05 June 2007

The present tense

...when you lose the past
the future makes no sense...

Next week, my concert budette and I will meet up in the southeastern U.S. to go to a rock concert. I've been traveling to various places to see concerts for some years, and as I've aged (read: have more disposable income), this has become an increasingly delightful practice. I've discovered it's a great way to meet up with far-flung friends at venues one might not otherwise have an opportunity to visit. It's also a fun way to see a favorite band outside one's comfort zone, and in this way, I've been to some great shows at places like Radio City Music Hall and Red Rocks.

Few bands visited the place where I grew up with the regularity that they visit places like Los Angeles. Still, as a teen, I managed to see some pretty big names, though not everyone I'd have liked to. I made up for lost time when I moved to California for college, and half the fun was camping out somewhere like the Greek Theater to be first in line for tickets. The tickets never quite worked out to be as great as one hoped, but some of those shows were never-to-be-forgotten experiences.

Around the time I started having children, it seemed that my rock concert-going days had reached an end. Not only was there the enormous pain of trying to find a babysitter, I'd somehow become a reputable citizen sans the big hair I sported when I saw REM at Radio City. It didn't feel right telling my manager that I would be in late the next day (without mentioning that I'd be up all the night before at a show), or ditching work in order to head over to a record store where some band was signing.

Then there was the matter of my subscription seats to the symphony. To be fair, I've been listening to classical music since I was *that high*, but suddenly, bouncing from a Rush concert to an evening of Beethoven just felt weird.

I had become boring. And worse, my life had become defined by marriage and children alone. I'd lost track of what made me the person the spouse wanted to marry, and hadn't learned that being a good mommy and being me weren't mutually exclusive.

For my birthday a few years back, the spouse presented me with concert tickets. Rock concert tickets. HARD rock concert tickets. Halfway through that show, I rediscovered the big-haired girl who loved deafening music and who could dance three hours non-stop without ever feeling the pain. Sure, she was under a few layers of spit up and cat hair and paint marks from the kindergarten class' latest art project, but she was still there.

Within a month, she'd booked a trip to New England to see a rock concert.

And she's never looked back.

Go listen to some good music: "The Present Tense" from the album My Favorite Headache by Geddy Lee.