People were shouting and running all around us – it was likely a truly incredible environment to observe from a distance. That was just it though. We were right in the eye of the storm, except there was no calm here. No one here knew anything about calm. These people, at least for today, were feeding off of the energy and embracing the hectic, crazy vibes of the atmosphere. It seemed as though many of them were finally cutting loose and losing the masks of their day-to-days, abandoning the face that most of the world usually got to see.
As for me though, I was not one of those stripping out of a mask. I was dying to find a good one to put on instead. As much as this whole thing intrigued me, I was scared shitless by it at the same time. These people were going crazy over bands that I couldn’t begin to name. And in all of their moshing and madness, I stood there helpless, trying as hard as I could to enjoy myself. Just to the left of me, you were managing to have fun. Maybe not the time of your life, but you were making the most of it while I stood beside you holding onto your hand like it was the only thing I’d ever known.
I stood by as people poured in at every stage. I witnessed all kinds of hilarious interactions. People are funny if you only bother to watch them. But I also spent an embarrassing fraction of the day staring down at my shoes, your shoes, and really anyone’s shoes who shuffled into my vision. I claimed that I kept my head down to avoid being decapitated by the crowd surfers, but that may be a bit dramatic. I kept my head down because I didn’t want you to look into my eyes for too long. Crazy, right? Yeah. But it was because you know me too well. I’m sure you knew that I was ready to be home the moment we arrived, but if you’d really looked, you would’ve insisted that we leave. And I would never ask you to leave something like this just because I was bored, but you’d do it. You’re too good for me that way.
Whenever you actually got into a song or a band, I was able to let my guard down enough to really look around us. It truly was incredible to see so many people, most of us complete strangers to one another, come together for this. Somehow groups of human beings always manage to amaze me. Not in what they do or say, but just in general. The fact that we can make new friends for a day because we share one common interest. The very image of thousands of people singing the words to a single song. Like I had most of the day, I felt rather out of place as an observer.
See, I wasn’t singing along. I didn’t know the words. I didn’t know the people on stage, or even what genre of music this might be grouped into. Nevertheless, I got swept up in that one moment. My hand in yours, the sun finally dipping below the horizon, and thousands of beautiful voices filling the air around me. It was breathtaking in a very…unnatural way.
But that one moment made me remember why I was there: the atmosphere. It was a day full of you and new experiences. And honestly, that’s all I’ve ever asked for.