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Hangin’ Out At The Hangout

 

Want to hang out for a little bit? Nah, I just mean be in each other’s presence. Goddammit, what’s a phrase that’s synonymous with “hang out”? Do something. Wasn’t talking about the festival. Yeah we can do that too. It is a place where things are done, after all. Want to hang out and then eat? No, we’re not there yet, I was just seeing…What does your hotel have to do with anything? Wait, what are we doing? Are you already inside the festival?

Confusion

I lost consciousness about 30 minutes after I lost my Ray Bans while coasting down an inflatable water slide. I lost my shirt first. I believe I held it above my head in a victorious motion to keep it dry while the water slide jets soaked my khaki shorts to the pockets during the descent. In the crotch of my shorts was ensconced the flask of whisky that erased my consciousness. Everything is connected if you think about it, man. Said a hippie girl we had encountered on the beach an indeterminate number of hours earlier. We (my college roommate and I) were sitting in the middle of her peace circle. She approached and explained the cardinally directed prayer shells around us, the peace they would provide for us, the peace they would provide for the world. We attempted to listen earnestly until she snapped when my roommate asked her a question. I believe the question was “Where are you from?” I took a foot to her peace circle after she left. Strike the sand with your laces, Limerick. Don’t toe-ball world peace.

Wayne Coyne stood tip-toed on stage before I erased my brain with whisky. There might have been confetti shooting into the air while he walked around in a transparent hamster ball. That might have been a memory falsely fashioned from viewed videos and photos of previous Flaming Lips concerts. He was supposed to sing Pink Floyd songs, but I seem to remember him beginning with his own material. Yoshimi Part 2. Do You Realize??? Perhaps the exposed moon’s profile wasn’t dark enough yet for Pink Floyd. I find it increasingly harder to distinguish between what happens in the extant world and what occurs in my own reverie these days. I have to genuinely think about it for a minute, as if solving a double-decker multiplication problem sans pen and paper. I’m not entirely sure how correct my final determinations are. Truth is embalmed in low low light. Almost as if I’ve been living on the dark side of the…   Time. I believe they did play some Pink Floyd. They played Time. What is Time, exactly? How does it go? In beats and measures. In beats and measures. In repetition of words.

Time bears repeating. I was too drunk to remember the Flaming Lips performance, and I would like to witness it again. Also, I engaged in similar alcoholic behaviors on the first night of the festival. Could’ve been the second night. Could’ve been a Friday night during college. Jack White was playing. I stumbled in place and continually stepped on the toes of people behind me. They grumbled and guarded with arm-length shields. I could’ve at least had the courtesy to step on someone’s heels. Leave what’s behind me in peace. Step toward the the future, which turns its back to you. We (roomie and self) left before the concert ended for the much more festive custom of sitting curbside on the highway, drunk, mouthy, heckling and directing patrons exiting the festival. You’re going in the right direction. Nice work. High five. Enjoy the rest of your kdjfsmflkdsmif. Someone gives the gnarly surfer Hangout sign. Thumb and pinky pointing northeast and northwest. I give the gnarly surfer Hangout sign in return. It might have been the Shocker. I use my free hand to dial my friend Tiffany, importuning a ride back to our hotel. The call history on my screen next morning displays six successive calls. Dialogue was exchanged, but I told her to drive left to look for us. She was supposed to drive right. What is it about direction? Infants shouldn’t possess cell phones that are capable of calling and communicating with real people. Someone should have replaced it in my pocket with one of those plastic toy phones instead. The ones that contain bubble gum and can be purchased at the Dollar Tree. A slight of hand for a slight of man.

Clarity

Shirt unbottoned. Sipping on minis of bourbon. No real expectations. Randy Newman walks on stage, older, chubbier, not his Family Guy persona. Maybe his Family Guy persona? The sun watches. Crowd sparse, sits on beach towels. Self. Roommate. Familiar, yet unfamiliar with Musician’s work. Laughter. Reverence for a man wearing a Hawaiin shirt, jeans, and tennis shoes while playing a Steinway grand piano. Employing triceps, propping self up with hands. Dusting sand from hands in a gymnast’s clap only to coat them once again. Incredulity at how something so soft in its solidarity can be so sharp when individualized. Abrasive. A breeze whispers the same secret into everybody’s ears. Remembrance of song and details. Remembrance. A festival contained within a concert. A moment outside of the temporal slavery of drunkenness, which never truly changes its venue.

 

Randy Newman’s non-parodic, F minor, harrowing song that stuck.

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