My Hopscotch present to myself today was running shoes. Day One of Hopscotch, hell, wear whatever you want. Day Two of Hopscotch, be ye not so foolish.
I was Super Struggles today.
There are about a dozen small reasons for that, from the iced latte I drank on an empty stomach in lieu of lunch, to the very sweet Dawg who gets me up reeaaallly early, to just being on low sleep. Willow and I met up for some day party music, and it was all fine but mostly we were always kind of in the wrong place at the wrong time. A band we really wanted to see was wedged into the tiny patio at Slims where it was one million degrees, with nowhere to stand that wasn’t blocking the door.We stood in line for ages to get into another show, but the venue was an hour behind schedule and the wrong band was up. We stood in line for a listening party for a record company, but there was no music. We really needed chips and guacamole at Centro. It was closed.
I went home to regroup.
I ventured back out to meet folks for the first show, which was pretty solid, and the rest of the evening was finely calibrated and intricately planned to include one must-see, four should-sees, and one birthday party at Coglin’s. People, I have to love you a lot, I mean A LOT, to set foot into Coglin’s. During Hopscotch, that goes double. But I was planning to make it during my one tiny window between shows.
I found Willow, and we walked over to Memorial for Lady Lamb and the Beekeeper, the one show around which I had made all of my plans. They’d decided to shift the time for the Lady Lamb show an hour later, just because one of the later acts had cancelled.
Why why why why why. There was an angry, angry mob outside of Memorial hearing this news. There were pitchforks and meltdowns and expostulations and accusations. Everyone sympathized that a band playing later had cancelled. Nobody understood how that affected the time of the performance we were all there to see. You do not mess with people’s Hopscotch plans, without a very good reason. The whole house of cards which was my carefully orchestrated evening collapsed in a heap.
We regrouped. We went to Coglin’s to congratulate the birthday boy. Know what? Coglin’s did not improve my mood, what with the claustrophobic crowds and the thumping music and people shouting small talk at each other over the chaos. I was explaining to Julia about the house of cards thing. She did not understand. “This sounds like an excellent opportunity for you to practice flexibility,” she told me. I blinked at her and made a scrunch face. “You must be new here,” I told her. “That is not part of the plan.” Within ten minutes I was jarred enough by the flashing lights and soul-crushing dance music to want to break something, and then the music got much, much worse. “What, don’t you like Michael Jackson?” asked JJ, and the stream of obscenities I let forth at that point made everyone within a five- foot radius turn and give me the Big Eyes.
I left Coglin’s before I broke anything, but could not find or extract Willow, who had turned off her phone. I went to see Rose Windows, thinking that would cheer me up, and there were dozens and dozens of people ahead of me who could not get in to the new, tiny Berkeley. I know this drill. The VIP line gets in first. Those of us who can not afford to be VIPs have to wait in shame in the Line of Low Wealth. Even the VIPs couldn’t get into this show, though. Hopeless.
I cursed my way back to Memorial Auditorium, and I had to walk all the way around a construction zone because they wouldn’t let me walk through the plaza with my water bottle. I tried to buy a glass of champagne at Memorial because I figured I deserved it, and despite the fact that champagne was the first thing on the giant menu, they looked at me as if I’d asked for a rocket ship. “We don’t sell champagne,” she told me. Of course they didn’t.
The show was fine.
After that I realized a large part of my problem was hanger. Willow and I got hot dogs and felt better, at least until I realized I was sitting on something sticky. We stopped at one more show on the way home, The Hunters, one of my wild cards. The description said that during their live shows, the band members have “no regard for their personal safety.” I had to see what that looked like. It looked great. I insisted we leave before it was over. “What, you don’t like them?” asked Willow. “No, I kind of loved them. I thought, given how the rest of the day has gone, we’d better end on a high note.”
First world problems, y’all. I’m complaining that one show was late and one show was full and the next one didn’t have champagne. I HEAR IT. I’m just having a secret freak-out that, after all of my perfect Hopscotch days over the last three years, that I’ve lost my Hopscotch magic. Because mostly, Hopscotch is magic. Just not today.
Thank goodness, it’s not over yet. There’s still tomorrow! There’s still hope and joy and music! And maybe magic! Tomorrow: I’m getting my mojo back.
I’m sleeping late in the morning.