Sunday, September 19, 2004

a dashboard confessional

so another angle on the concert in golden gate park involved a guy named john.

how it all started out was that katy and i arrived at the park later than we had thought, due to the previous late night at the greek festival. as we approached the front of the line, we learned that morissey, the concert headliner had laryngitis and a high fever and would not be performing. people literally left the line in search of full refunds. the other artists on the ticket were howie day, dashboard confessionals, and tears for fears. we walked to the main pavilion area and katy copped a squat while i set out in seach of better seats. i found this SWEET spot, really close to the front. this guy let us take up some of his blanket space since there would only be two of us. i thanked him and called katy on my cell, letting her know of our new bounty.

this guy sitting to the left of our spot was looking in my direction and he looked pretty friendly so i said hi and we started chatting. his name was john and though he had come to the concert with five friends from sacramento, only he had entered the concert. the others had opted for full refunds and set out for haight street. we invited him to sit with us, since this concert we had plenty of space. he looked really happy to not sit alone. we all began to talk about music. he told us about his current favorite band "trashcan sinatras" and his current fixation with french pop music.

he said he installs carpets with a big grin on his face. i wasn't sure about the grin, so i asked if he liked it and he said that it gives him total flexibility, allows him to make some good money and he can set his own schedule. he's traveled to europe and originally lived in philadelphia. by this point in our time hanging out we all felt very chummy. he and i talked about the stupid things transposed onto the shoulders of twentysomethings and thirtysomethings like marriage and owning homes. i mean we agreed it should be a person's choice not some sort of societal mandate.

he then shared that he has been married for a year and a half. he and his wife separated for about six months not getting into specific details, but citing the transitions during that year as being a factor. he said they just had reconciled and are giving it another go. wow. i was able to encourage him in this endeavor. from listening well to married friends, especially newly married ones, i was able to reiterate to him that the first year is either very difficult or not so difficult. he told me that he doesn't drink anymore. that he likes the way he feels without alcohol in his system. we talked about spirituality, namely that he believes in God and that there are no coincidences. he knows God is watching out for him. when chris carabba took the stage, john, me and my camera walked at a clipped pace to the front of the crowd near the stage and joined a throng of junior high girls. i could stand about one song worth of squealing before i walked to the back.

what a joy it was to meet him. we all felt like we had known each other for years by the end of the concert. i promised to pray for him and his wife marie. and he went on his own way seeking out his friends, bound for haight street. katy and i left too, bound for her apartment, but came across a t-shirt vendor selling "now&zen" t-shirts with the name "morissey" emblazoned across the front. needless to say the t-shirts were $5 each... this biker in a muscle t-shirt bought katy and i both a t-shirt. we headed to haight street, got smoothies and headed home. just another great, sunny day in the city.


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