On your own in Germany
And when God decreed the ten commandments on Mount Sinai and Moses did write them down, an eleventh was added, and it was, that for every venue of musical entertainment in the land of the Teutons, it should be made of concrete, and rise starkly unto the heavens, and it should be enclosed in an old factory. And God saw that it was good.
When I got there I saw that there were people smoking round the back, and looking like they were talking and having a good time, so I went round the front, but I had to walk all the way round and ended up at the back, which was the entrance.
Going in a bouncer in a suit gave me a push which comforted me. He touched me in some way every time I went in or out which suited us both because sometimes we all just need to feel and be and breathe in the healing love of the universe. At the cloakroom I tried to pay with a fifty, which terrified the woman, but then I found a euro.
In the bar I avoided eye contact with a fat man wearing a blazer that was too small for him and jeans that were too young for him and his hair was bad too, dyed white but short and spiky and he was also wearing rimless glasses which can be really freaky so when I caught his eye twice I left the room.
I went to the toilet a few times. I stood around the edges of the floor with the other solitary men, leaning and rearranging our leans against the wall, then I went back into the bar area and stood by a table where an obviously English man was selling t-shirts and CDs. I didn’t want to talk to him because he looked like Jeremy from Peep Show when he’s confused by self-loathing so I took out my phone and sent three messages even though I had no signal so I could watch the little white completion bar fill halfway and then get knocked back and back until it was overwhelmed ha the little thing it can’t make it.
During the concert a man in front of me left his girlfriend to go the toilet or something and when he came back we’d all moved slightly so that I was now closer to her and by golly he wasn’t going to stand for that he crashed through the people and thrust his bum into my crotch and folded his body over her, broadening his back so that I wouldn’t want to fight him because of how big he was.
I tried to move out of the background of some selfies but when I thought of myself standing there like a tower, like a statue, for everybody to look at when they got home I got excited and stayed where I was.
At one point I was looking at the man playing the bongos on the stage and although it wasn’t entirely clear it looked like he was looking at me, so I kept looking at him to see if he would look away but I think he was a shaman or another tribal priest because he was in a trance playing his bongos really fast and he never took his eyes off me until I got uncomfortable because he was a short man but one of those round men who are not fat but heavy and he was bald but he had the style where your beard is basically your head hair so he looked cool and apart from that he was actually wearing a patterned poncho and had brought a staff onstage so I looked away.
After they’d finished I went outside to text my girlfriend and make it look like I had things to do you know can’t all be fun and games until it got so cold so quickly that I remembered I was in Europe where it gets cold and to feel the bouncer’s warm hand on my back again was suddenly all I had ever and would ever desire so I went back inside.
At the t-shirt table I saw that DJ E.A.S.E who is Nightmares on Wax the man himself was sitting there so I thought well I’m sure artists like to be told you like their stuff so I went up to him. Although we both went for the bro shake he was then expecting a fistbump as well which meant I grabbed his fist so I quickly shouted that I loved his music and he said thanks but he looked like I’d told him I wanted to move in with him so to get things back on track I said I was from Manchester and apparently he was from Yorkshire and isn’t it amazing small world hey and he said “Yeah. I’m from Leeds.”
To calm me down I went to the bar and bought an orange juice, but when he said it was more expensive than it said on the board I asked him why and he said it was a deposit to make sure I brought the glass back. I considered taking the glass because my glass at home had a crack in it but this was only a small glass so I left it.
I went back to get my fleece and the woman couldn’t find it so I said it was a black fleece and she found it on the floor. Because no day is complete now without a little German rudeness I patted it down heavily all over the counter, billowing clouds of dust all over everything, turned and left.