Monday, July 11, 2011

Modern Rock Concert Day!

You’re a narcotics officer who’s working undercover to bust the lead singer of a modern rock band for drugs because the mayor doesn’t like him bringing his filthy music and godless stage show into his town.

“What if he doesn’t have any drugs?” you asked the mayor.

“You make sure he does,” the mayor told you.

You’re used to planting drugs on suspects when you know that getting the suspect behind bars is better for everyone in the long run, but you’re not sure how comfortable you are planting it on a guy just because the mayor has some ideas about what kind of music kids should be listening to. Lucky for the mayor you stopped worrying about keeping right away from wrong a long time ago.

When the band goes out on stage you sneak into their dressing room with the bag of heroin at the ready. Just as you’re about to stuff it into the lead singer’s guitar case, a girl walks out of the bathroom and sees you.

She doesn’t blink an eye. Just holds out her hand to you and says, “First, come listen.”

She takes you to the wings of the stage and tells you to stand there and listen to the band play. Just for the next song. When it’s finished, if you still think it’s right to frame the lead singer for a crime he didn’t commit, that’s up to you and the girl won’t stop you.

The song is slow and quiet at first, then picks up the tempo, and before long the lead singer is wailing and the entire crowd is electrified. The song makes you feel even more disappointed in yourself than you normally do, because the song actually fills you with hope that there’s still a chance for you to turn things around.

“I didn’t know who I was,” you tell the girl. She is holding your hand like you’ve known each other for years. “I could still be so much better.”

The girl leads you into the crowd and introduces you to her friends. They all look like her; everyone half your age looks like her. The girl says goodbye to her friends, says that you and she are going to make a go of it. You leave town with the girl that night, selling the heroin where you can and living off the proceeds. You have two little girls together and it isn’t long before the heroin runs out and it’s time for you to go back to work.

“No way am I going back to being a cop,” you say.

The girl tells you to go for a drive and listen to that song again, the one that told you what to do the night you two met. You do as she says and this time the song hits you ever harder, it admonishes you for not doing anything more with your life than selling drugs to people in peril. This time the song sounds urgent, like time is running out. With the song blasting out the car windows, you put the pedal to the metal and blaze out of town without so much as a goodbye to the girl and your daughters. It might be cold but it’s what the song wants. Rock and roll doesn’t always intervene in the lives of man, and when it does, man had better be ready to pay heed or else pay dearly.

Happy Modern Rock Concert Day!