The Pit

Posted: November 6, 2008 in Beauty, Concert, Culture, Dark, Electric, Imagery, Life, Mosh, Music, Musings, Night, Punks, Rock, Snippet, Thoughts, Urban

The crowd swells up before us like a surging ocean, undulating with the rhythm of the music being played. Guitars being slashed by angry fingers and hard plastic picks, drums being smashed by white knuckles and long wooden sticks; I can feel that soulless power screaming inside and out of me.
The singer howls like a demon and I feel a smile tugging at my lips, his fervor infectious, pushing me further into the crowd. Beside me, Eric howls along with the band, throwing devil’s horns into the sky. He grins ferociously at me, heading towards a small break in the constantly moving crowd. We elbow our way past our fellow patrons and make it to the fringe of what seems to be perhaps a refuge.
In a way, it is. A mosh pit has erupted near the edge of the stage, people bouncing in and out, laughing and shoving aside those in their way. Hard-eyed punks with steel-toed boots and mohawks, metal freaks with leather jackets and huge spikes; everyone gets their ass kicked equally on this battlefield.
Eric dives in right away, his skinny body almost immune to the wildly swinging bodies in the pit. He dodges and dips and whirls around the others, but still manages to get smashed to the side by a punk with three nose rings dripping down his face. Eric snarls at the guy, but any animosity is forgotten as two, three, four more people do exactly the same to him.
I hang back, reluctant to take the chance of intense pain and possibly injury. I watch carefully, however, keeping my eyes more on the pit than the band that’s throwing notes of gasoline onto the glorious fire before them. It looks fun.
Eric notices my entrancement, calls for my attention, his voice lost too easily in the crowd’s roar. I shake my head slowly, smiling a little. I try to focus on the music, bobbing my head to the rhythm like the hundreds of zombies all around me.
My eyes keep flicking back to the real action, and I can’t help myself. When and where else would I have a chance like this?
“Fuck it,” I mutter, shoving two dreadlocked chicks on the edge of the pit out of the way like two swinging double doors. I dive in.
I plow through the first few stragglers trying to escape the pit, sending them flying back into the others and prompting a fresh wave of spinning attacks from all around. For once in my life my much-maligned bulk is being put to good use. I smile slowly, pushing further into the crowd.
“Just another crowd!” screeches the singer, his voice rising high over the crowd’s buzz, and the heathens clustering around the stage let out a roar. My grin intensifies as the bumping bodies begin to match their brutality with the beat of the music, a syncopating rhythm of kicking and shoving and punching.
There were times when you fear for your life, certainly, but for me there was a bigger issue: my precariously hanging spectacles were often in danger, coming close to being knocked off several times. Thankfully they didn’t, but such risks are what you take.
Strangely enough, for a large crowd of bloodthirsty rockers, they were surprisingly gentle. If it looked like you were about to fall to the ground and be trampled upon, someone would reach out from the ring of onlookers on the fringe of the pit and hurl you back into the action. Conversely, if you tried to break out of the pit before a song was over, people would throw you bodily back into the mass, unwilling to let you get off easy.
As we thrashed, Eric finally spotted me, and threw a fist into the air, cheering triumphantly. Earlier, I had told him I wouldn’t be moshing, and his jubilation at my entrance into the pit lightened my heart. I caught onto his happy face for a moment longer before losing him in the sea of limbs, snapping back into reality to beat back the beefy shoulder of one of the metal freaks.
The crowd surged and cheered, an independent organism autonomous of the rigid world outside of it. I can feel with an unshaken belief that this community, in all their madness and fury, care for one another, care for complete strangers enough to save them from being hurt.
Which is more than I can say for the rest of the world.

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