this city is known for two things: 1) being friendly 2) not being friendly. you can always find what you’re looking for. that’s what I find.
my big ol’ backpack is knocking into everyone in the club. my favorite bass player is standing right behind me, so I have to look cool. undisturbed by the beer that’s recently been spilled on my pants by a passing stranger.
it’d been a weird day at work. picking up a bag of cash from a guy in Atlantic City to bring it to some mystery man known as The Client. he would be waiting for me in the bar near the luxury suites at the Phillies stadium. he would not introduce himself, I’d been told.
there was a man in a black sport jacket eating brussels sprouts off a plate. his dark shades were obscuring his eyes, but he quite often seemed to be looking in my direction.
a week later, I received a phone call from someone in California who informed me that I’d, indeed, interacted with The Client.
the woman from California shared the note that the client wrote about me. scribbled on a circular, orange post-it note and then shipped across the country:
“the driver saw too much. pay him triple and then fire him.”
not only that, but I left my debit card at the stadium.
by the time I got to the club, I was feeling over-sunned, tired of working for faceless strangers. I tried dumping a beer into my face, but it didn’t mellow me out. I needed something stronger, but I’d already spent what little cash i’d had.
I settled myself into a staircase in the back of the club, out of the way but with a perfect view. a loner’s paradise.
the music started and I instantly forgot about the dead cell phone. the faceless client. the bag of money. the brussels sprouts. this moment was about rock & roll. real rock & roll. sweaty, loud, energetic rock & roll written by the very same grey-haired eccentrics who were playing it. and playing it with twice the energy of the younger bands I usually see on this stage.
as the band powered through their set, I became transfixed by the very loud flowers on Peter Buck’s shirt. I tried photographing them, but I came to realize that this shirt could not be captured. it is too wild, too free, with colors too bright even for my halfway decent camera. I found myself staring at the very loud flowers on Peter Buck’s shirt and I found myself happy.