The only big benefit to living in New York is the possibility to hear lots of live music, by bands that you really like. And I am not sure if that plus cancels out the many minuses that I list when I am in a bad mood and have dreams of Small Town, USA.
Thursday, since the weather was about 98 degrees and I haven't sat out in the blazing sun without sunscreen since Florida, I went to Central Park to finish Austerlitz and soak up some sun rays. I was lying there in this field with maybe a hundred others who had the same plans for the days, and for about the first half hour or so that I was lying there I faintly heard something that sounded like Wilco coming from someone's boombox. I lay there in the heat, thinking about how lucky it was that I was lying in hearing range of Wilco and not some shitty ass music. Then, a lightbulb went off in my head. Wilco is playing tonight in Central Park. That might actually be them doing a sound check. I ran with all my stuff through the park, running with my ear forward trying to figure out where they were. I found them and stood outside the gates with about ten other Wilco fans, listening, and trying to see through the bleachers. Then, I saw an opening at the gate, just walked right in and sat in the front row of the bleachers all by myself. I was the only person in the audience except for the two guys in the booth testing the sound. How fucking intimate a show is that? But this only lasted for a song and a half before a security guard shooed me back outside the gate. But, hearing Wilco perform unexpectantly was such an amazing feeling, perhaps more so than if I had actually had tickets to see them that night, because this was a total surprise, the privlege of being able to hear and see one of my favorite bands play up-close.
Then on Friday night, I went to the Gravy Train / Gold Chains show with Sterling at the Knitting Factory. I was way out of control and dancing like a maniac for Gravy Train, I was pressed against the stage and so got my head rubbed in Chunx's crotch, but even more exciting, way more exciting in Hunx rubbed his crotch in my face, and dragged me up on stage where I was Gravy Train's bitch for a bit, being thrown to the ground, and then getting more crotch in face from Hunx. Something about dancing and bobbing to rock and roll, something about it is utterly heavenly, all I ever want to do when I am doing it. After they left the stage, it looked the girl next to me was about to grab for the set-list, and so I asked her if she was. She said no, and got it for me, and then asked me if I wanted to meet Hunx. Appearantly, this random girl I was talking to is good friends with Gravy Train, and so soon I was being led backstage where I met the girls from the band, who all encouraged me to hit on Hunx even though they told me he had a boyfriend. He was breaking down the set on stage. I eventually got scared of waiting and ducked out at the first opportunity, at which point I rocked and rolled some more to Gold Chains.
And now, I am going to the Gay Parade, which will hopefully be out of control. Things to do, to occupy your time is a potential benefit. But I think I enjoy it where there are not things to occupy your time, when there are stretches of days you do nothing, and lose yourself in thought, in taking time to notice things, to linger.