I Came As A Cat

I woke up this afternoon sprawled out in the entrance of Kendrick Hall. Something was still going off in my head: “got to get to the stadium. it’s all happening at the zoo. you’re on the moon, things are different here.” The stadium didn’t help me one bit, the bouncing basketball an Angry Bird, the crowd cheering somehow a turgid taste. Head pounding, espresso resounding a search for saturated fat. Someone in the commons recognizes me, and puzzle pieces started falling back together.

A winter morning glowing brownishly blue, infinitely late that night, it even SOUNDED cold. You couldn’t hear the bass out here, even if Garrett was pounding out one last set in the Chi Phi back room. Suddenly my hind legs just stopped working. Again and again I’d try to run, and fall straight on my back. I thought this was what tails were for, I wasn’t supposed to do this, even in the snow. It took me a while to figure out I was a cat too. Cowering in a corner watching as they circled me, eyes glowing green and purple, all I could say was “sorry… sorry…” then I looked back and saw it, mottled in black and gray, my own feline presence, I was among friends! We roamed the tunnels between liquor bowls in total darkness, taking in what remained of the night. Then the outside, and relearning to walk, finding language to curse the Dreamweaver and that offer of ALL the drugs. Even though all I needed was to get out of the snow and curl up in some corner.

I wasn’t the only one who thought I heard music beyond the dead end. Someone had labeled the “ending” with a bold warning (or invitation): THOU SHALL NOT PⒶSS. Matt already started on the sledge hammer. I gave it a few whacks with the old iron pipe that smashed my toe Monday night, and soon enough we were through. It was Jake’s fault. Of course it would be. Not that it mattered, even though they missed the venue by a bit, Infernal Abyss was on stage, and there was even a keg! And what harm could more music and more beer be? Everyone here was amazed; this was the shit we’d been reading about, the cataphiles and their Parisian escapades, the winter of 99 in our own story, and otherwise the province of a few visionaries in Brooklyn. We’d made it happen, 200 people or close to it in some old moldy tunnels, bringing the place to life!

The rave was more than we ever imagined. Only midnight and the tunnels are packed. Coming in, there’s just silence; or at least you think it’s silence, then you just perceive the faintest thump. Bass. Somewhere. Following the beacon beats, there’s a junction. Toward the pulsating wub-wubs of the next wave, or toward the burning red glow and the chirp of a Nintendo acid trip? Not all those who wander are found, beyond all these are a brutal metal room, and someone shredding a guitar, behind cinderblocked walls. This was my escape, a world of our own creation that Laura would never know. This was where I belonged, the last piece of me still growing and living, and I would make it a part of me.

I never thought we would actually try this. That night of ambition and Jim Beam was one thing. A full rave, or close to it, with three rooms of music, 150 people already expected if Facebook could be trusted, and those subway flyers in most of the hipster haunts? And adding to it all the undisputed fact that Laura would never give me the end of this if she found out. Super Saturday was a thing, and and it all happened more and better than we ever imagined. Laura did notice that something seemed a bit “off” with me as we watched the Super Bowl tonight. Oh, if she only knew…

Milk Crates

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