Bullheadedly, I had decided to wear all black despite the weather once again. I was burning. I tried to ignore the heat as I attempted to enjoy what remained of the high from the joint I had smoked about an hour and a half earlier, but the increasing dullness as the pleasure faded only enhanced my irritability. Beer o’clock.

"Jesus H… It’s hot as fuck!", I thought to myself as I wiped the unwanted beads of sweat from my forehead, sidestepping to avoid tripping over a junkie passed out on the grass just outside the gates.  Poor bastard.  I walked on, attempting to keep my composure as each bead of sweat brought me closer to the harsh criticism of on-looking hipsters in their white tank-tops and their radical boat shoes. I felt around the outside of my pockets to verify that I still had my trusty iPhone in case shit got crazy. A-Ok. Checking for my phone wasn’t really for my own reassurance, however. After I dropped my phone two weeks earlier, it didn’t have service anyway. The purpose of this was to show the hipsters that I connected with them deeply on some socio-economic plane.  

I finally reached the entrance and was welcomed by some goofball who gave me a hard time about my empty water bottle. I humored him with a few witticisms at his expense, with which he stupidly laughed along.  He directed to me to the nearest water station and I filled up before heading to the beer.

Fast forward two beers.

I met up with my friend Eduardo. Eduardo and I picked a tree and sat beneath in the peaceful shade, spacing out, watching people. Some dude smoking an e-cigarette was told he couldn’t smoke and that he would have to take it to the “smoker’s area”.  I made the comment that there should be a non-smoker’s area. They have the problem with it. Smokers aren’t making the fuss. Eduardo, who is a non-smoker, disagreed with me.  I politely ignored him.  The awkwardness was broken when some gangly man began his attempt to scale a tree using the large chunks of bark to keep a grip and it was a matter of seconds until the same security from the e-cig incident intervened on his playtime. Fair call. I guess during this time, the first band, Blitzentrapper, started playing.  I hadn’t noticed really. But when I came to, I wished the creepy guy would start climbing trees again, or put on Bon Jovi, or do anything really. I’ve stopped caring at this point. At least, I can find joy in imitating Bon Jovi, but there is no joy to be found in these generic bluesy pop riffs and cheesy vocal tones.  Heard that line before. Twilight Concert Series became Twilight Zone. Since Eduardo was photographing the event, he had to split and get in a few choice shots with hopes of making the band look better than they really were.

With Eduardo gone, the anxieties of the twenty first century kicked in. When in doubt, get your iPhone out. Now, remember I didn’t have service. So, I walked to the middle of the park just to get Wifi so that I might escape into my phone. One Snapchat received. I opened it. It was my friend Breanna, rockin’ out front row to Blitzencrapper. Oh, right, by then I had renamed them to a more fitting “Blitzencrapper”. Anyway, I iMessaged her back my disapproval.

Skip over what should be a climax.

Sometime after a blur of homeless women smoking Nat Sherman’s, girls dressed like Dalmatians and me standing in some corner of the park zoning out, I found myself wandering around to the distant sounds of Belle and Sebastian. At this point the riff raff was in full spirit. They flocked toward the front of the stage much like the gnats that wouldn’t leave me be when I was trying to sit under the tree. Naturally, I took the opportunity I had and I fled. Every time I took a moment to listen to the music fading in the distance, there was the urge to go mingle and check out some good tunes but I had to remind myself of what was best: my sanity, not ripping my jeans with extreme wear in the crotch and most of all, my buzz.

Stay Ugly SLC.