Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Bangers Only

 It's a few minutes before midnight on a Saturday night in LA. I'm so far east of Lincoln I might as well be in a different state. There is a transvestite DJ on stage playing a mash up of Justin Bieber's 'Where are U now' and Cher's 'Believe.' I'm on a dance floor surrounded by competitive Ultimate Frisbee players and a bunch of girls that look like Barb from Stranger Things. I desperately want to make out with someone, but what I want more is for the DJ to play something loud with a monumental drop. How did I get here?

The last time we spoke I was on a flight back to Los Angeles from Austin, TX stuck in that in between half sleep you endure so many times in the air. I kind of think I'm sleeping, but I'm conscious of the fact that I could wake up at any moment accidentally cuddling with the stranger next to me.

I survived that day and vowed to stay in all weekend. Luke Cage was on Netflix and there was an Amanda Knox documentary out. Nothing makes me happier than loading up a bong and trying to play armchair detective. Tuesday-Thursday I found myself in bed by 9 o clock. Even Friday, after briefly attending a stand up comedy show, I was home and in bed by 10. I was good.

And then Saturday hit and I just couldn't take it anymore. I found a Mad Decent Block Party ticket on Craigslist for $20 and the next thing I knew I was on a train heading east wearing a bro tank that features a tidal wave wearing sunglasses. I was back.

Mad Decent Block Party is essentially a miniature festival on the grounds of LA Center Studios, the home of hit tv shows such as 'The People V. OJ Simpson' and 'Mad Men.' When not cranking out prestige dramas LACS leases out space to things such as 'Beerfest' and small raves. Hence, I have a fair amount of experience walking around hammered outside the offices of Sterling Cooper.

The exciting warm up act for Diplo was a fully bat shit Ke$ha. I had never seen her in concert, but I remember chain smoking and listening to her songs on the way to work in 2010 blaring the music on full blast so not to fall asleep at the wheel after a random Wednesday night bender. Whereas I have pulled myself out of that spiral, I am happy to report that Kesha is still living her life like she expects to die young. And good for her, she played the hits, I jumped up and down. I got sweaty. Hell I even found a girl a full foot and a half shorter than me and trade shirts with her for 15 minutes, which led to Saturday's Facebook post/what I will ever use if I decide to try an online dating app.

There is something magical about a music festival, about the little connections you make. You realize you might be dancing with someone who is 15 feet away and didn't even realize it, but then you make eye contact and realize that you are in complete lockstep. Perhaps this is the greatest contribution electronic music has made to the world.

Diplo ends, I find myself at the Echoplex with aforementioned transvestite DJ. Now they are performing a mash up of 'Sweet Dreams' and 'Tainted Love.' I'm coming down, I need to get home.

I wake up on Sunday to my usual hangover, only this time I have to google 'Brain Tumor or Hangover' because it's particularly bad. There are still flash tats all over my face including an auspicious Star of David, Happy Rosh Hashanah. I move to the couch and watch 12 hours of football. During the Sunday night game those dark thoughts begin to creep in. Why is our staff writer 26? I'm almost 30? Am I ever going to make it? What am I doing wrong, or conversely am I doing everything right? Maybe I'm just one lucky break away.

I stand up, make myself a water, take a deep breath and relax. Everything is fine, I live in paradise, my roommate just brought me ice cream. I will go to work five days next week, make enough money to survive and party. It will be a generally pleasant time.

So I guess my question is...is this enough? I come to work and all my piers are in the midst of full blown panic attacks about what the future holds.  Meanwhile I am perfectly content to keep writing and living for the weekends. Sure I would like to blow up, get famous, make an absurd amount of money and float through life like the trust fund kids I always emulated, but if I don't? Eh, it could be worse. I don't feel the pressure to find a partner, to procreate. I think there is value in living for the moment and seeking a good time.

Sure I get worried about money, about growing up, about where I will be 10 years from now...but those are tomorrow problems. If I can't find a job in LA I can always go pick berries in Australia for a few years, right? And sure, there will be people that say 'what a waste of talent, had he just applied himself he could have-'

Could have what? Seen the world? Made a positive impact? I'm pretty sure that if I were struck down by a errant lightning bolt right now I have lived a more exciting life in 29+ years that most people will their whole lives. And I did it on my terms. So for now, I'm going to keep seeking the thrill, living for the story, telling the DJ to turn the music and play the bangers, because life is too short to worry about tomorrow, especially when today is so rad.

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