By the time I actually did fall in love, I wasn’t sure that I wanted it. I wasn’t sure I’d ever want it. And looking back, I guess I can’t really blame myself. I had horrible taste in men. Man. Singular. Fate had horrible taste in him for me. I mean, sure, all I really had to go on was the red hair when it came to Angus George, but I knew that I had seen him in my infamous prophetic dreams and I knew that he was the one for me, the one that I would end up with.
Would I have even given him a second glance, if not for all that? Would I have even…
I guess it doesn’t really matter now. He’s where he is, and I’m here writing this all down, so I guess we can call it what it is.
Something changed at that show. I don’t know whether it was actually him that changed, or if it was just the first time it really occurred to me.
It started off in a pretty standard mosh-pit. It developed kind of spontaneously, as only the best ones do, and actually it was a guy and a girl who started it off together. Rough-housing. Pleasantly matched, not exactly erotic, it didn’t seem like they had quite that kind of relationship. It seemed more like the male pushing and shoving and pressing of buttons that they seem to find so appealing, except that one of them was a woman. I don’t know. But then it changed. Shifted. Other people started bumping in, intruding, and finally it spread over to where we had been standing, to where I had been looking into Angus’s eyes.
What is it about crowds? That you can be around so many people and still feel perfectly alone. More so. I guess you start to go “But if there are so many people…” So it means more. If you’re alone and you’re lonely, it’s the question “How can I be lonely with this many people?” Like they can’t be an excuse. And if you’re alone with someone, it turns into something more intimate, like a secret in the middle of the chaos. An emphasis. Look at all the people and none of them can stop us from looking at each other.
Until he gets distracted.
The smile on his face was different after whoever it was bumped into him. Whoever it was said “Sorry,” like you do on the fringes if you’re polite and not too drunk yet and bumped into someone who was not (yet) part of the mosh. But then you see that smile. He hadn’t been smiling at me a moment before. We’d been in a place where we didn’t need smiles, but now he wasn’t there anymore. He was in another space with another process in mind and he was itching to hit something. That’s what that smile meant.
And then he misunderstood. Not all mosh pits are the same, and this one was rough-housing on a level that he wasn’t used to because he hung out with the wrong crowd. You beat your arms and bump into each other, crash and settle and throw yourself around. It’s not an actual boxing match. Sometimes it is. But not this one. And with that smile on his face, he happily dashed after the stranger who’d broken our intimate seal, who thought he’d roped someone into the party and instead ended up getting punched in the neck and the shoulder with a strength that in context and contrast must have felt supernatural. Surreal. Out of place.
The mosh changed around him, slowly I guess, maybe, bit by bit, as the immediate crowd realized what was going on and got uncomfortable.
I know what you’re thinking: it’s a mosh-pit, it’s not supposed to be comfortable. But there’s a code you follow, more like a contract, any time you start one. You know you’re not “safe”, but safety is relative, and this guy is fucking off his shit.
That was the beginning. Not for him, I’m sure. I mean, maybe, but I mean, come on, let’s be real. He is who he is. It didn’t look like a moment of great revelation for him, not from where I was standing. He beat a guy up, and then immediately, he turned around and blamed them all for dishing it out and not being able to take it.
Maybe he was just used to a rougher crowd, I told myself. Maybe that’s all it was. But it didn’t seem like it. Even if that was all there was to it, he still wasn’t paying attention. He still wasn’t taking cues, and that meant something.
I started paying closer attention to the fights he was having in school. To what he was saying about them. To what other people were saying about them. To discrepancies, and also similarities. To the different versions.
By the time he was arrested, I found I couldn’t be surprised. I was disappointed, but couldn’t convince myself I hadn’t seen it coming.
I know I’m phrasing that in a way that’s confusing, so let me put it differently. I knew he was going to be arrested. I knew it three days after I met him. I even tried to tell him a couple of times, tried to warn him, but my name is Kassandra and no one is ever going to take me seriously about things like this.
And I guess I can’t really blame them. I don’t really take myself seriously, either. I mean, look at me. I get a vision of this guy. I know I’m going to fall in love with him, so I do. Then I get a vision of him being an asshole, getting arrested. And what do I do? I stay. For what? Did I think that I was going to change him? Did I think that he could?