Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Hey Drunk Guy in Section 201, Row SS Seat 122

You were my greatest concern as I planned a solo trip to Wisconsin to see Rage Against the Machine. And there you were, trying to ruin my night. 

I bought a single ticket to see the show about a week before the show. It was a last-minute decision to see a band that, while others have been fans for years, I only recently discovered after the killing of George Floyd. Their lyrics about police brutality and racism were, sadly, as relevant 30 years later as they were when they were first written in the 1990s. 

And so I made arrangements with a friend and with family to stay with them, to connect in person and spend time before and after the Saturday evening event at Alpine Valley.

That night, I made my way to my seat and there you were in all your drunken glory, weaving back and forth as you struggled to keep your balance. The minute I saw you I thought to myself, "This guy is not going to make it to see this concert." (Spoiler alert: I was partially right.)

You asked my name, insisted on a fist bump (which you almost didn't pull off because you nearly fell over trying to connect your fist to mine) and asked if I was ready to RAAAAAGGGEEEE!!!! 

The guy on the other side of me was the opposite. Focused. Serious about his music. Nothing was going to keep him from enjoying this concert.

Sure enough, when the music started, the guy to the right of me was standing as close to the seat in front of him as possible, fist pumping, focused on the stage, rapping every word to every song. Damn. That's a fan.

And you. You started dancing. Dancing? Who the f*ck dances at a Rage Against the Machine concert? No, this is fist-pumping, head-banging music. But then I feel the ulterior motive behind your dancing. Because with every swing of an arm, you touched me.

You touched me on my shoulder. My buttocks. You actually grabbed my waist once, I am sure you don't remember that, you likely don't remember any of it. 

I turned to you and yelled "Don't touch me."

You ignored me.

It got worse, like you were pawing at me. You put your hand on my shoulder as if I was there with you. I shoved you away and yelled "Stop touching me! I'm here to enjoy this concert, don't ruin this for me."

"Okay okay, I'm sorry, I'll stop," you said. But you didn't. 

Finally your friend changed places with you, putting a barrier between you and me. He was drunk too, but not as bad as you were.

If there had been a security person near the end of our row I would have sought them out and asked to have you moved. But I didn't want to miss a single song, so I did what women in our society are taught to do. I tolerated it. I tried to ignore it. But the people both in front of and behind us could see my irritation and would push you back toward your seat when you kept making your way nearer to me. (I found this out later.)

And eventually, the movement that I could sense to my left stopped. I turned and you were gone. I can ony assume you threw up, passed out, or did something else to get ejected, because you were no longer "raging" at this concert that you were so excited to see. You missed it. And likely, the part you did see you don't remember. 

Before this trip my husband expressed his concern about my going to this concert alone, about my driving 6 hours across Wisconsin, driving to the venue alone, being there by myself. I was confident that I would be safe. After all, RATM fans are now in their 40s and 50s...like, seriously? 

But here you were, drunk, 40-year-old white guy, trying to ruin my night. Instead, you ended up ruining your own.

You may normally be a nice guy in life, maybe with a wife and kids, kind to people at work, but to me you will always be an asshole. I'm sure you don't remember the concert. I hope to hell you woke up the next day with a raging headache and a nagging sense of regret for the way you acted that night. 

I enjoyed myself very much that night, despite you being there. In the words of Rage Against the Machine, "Fuck you." 

No comments:

Post a Comment