June, after all

I picked up an extra shift this weekend, which meant little down time.

Not that it was anything new.

I drank a strong coffee at the beginning of the day and did my best to pass the time

with laughs, but the day wore me down. First of the month, you can only be so cheerful for so long.

By late afternoon, I felt my cheeks sag from forced smiles and

“Have a nice Day” over and over.

But it was beautiful enough outside, and we close early on Sundays, so no complaints.

Near the end of the day, I got a free ticket to a sold-out concert, and I decided to go.

I was tired of being lonely in the house, waiting for the next day to start.

I bought a black t-shirt at Target, put it on in the parking lot and drove into the city, thinking about

how it was always so strange that the streets emptied around eight o’ clock.

Bastille was supposed to go on just after nine, so I bought two tall boys

and made my way to my seat, which was a box just to the left of the sound booth.

Everybody was tan and smiling, and right before the music started, a long-haired guy

with a gray Sub Pop shirt sat down at the table. I held out my hand and introduced myself

with a warm smile as he sat. He returned the warmth, and said his name was Dave.

I complimented his shirt and said, “Sub Pop–that’s cool. I haven’t seen that shit in a while.”

A few minutes later the band started, and I sent a Thank You text for the ticket, then enjoyed

my beer and the happiness of the crowd around me.

The performance was nice, and the closing song was the poppy one for which everyone was waiting.

It didn’t disappoint. I drank the rest of my beer and didn’t pretend not to eavesdrop as Dave talked to a few people

who had sat next to him.

I heard a few words like “tour” and “flight” before I asked what band he was in.

He said, “Tesla?” with a kind of head tilt.

I said, “No shit? That’s pretty cool. Where are you flying?”

“Europe for a few weeks, to start.”

“They’re playing here in August,” chimed in the nice lady with whom Dave had been sitting.

“That’s awesome. I’ll have to check that out. Great tunes.”

I finished my beer, shook Dave’s hand again and wished him well Over the Pond, bid goodnight to his company,

then walked to my car in a nearby parking garage. The traffic was slow to move, so I put the windows down

and cycled a bunch of songs from a playlist to pass the time.

When the cars from Level Four thinned, I pulled into the line and left the North Shore.

On the drive home, I opened up the moonroof, watched the little dipper guide me home, and thought about

what kind of summer this could be.


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