Monday, 8 September 2014

Ten Days of Writing - Day 9

I jumped into Leone Ross' Ten Days of Writing challenge half-way, so it's kind of fitting that I didn't quite make it to the end. I did Day 9 but was just too busy to pull something together for Day 10. I really wish it was something I'd been in on from the beginning, but such is life.

Leone's full list of challenges are here. I might go back through these and attempt a few of them - some are really intriguing (particularly the word loop one).

The challenge for Day 9 was to write 250 words about a moment of either pain or ecstasy. I chose the latter. It's not my best bit of writing (heck, I couldn't even come up with a title) but half the point of these exercises is to see where our limits are and what we can do with different ideas. Story begins after the picture...

The band is an hour into their set. I’m deep into the music, swilling overpriced beer, having a blast.

Then: some familiar opening chords.

Oh, fuck.

The Song. They’re playing The Song.

I’ve loved this band for years, but I’ve never seen them live until tonight. And now they’re playing the first song of theirs I ever heard. Hell, yes.

First verse. I know The Song’s lyrics and structure intimately; I’m yelling them out into the charged space between me and the band. The whole audience does likewise; we’re all shouting, swaying, waving our arms as if grasping at the moment.

First chorus. The Song is slower, melancholic, less aggressive than their other music. I love their harder fare, but the downbeat sonic wash of this track gives me chills.

Second verse. Before, booze and moshing got my blood up. Now I just feel untethered, weightless, drifting skyward. Time passes solely in musical beats, one after the other.

Second chorus. A realization hits: between now and the first time I heard this, decades have passed. The emotional distance I’ve crossed since then makes singing along feel like a triumph, an act of completion. I’m still alive, still able to sing and sway.

A still moment. The band lets it linger. I wait for the finale, my flesh crawling. Every nerve ending tingles.

The final chorus. I strain my vocal courts and pump my arms harder, terrified to miss these last moments.

The Song closes. The crowd roars.

Fucking beautiful.

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