Rants & Essays

My Trip to NYC or FreakMeet at Penn Station

By Marcus Pan

Though the odds stacked against me inasfar as transportation goes, most of you know by now that we made it out to the Sisters of Mercy Concert. If you are so interested that you want details, well this post will serve that purpose. If you want to see the bad things I have to say about everyone who was there, see previous sentence. ;) So, this is how it went.

A week before the concert (yes, I'm going back a bit...trust me, it is relevant) my fiance's mother & her new husband (you'll all remember "One Simple Dance," yes?) took off on a trip to Mexico for their honeymoonish engagements. While honeymooning across the hot, dry, bad-water country the mom in question left the car pretty much quiet and minding its own business in the driveway. So for convenience purposes and so that I wouldn't have to give up my car at ALL during the week (rare, indeed), Laura and I loaded the babygoth Felicia into the Ford and drove off to the shore town to get the idle one for her weekly purposes. So she does, and we head back home separately.

On the way home, not quite enjoying the rain and chill of the outdoors on this fine evening although my daughter found fit to leisurely nod off in the back, I had the audacity to lock my brakes and do a nice slidey thing coming off the highway. The Ford leisurely sailed through the air with the greatest of unease and kachunked rather harshly onto the too-tall-curb island thing that was mishappenly placed simply to cause me personal grief and inconvenience. That's when the right tire blew up. First worry being not so much the car, but the just-a-week-from-one-year-birthday daughter of mine in the back seat, I turned thusly to see that she was simply woken up by the aforementioned kachunk and was now looking at me with a facial expression that can only be described as yelling, "You nugget!"

So I limped on down the road to the nearest Dunkin Donuts (well, I might as well get coffee). So I prepare to call Triple-A, who come and fix nuggets like me on a regular basis. That's when I realize I don't have the cellular. So I go to the payphone outside and stand rummaging in the cold, harsh rain to realize I don't have a quarter either. I wrestle with the car seat, pick Felicia up and trudge into the Dunkin Donuts where I try to explain just what "change" is to the non-English speaking clerk in as nice a way as I can see fit by this point (which was anything BUT). I go back outside, wrestle with the car seat to get the baby into it, and call Triple A. So the guy asks me what street I'm on. Umm. Umm. Wrestle with the car seat AGAIN and go back to the undecipherable clerk to find out exactly what damn intersection I'm sitting on. Then I go back outside and put Felicia in the car seat for the third time (or so). I call AGAIN, give the proper information and am told that it'll take 40 minutes. Back in my car, I put away the paperwork and lay my head back, eyes closed. By chance I open my eyes.

There, fifteen feet from me and has been the entire time, is a tow truck with the BIGGEST goddamn "AAA" sign emblazoned on it's side that ever I did see. He looks at me at precisely the same time as he gets the page to come get me...I feel like hiding. Anyway, here he comes.

He fixes my tire and I take Felicia out of the car seat for the fourth or fifth time (I've lost count by now) and go in to get coffee for him and I. As I come out, Laura pulls up (I had called her after AAA) and decides, well, there's no reason to be there. Off she goes. Felicia and I get in the car. Cup of coffee for me goes spilling all over the place. Like I couldn't have JUST a flat tire. (sigh)

Anyway, the irony of this point is: we got Laura's mother's car so I could have mine all week. But the powers that be determined otherwise. If I wouldn't have gone to get that car, mine would be fine and I'd have one car. But I did go to get the car, fucked up mine, and now still have one car. What does this all have to do with the Sisters of Mercy concert? Pretty simple. I was to pick up Emily in that car that now needs a new tire and front control arm.

So Bane and I have to make last-minute plans. So instead of picking her up, heading up to Jill's to pick her up too, then hitting the train station, I pick her up and bring her back to my place (woowoo! (snicker)). Then Laura drops us off at the nearest train station and we head straight in to the city.

Getting there about quarter after 6 (or so), we tear ass through Penn Station and lo'and'behold there is a pack of freaks standing out front (back, side, somewhere out there) of Penn. I was happy to see Ron ][ there, who I haven't seen since Boston (which I was sick as hell for) as well as Leonara, who I haven't seen since coming home from Boston. He claimed I got him sick by leaving my now six-month old viruses germinating in his couch as he was feeling rather sick. Of course, how anything can live in as hostile an environment as Ron's couch is beyond me (including single-celled creatures who need not much to live). So Emily and I hook up with Mikhail (sp?), Ron, Ron's friend who's name I unfortunately forgot because he was too quiet :), Leo who had her usual over-use of makeup obsession in full activation :), Jill, Stephan, ummm...I think that's it, besides Emily and myself anyway.

So off we go, bouncing through the streets of New York City. We bounce around a bit and go into a combination place that has a Dunkin Donuts at one end where Jill & Emily head for muffin type items, and a Roy Rogers thing at the other end where I head for dinner type items. I order two bacon cheese burgers, practically frothing at the mouth just SPEAKING those words (I haven't eaten all day), and the guy who MUST be related to the undecipherable Dunkin Donuts clerk from Accident Night (see above) instead gets me two Bacon Cheeseburger Combination thingees. So not only do I have the two hamburgers I wanted, I have two large drinks and a shitload of fries. I'm too damned hungry to complain. So I do my best to pawn them all off onto as many goths as I could, dump one of the sodas onto the floor splashing niiiice boots (well, at least it solves the too much soda problem) and inhale the hamburgers. Off we go...Roseland and Eldritch awaits!

Roseland isn't bad. We get there, wait outside for a bit for people I don't know, and head in. Ron and I sneak past the guards who are feeling people up at the door and step in. I haven't been in the Roseland since a Soundgarden concert a year or so ago. (Yes, Soundgarden...fuck you and your insults.) First things first, BAR! Off I go after getting Ron's order. WHAT?! NO GUINESS? NO BASS ALE? They had Budweiser (well, everyone and their mother have Budweiser) and Heinekin. So I buy Ron his beer as a "thanks for letting me hack up multi-colored phlegmy things on your couch once" gesture and we proceed to stand around waiting for something to happen. Good collection of gothy types around of course. EdVamp comes bouncing up (bastard's got a VIP pass!) not long after and I end up buying two net.goth shirts (Woo! "No, I'm not a vampire. This is NOT a costume." as well as, appropriately enough, the Sisters Sell-Out shirt). Unfortunately he couldn't set up shop at the door or nothing, so I give him the money and am expecting them to hit my suite box shortly. It's ED. I TRUST Ed. (nod) Quite.

Anyway, the opening band for sisters is, amazingly enough, a thrash/hardcore band by the name of Orange 9MM. Now, while I don't mind hardcore, I didn't come to a Sisters of Mercy concert expecting to HEAR hardcore. But hell, I'm feeling perky. I shed the jacket and leave it on top of the "Community net.goth jacket pile" (we were met by a ton of others who I don't know and never had a chance to find out about, except for Risa who I remember well because of her beautiful red (I think...damn lighting) dress). Throughout the night at least half the concert goers have tripped on this pile no matter how many of us stood around it like statues. Anyway, I go up towards the stage to go thrashing or pitting or somesuch. I came back rather depressed. "How was it?" they asked. "I've seen harder-core at Disneyland." I said. Not the band, mind you, but the people. I tried, though, my goth how I tried.

Anyway, Orange 9mm get off and after a healthy period of waiting in which I roamed the club, downstairs and all, to see what there was to see SoM finally come up. I posted the set list already so I won't go into detail here, but I will mention that Andrew should NOT sing Pink Floyd ever again. BadBad (tm). Concert over, time to go. SoM did pretty good even if I couldn't bounce off of people recklessly.

After a bunch of picture snapping in front of Roseland and my purchase of a real SoM shirt and nearly losing Ron in the crowd, we head off down the road and bounce up to the nearest subway entrance. I've never been in a subway before. It's cool. Ron goes looking for rats for his dinner as we await the next subway train and off we go to Penn Station. Bopping through the station, Stephan disappears to go find the nearest place that sells beer (I do believe he drank more than he breathed throughout the night).

They leave me to find my train and I sit down to wait. I call Laura of course to let her know I'm alive and well. At this point the memory becomes fuzzy. I either put my phone down, or I hung it on my belt much too loosely. Either way, I then got up to purchase a ticket from a rather mean-looking machine and realize...the phone's gone. Someone ripped off my cellular. (sigh) That's about the time the migraine headache starts coming in.

Get on the train which arrives at track 15, as opposed to Emily's insistence it would appear at tracks 1-4 (liar! :>) and head home. Get to New Brunswick and hop off the train and run down to the cab station ten feet away. I swear it took me all of two minutes to get down the stairwell. Every one of the 8 or more cabs were ALREADY GONE. So into the office I go. Migraine is REALLY kicking in now, kids. I order a cab to go to East Brunswick to go pick up the Ford which stubbornly couldn't be ready a mere few hours earlier. The first cabbie kicked me out of the cab because he didn't know how to get to East Brunswick. WTF? The second is better...but he drove around a bit trying to find another fare to go with me. Eventually he does...this grimy-ass drunken booger that is heading to "Motel 6," most likely to blow the last of his Friday night paycheck on the first hooker he can snatch (pun intended) up.

Finally, East Brunswick. Head is SCREAMING bloody fucking murder, pounding like a drum, and I get my now-fixed car and head home. It's slightly after 2AM when I roll in.

And that was my trip to New York City. The only thing that made the migraine headache, long waits and stolen phone worth it are just the thing I went for in the first place...the net.goths.

Originally posted in alt.gothic.