Sunday, November 28, 2010

Filled Under:

Late 80s Punk

Bad Religion played in a run down fair grounds coliseum back in 2000. Strung to the venue ceiling were green and yellow ventilation pipes that buzzed at the thud of the bass drum. The walls collected moisture as the crowd pulsated. The air was murky; weighted with the smell of coffee, beer, and cigarettes. I stood next to the mosh pit, beneath an alcove, and watched late model teens run in circles, their bodies slamming. Sweat darkened their t-shirts in ovals, and the cement floor was slick with fluid.

I never learned his real name, so called him Hobo-Man-Beast. We met at that show, for a brief mom]]nt, and then I never saw him again. His hair was grizzled and knurly. He was shirtless and glistening. “Six shots of jack and three joints.” He said holding up is fingers with each number. Older then most of angry teens in that pit, Hobo-Man-Beast was probably 37. He still held his own in the mosh pit though, his lean arms rotating like a windmill in a hurricane. And as I watched his slender body thrash and bounce, I wondered what other drugs were fueling him.

Hobo-Man-Beast stepped out, mid song; to say “these kids are a bunch of fags.” His upper lip curled as he spoke like so many late 80s punks— Billy Idol, Mike Ness, Jello Biafra, to name a few. He showcased the same, hard line, self-serving, self-abusing, essence of these punk icons, only with out the fame. Smile gapped and yellow, hair sparse and unwashed, skin tight and reviling veins, everything about him showed of a punk rock, drug addicted life style ten years after it’s prime

He came out of the mosh pit a second time, and walked with a limp. Hobo-Man-Beast leaned into me, and clung to my neck. His forearms were slick with sweat. Limp and weary, he fell to the floor, white bone busting an inch or more from his leg. He fell to the ground.

Hobo-man-beast sat up right, legs stretched before him, right fist clinched, and began beating the bone back into his leg. His fist rose and fell, piston like, as I stood perplexed by his armature surgery. Was he angry? Sad? In need? Or maybe he’d been so used to pushing his body to the boarders of malfunction, that it had become something artificial to him. Was pounding his broken leg the same as punching a blurry TV, or kicking a flat tire?

He beat, and pushed, and shoved, and wiggled, his leg bone for nearly a minute. The blood, mixed with the sweat, was the color of weak strawberry milk. Once the bone was back to it proper place, Hobo-Man-Beast relaxed, only to watch it pop out again. He gazed at it, only weaker this time, and went to raise his arm, but it fell limp. Like it had given up before he had. Hobo-Man-Beast slumped to the floor, unconscious.