and you also have to stop yourself from yelling at the supremely tall people who keep stepping in front of you, “Get off my lawn you damned kids!” and you blithely drop questions like, “Why don’t people say ‘excuse me’ when they push by you anymore?
On the other hand, there is the sublime moment during “Seven Nation Army” when the whole crowd is singing and swaying as one and it really is one of the most beautiful things you’ve ever seen. And there is also getting out of bed this morning and peering pensively down at your ankles to discover no they are not swollen and red beyond imagining because you wore your life-changing and blessed (except when they’re not) compression socks.
I should also add that my date for my evening was my dear friend MM who is always conjuring ways for us to meet again and I suspect she has no idea how precious it is to me to feel so wanted. It’s not that I go around feeling terribly unwanted anymore, but the little girl in me is still somewhat amazed (and at times mystified) that people will actually scheme, plan, and some other word that means “to scheme” or “to plan” to hang out with me.
MM also has a great capacity for listening to me talk about yesteryear as I seemed to spend a great deal of time—in between the throbbing—remembering the girl that used to arrive at concerts hours early so she could push her way to the front of the stage (How else was I supposed to get a good look at Keanu Reeves when he toured with Dogstar?) as the only proper behavior at such things was to gaze lovingly and longingly up at said stage and the people on it while simultaneously wrecking one’s eardrums by putting them square in the flight path of the speakers.
Which is not to say I miss that girl or the way she always smelled of want and longing or the way she habitually launched her want and longing only at those who stood furthest away from the spot in which they might want and long for her in return. I don’t miss her (though I suspect we still smell, at times, faintly alike) but I do remember her fondly and I think she would have smiled at me to notice how enraptured I was during last night’s rendition of “Seven Nation Army” as I stood, again caught in the spell of some magical mystery musical bluesman.