What does it take to be lonesome? Nothing at all

“Lonesome,” Dr. Dog

Sometimes the things we experience by chance make the greatest impacts. I think – I hope – that’s why I try to experience all that I can even if it’s something I never thought I would do. Get a tattoo? Yes. Eat tongue? hmm, how is it prepared. Move to Nebraska? yeah, OK – I have my limits. But these are our choices. And we do the best we can with the opportunities we are given. We do what makes up happy even if our happiness doesn’t make sense.
That’s not to say what makes us happy now won’t have consequences a year down the road. Perhaps it’s a reckless way to live. Perhaps it’s courageous. Perhaps it’s my way now, living without regrets.
This weekend I was invited to a concert at The Electric Factory in Philadelphia – an extra ticket needed a partner and I was willing. This was a no-brainer for me despite the fact I’d never heard of the band before or their music. I’m a sucker for live music, for new music – it’s always been a really good meal.
Dr. Dog (the video above) sounded like a rap group from the early 90s, but I was assured they weren’t by friends who adore them and have for years. This is one of those indie bands with a cult following that has avoided the mainstream scene and are better for it; who has taken pride in their ability to appear unwashed and nonchalant.
Would Gavin DeGraw wouldn’t open his set with a space man walking around in full neon astronaut gear? I doubt it. They adorned their stage with giant stuffed-animal tiger heads and walked through a rickety white door, stage left, that’s been beat up on the bus for 4 months. Half the band wore sunglasses, because I’m sure they were stoned, and striped beenies with the yarn puff balls on top. The whole night was unexpected: The music, which I thoroughly enjoyed; the $10 beer which I sucked down slowly; the bathroom attendant – rail-thin in baggy clothes; the boys being offered “party favors”; the 6 song encore; the dealers running the streets selling underagers nitrous balloons.
From where we stood, the stage and audience were in full view. I think my favorite part of the whole night was watching the crowd – one person in particular I was drawn to – a lanky, golden boy wearing black. His hair was shaved on the sides and long, cascading into his eyes, on the top. He moved like a woman, sensually. He kept stroking his own hair forward while he danced like its smoothness would transport him deeper into the music. He was beautifully gay and open, singing with his whole body, touching his friends. I love watching these moments in someone – such forgetful joy, where nothing matters but the emotional response. I think my shyness has always kept me back from being that overtly passionate about something. I get self-conscious, thinking people are watching me – I know I’m watching them and have been for a very long time.

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