photo by chuck of purple and me. he got some awesome stuff. you can see more here.
the bus we are planning to ride to west duluth streaks past without pause. chuck takes off running like a starter pistol was involved. i lope behind him in shoes made to be worn with a swimsuit while acting like i'm on the second date with the hood of a car in a whitesnake video. perfect for doing my patented seizure dance to the coverband "hairball" at the street dance in spirit valley. the bus driver notices chuck's bruce jenner routine and waits for us.
i love riding the bus. it is a good way to keep up with who is waging a war against tourettes, and the latest trends in puss-spitting lesions. by the time we leave the transit center, we are at max capacity. between the chunky girl with blue hair who has gift-wrapped my nose in her armpit and the to-go container the guy with alopecia clearly dug out of hacienda del sol's garbage bin, i am beginning to rue the day i learned to smell. meanwhile, i'm having a hard time not popping those bumps on alopecia's forehead.
"just 38 blocks to go," chuck says cheerfully, then asks me if i'm packing tums.
hairball is an 80s-90s tribute band that incorporates elaborate costume changes, including axl rose's red headband, to prince's ruffled blouses, to a steve perry wig. there is smoke. there is a bottle of jag. there are leather pants and abs sharp enough to sever a groupie's tongue. it is exactly the kind of thing that is overwhelming up until the moment you crack your second $4 coor's light. by then you are deep in junior high mixer la-la land. visions of fannie screaming the words to "pour some sugar on me," her six inch bangs waving like a spider caught in a window sill.
the line for the porta potties is deeper than my bladder. we're going to be cutting this close. chuck ducks into one, i duck into another. it is stunningly disgusting. beer cans fill the urinal and it almost smells as bad as the bus.
i am not easily grossed out. i typically like public restrooms -- especially at gas stations -- and i have eaten a piece of gum that i dropped on the sidewalk. but this experience has me coating my entire body in a sticky layer of hand sanitizer. "uh oh," i think. "if i'm grossed out, this will probably send chuck reeling toward the nearest bleach bath."
chuck has finished before me and has his back to the porta potties. as i near him, his shoulder jolt and he pitches forward. coughing, spitting and barfing. not from the beer -- he is only about two deep. no, he's got a bad, bad case of the yuck.
hairball is playing quiet riot's "bang your head." by now i've loosened up to the point of old lady shuffling and singalongs.
"bang! your! head!" i sing, then trail off when i realize that the words i am singing around not the same as the words the band, nor any of the hundreds of fans, are singing.
for the past 28 years, i've thought the lyrics were:
bang your head. never went to drivers ed.
chuck had to repeat:
metal health'll drive you mad about four times before i could commit it to memory.