Monday, May 02, 2005

Mosh-pit 101: Beat the living hell out of anyone and everyone in sight

There is no way to honestly describe the jubliation, the pure adreneline rush and the joy of being in the middle of a mosh pit. The flailing and total loss of control all timed to the beat and the rythm of music puts you in an utter state of euphoria. A real, honest to god sense of letting go and just screaming at the top of your lungs.

This is exactly how it felt as I was being knocked around, pushed and generally man-handled Saturday night at a concert here at the university. The band: a ska band who I have never heard before. That part was unimportant. The music was not angry or giving off any negative vibes - it was just music - loud, upbeat and catchy. The kind you can dance to rather violently. The kind of dancing that makes you sore, but only after you have finally sobered up the next morning and have had enough time to recount what exaclty you have done in the last 24 hours of your life.

I was near the back of the mosh pit to begin with the concert. It was not until the end when my roommate and another friend pulled me in and I began to let lose. Let me tell you, someone with my height and coordination should not be "letting lose" around 50 other people who are attmepting the same thing. It just looks weird and leads to me being punched in the nose and knocked over a number of times.

Still, last night was a great way to throw off everything crappy thing in this past year. When I was in high school I used to be a part of a program where I could pretend to play judge in a juevenile court system. There I could yell and scream at juevenile deadbeats and criminals until I was blue in the face. If they crossed me once, I could bring down a fury that was never really warrented, but to the adults in the room it seemed like just the kind of thing these kids needed. Something to put them on the straigh and narrow. All the frustrations from the week could be let out here in the form of assigning community service or degrading a shoplifter

The same was true for my debate. It was a place I could release and yell and be angry.

Here, at my college, there is nothing like that for me. There is no competition or place where I can release all the tention that has built up and become bottled inside. There is no Youth Court or Final Round of debate on the weekends.

This build up, this muck that collected in me for the past three years sat there in the pit of my stomach and made me depressed and bitter - if not nearly alcoholic (it was the closest thing to a release I thought I found).

This year, I think it finally got to me.

It had built up so much I could literally feel the muck and hate in me. It was now a tangible thing that I could see and feel corsing through me. Becasue of it, Iwas becoming self-destructive. Doing things, making decisions and hurting those around me when this muck would spew out.

But in the heat of the mosh pit, pushing and throwing my roommate and unknonwn strangers gave me an opportunity to spew this kind of hate and depression. It was a sweaty orgy of pure movement and aggression all timed to the music and ending for a break to recap the session every three of four minutes. Each time I ran into a stranger I could feel myself becoming calmer, bit by bit for nearly an hour I just ran and twisted and bounced off every person. Each time I came close to the edge of the pit, I was thrust back into the center of the mass only to continue venting this muck I had collected over the months.

It was my court room, my debate round, my place to be angry and have others acknowledge it by throwing and elbow or two into my jaw.

By the end, it was better. Three years of muck expelled. All through the insantiy I had lost my hat, a magazine and an extra t-shirt that I stuck in my back pocket.

But, sitting on the edge of this feast, watching me and collecting the things I happened to lose while I was temporarly going crazy was the same person I had begged to come to this concert. Shannon, someone who has been putting up with me through all this, was standing, watching me. She has been the traget of some of this muck in the past, but still she was there watching and holding my things as I went along. She could only laugh at the fact that I would do such a crazy thing.

Last night was my ending to a semester that did nothing but mosh pit me around and knock me on my ass a few times.

But rather than dwel on the things that I was trying to scream and shout about , I like to think of last night as a reaffirmation of what is comming. The new roommates, friends and people in my life. All of it clearer and more in focus after a simple mosh pit that I was not even suppose to be in.

My past is not something I am going to fear anymore, but I sure as hell am not going to continue to think about in my fatalistic way that I seem to have become so prone to doing.

On Saturday there was someone there to hold my things as I dropped them while going through the motions of being angry at the world and more so myself. I missed that. I will not always have that. I got lucky that night. If nothing else, Saturday's mosh pit not only knocked some sense into me, it gave me a new appreciation and respect for those things and people comming in the future.

If this post taught us nothing, it did tell us once again that all of life's lessons can be learned through a good hard-rock mosh pit.

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