Tuesday, November 4, 2008

All Hallow's Eve

All Hallow’s Eve has come and gone, the goblins, ghosts, princesses and pirates have all been put to slumber for one more year. In that time everyone will be a year older and in that we can all rest assured.

This was the first Halloween where I wasn’t home for five to six years. Instead I was taken to a concert for a band named “Smoochknob”. Seems they’re a local band that recently got signed by the same label who produces the Killers. They have a good sized following and they have great stage presence.

The concert itself was at a club in Downtown Portland named Dante’s, as in Dante’s Inferno. If you try to picture the type of people you would find there, you’d be wrong. From industrial, to older, to my age, to younger, all walks of life were there for this concert.

The atmosphere in Dante’s is a mix between upscale posh and downtown punk. The walls are covered in a red crushed velvet, there’s three bars with about six bartenders and one roaming waitress. I’m told that usually there’s tables and chairs but for this party, it was standing room only. There were a few bar stools that were never unoccupied the entire night, I was there for over four hours.

The sound board is by the front door, next to that there’s an open fire, it is Dante’s after all, and beside that there’s a door for the kitchen. You pick up your food, no one to serve you. To the left of that is the first bar. It’s right in front of the freezer and dishwasher, there’s always one person coming out with steaming hot crates of clean glasses. To the left of that there’s the stage which is probably a third of the club itself.

Then there’s the smoking section. At the beginning of the year Oregon is going to a smoke free environment which means that soon smokers won’t be able to even have a smoking section at a restaurant. So they have a bar that wraps around two pillars, essentially making it two bars, one for the smokers and one for the non smokers. In the smoking section there’s some slot machines, and of course the bands set up their wares there to be sold.

The concert was three local bands.

The first: Cellar Door. It appears that it’s a local band that’s been together for three years or more. The concert was a Halloween theme party, so everyone was in costume. The lead singer of Cellar Door came in and wore something that everyone else was going to wear but took it a step further. He came dressed as the Joker, in his nurse disguise. Definitely one of the best costumes of the night, he wore it like he was Ledger’s stunt double. The band itself was kinetic as they were a mix of Fuel, STP, Black Crowes and Live. They did a five song set and sold me instantly on them, the songs were full of lyrics that make you think but can be fun as well.

The second act: Sinnergy

Another local band, they delved right into the hard metal that many find inspirational but I found to be drab as a follow up to Cellar Door. I mean, they were complete opposites in energy and musical styles for the most part. They did one song which I enjoyed the version of, Possum Kingdom, originally done by the Toadies. They captured a lot of that essence that made that song so bad ass to begin with and they did rock it well. The rest of the set wasn’t as memorable.

The main event.

Smoochknob. If you haven’t heard of them yet you will next February when they’re major label debut comes out. They were just recently singed and I can see why. They have a good gimmick and a good hook. The songs are short, much like many of Green Day’s songs were back in the day. Energetic, silly lyrics and great stage presence, the majority of the crowd was there to see them. It was already midnight when they took the stage and they were going to play until closing, so about a 2 hour set. The songs that I heard were funny, the crowd was extremely interactive and they also have their own type of groupie, smooch grrls. Still, even with them being on stage, I really feel like Cellar Door just took the cake that night and it was hard to live up to the energy they brought to the gig.

I will admit that I felt extremely out of my element. Most of the people came dressed up for Halloween, the largest group was in their twenties and were looking to get high and find some free love. It’s never been the biggest part of my scene. Sarah saw just how, odd I felt in the whole situation and understood. We meet two of her friends there but a concert is not the best way to get to know someone you’ve never met, I mean it’s loud as shit for crying out loud!

In case you’re wondering, not sure if you are can’t tell anymore, the relationship is going well. There’s a lot of respect by both parties and our sails are set for the same course.

We have our moments don’t get me wrong. It’s not like we walked into this from the best of situations, either of us. We both have doubt, we both have fear of the things that have fucked us up in the past. Both from relationships and just overall past, it happens right? No one walks into a relationship freshly minted.

One of the things that I have noticed about her is that she’s unsure a lot. She worries about the past, the things she’s done. She looks at the future and it’s almost too much for her, she looks at the big picture. I don’t have to tell you guys that looking at the big picture will swallow you whole, you have to look at small chunks.

I look at my past and I cringe. I know I’ve done some messed up things. I know that I’ve made some mistakes and I know that I’ve been used as an emotional punching bag one too many times but I can’t let that rule me. To do that would be to basically admit that I can’t live my life, that I’m so stuck on the things that have happened that I can’t move on. I’m sick of being stuck in neutral and I know that’s how I felt for so long with M.

Shannon asked me once, “Hoovey, how do you fall in love with people?”

It was a good question, it still is, occasionally I think about it and I still hold true to the answer. I look at the person, the REAL person, not the personae they want to portray, not the person everyone else says they are, I look at the things that make them a complete and unique person and then I look at their potential. The potential of a person and the overall good of a person is what draws me to them. It’s what shows me just the type of person that they are and from that is where I usually make my determination about how I will feel in the long run.

Sarah, has oodles of potential. Here is a woman who’s coming into her own, fresh ideas, great beliefs and an overall good person. Don’t get me wrong she’s made mistakes in her past, there’s things that she’s not proud of just like there’s things that I’m not proud of but I can see the overall in her and the good definitely outweighs the bad.

Still, she lives in fear. There are times when I catch her and she’s so caught up thinking about past mistakes or feeling like she won’t accomplish anything in life because of the things that have happened to her. The times that she does that are few but when they happen I see just how fragile she can be. I see that she’s still in a state of flux, that she could go either way if allowed. Sometimes that scares me.


Basically and simply, I don’t want to see her waste that potential. I don’t want to see her become stagnant. I don’t want to see us drift apart. In the time that I’ve known her, she’s shown me a lot of fun, a lot of truth and a lot of herself. I don’t want to give that up.

Does that make sense?

All Hallow’s Eve. Halloween, where people dress up and pretend to be something their not. Occasionally we do that in the everyday aspect of life but the rare time when you can have someone take the mask off they wear on a regular basis? That’s when you’re blessed.


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