Who Are We?
Today FB memories informed me that over the years on June 12th I have… experienced my son’s last day of HS and his prom, had a very bad case of poison ivy, mourned for Orlando, and submerged my iPhone in water. The best memory was from ten years ago today…when we went to my brother’s hardcore reunion show at ABC No Rio.
I had seen his band Bad Trip play in the 90s at Wetlands and CBGBs. CBs while pregnant with Jacob, who jumped in my belly as soon as they started to play. My dad in light blue linen pants and white Izod, chain smoking by the back bar, and mom insisting on being in the mosh pit up front, until a neighborhood kid explained “Mrs. Muench, you will die if you stand there”. Fun times, but not really where I was in my life; it was more a window into his.
10 years ago today, Bad Trip played their reunion show. No longer kids, they were a clinical psychologist, a criminal defense attorney, and business people…adults. Sold out, fans turned away…it was packed. Matt and Kim of Matt and Kim selling t-shirts in the way back, ’cause that’s what friends do. “Kids” from the neighborhood, grown up, with graying hair and growing bellies, there to relive the joy of youth. Young fans who had discovered them on the internet, overwhelmed with getting the chance to see them perform live. With no actual stage to jump off, they brought in a trampoline, because what is a hardcore show without some stage diving? I might add that crowd surfing is more difficult when you are pushing 40…for both the performer and the fans. My brother’s 4 and 7 year old children watching him sing and work the room, his body being passed back and forth above their heads. In awe. Olivia perched on a 6 ft amp, capturing every moment on film, securing the memories forever. Jacob, 14 years outside my womb, standing on his own, speechless. Could one’s uncle possibly be this cool? A wall of adults protecting the kids from the mosh pit of screaming, slamming, joyous fans…singing every lyric of every song. Hardcore family fun.
The special thing about that day was watching the band seamlessly go back to their youth. To a time when their bandmates and fans were their family. They traveled the world together, literally all over the world, they had each other’s backs. They fought with each other, they protected each other, and they mourned the loss of friends…like a family. The reunion show allowed them to relive it…and to show their new families who they once were.
Who are we? I am the 3 year-old bossy angel in the Christmas pageant, the dancer and gymnast, the struggling student, the designer, the volunteer, the friend, wife, parent, daughter, crafter…or am I the writer?
Who aren’t we…we are not the people you see on social media, we are not the people you see after one interaction, we are not the people who made mistakes when we were young, we are not stagnant.
Our kids receiving the gift of seeing their old silly uncle…take control of a jam packed club full of screaming fans was magical. They were introduced to a different Uncle Fred. He taught them that each person has many versions, many lives, many chances to be anyone they want to be.
Thank you Bad Trip… that was one of the best days ever.