Yesterday I drank more than I've done before and had a Vicodin pill on top of that, because a headache was developing and I was told it'd make me feel better. It did indeed make me feel better, and within a few hours, we were back at home and I was disgusted by a giant green lamp and the speckled ceiling and was mumbling to an audience of nobody that I'd be proud to get out of this godforsaken hole before I had to get a scraper and get rid of that speckled madness.
The night before we traveled for four hours to watch Tool perform in an area known as The Gorge in George. 15,000 people standing on the crest of a hill, with mountains all around, watching a band perform in a canyonesque area for a good hour and a bit. The band were as jawdroppingly good as expected - they sounded perfect, and the visual show was phenomenal. Jamie was nudging me as they played and told me the spiraling patterns and technicoloured images were being shown just for people who were at another level while the show was on, and I could believe it. I overheard people saying the clouds looked like gargoyles and the lasers were cutting the world apart.
Our group of five was more sober than the average person at the show, given the daunting drive there and back. But the show was still exactly as I expected it to be, even from our far vantage point where we had to squint to notice the lead singer was wearing a cowboy hat. The show was delightfully intense, with a mass group of fans who would hate to be labeled as "hardcore", because they were so much more than that. Every word was sung by the crowd with a passion and vibrance, because these lyrics truly meant something to them, and they were remembered and believed deep down in their souls. In a twisted way, the only other time I have seen such a passionate following by a crowd of people has been in excessively religious circumstances or patriotic circumstances.
At the end of the night, all the stars were out, shining brightly with a beauty that made the evening feel perfect in an entirely natural way. It was as if they knew this was going to be a performance they wouldn't want to get stuck behind some cloud for.
The big issue was the manner that Tacoma buzzed after the show. People in the bars we frequent were in a state of euphoria: Who went to see them? How were they? 30% of the people in that bar had probably seen the show, and the other people wished they could have done it. Music is so important to people here, that when a good band shows up, people notice. This area is full of freaks and misfits of society, but those freaks and misfits sure know how to have more fun than the Average Joe.
You have to be open-minded to be respected here. There's a level of passive-agressive honest friendliness to everything here. Even the regional advertising has a darker and more twisted sense of humour, joking about the misfits. It's taking time to settle in here, being a meat-eating retiring type, but it's happening slowly enough.
I want to go back and visit England and see how much I've changed. See if going back to something familiar will cause me to blend back into that atmosphere for the week or so, or cause me to look at shock at the majority of the people there, with the grey sky and buildings controlling their monotonous existence.
It's time to head back towards home, and head towards another library and meet up with Jamie.
I think I'm going to be very happy here.