About 7 p.m. on Monday night, the moon was full and I had decided I was not going out that night. I was damn excited about not going out. I was going to take a hot shower. I was going to drink a cup of peppermint tea. I was going to get a little work done, maybe write in my diary, maybe read a little. What an evening, right?
Around 9 p.m., I was well-nestled in bed with my laptop when I got a text message from Dutch friends, “Hey, I found out being painted is a lot of fun! Are you going to make the squad unsafe anyway?” I chuckled and texted back, “Being painted IS a lot of fun! And no. Too late. Too cold. Too Monday.” I took a sip of tea and gloated over my coziness.
And that’s when the pop music started. The headliner was apparently way louder than whoever came before them. Also, they were impressive. Impressive rhythms, impressive mashups, impressive timbre, impressive effect of squelching most of my self-satisfied coziness. All of a sudden I was restless. I was angry. And I was oh so intrigued.
Well-amplified pop music sounds like a party. And I don’t just mean we correlate the two. Had only electronic music wafted up to my room I know I wouldn’t have launched into such longing. But human voices were involved, and trumpets, and drumbeats like a thousand people stomping. Think of the circumstances that would have to occur to create the sheer sound without the intervention of an amplifier! Think of the concentration of human talent necessary to create that music in particular, that loud, without recording technology. My brain knew it was just some smart kids with a stereo and turntables playing for a mostly static crowd of glass-eyed freshmen and hawk-eyed graduate students. But my body heard the biggest dance party of the century: lively, screaming, synchronized enthusiasm.
I may have come of age in the Internet-Killed-the-Buggles post-post-post-live-&-unamplified world. But if someone in the next room is watching a YouTube video, and someone on their screen screams, I’m likely to jump a little and be put on-edge. Another reminder that I’m not programmed for my era. So when I hear a scream, I may think “screen,” but my body says, “Danger!” And when I hear pounding bass, I may think, “annoying neighbor with subwoofer,” but my body thinks, “TRIBAL DANCE!”
And for all this I need to address what might be mistaken for a triumph of my modern brain over my primal body. Because I did not go to Full Moon. I did not booze, get covered in paint, attempt to proliferate my seed, nor attempt transcendence through the spirit of the dance. I sat in my room and Gchatted with Stu about it, which had the impressive effect of squelching most of my desire to party. But I don’t think that spending the night with a screen is in essence a victory for modernity. It’s simply a case of confusion and wanting to commune over it, emotions just as primal as anything sexual or celebratory, and more compelling than anything else. In my case at least.
Confused and wanting to commune? Connect with Rosie at [email protected].