I waited for her call;
she always kept me waiting.
– The Rock Show, Blink 182
I was just listening to this song- it brought back some memories. I came very close to seeing Blink 182 live several years ago. I was at the venue, they were at the same venue, and yet it didn’t really happen. Here’s why.
Well, to get to why, I need to give you a basic picture first. It was Radio 104 Fest- year 2001. Blink was headlining and the only performers I was dying to see. I had paid for tickets for myself, my crush…and his girlfriend. I even drove us there. Don’t even ask what I was thinking, because when you find out what happened, you’ll realize I wasn’t.
We manage to make it to the venue after parking on an out of the way lot, trudging up a hill, jumping a guard rail and walking about a quarter mile. (Never again will I be doing such a thing!) I don’t think that we were inside the outdoor staging area for more than three minutes before I became separated from the couple due to the throngs of people milling about. I don’t panic, figure that if I find someplace to hang out, they’ll have to come looking for me eventually- right? I mean I’m their ride.
Wrong. I proceed to spend the next eight hours by myself, feeling incredibly lonely and worried, in a sea of thousands of people. At one point, I even stole some girl’s water because I was dehydrating and she left it with the bar stand I was next to for safety’s sake. Thanks random girl.
There was a moment about four hours into this ordeal that I spotted crush’s girlfriend. She looked right at me as she walked by and kept going. There were too many people in the way for me to catch her and frankly, I was too stunned by her actions to even try to catch her or call out to her. Yes, I had a crush on her boyfriend, but I wasn’t trying to split them up. Bitch.
Around sun down, I started getting chilly and moved towards the venue’s building- plus I felt safer inside. I wandered around inside kind of aimlessly for another two hours before I gave up. I felt like the vendors and security people were watching me because I obviously had no clear purpose for being where I was.
I left the venue alone. In the dark. Probably not the smartest move I’ve ever made, but it’s what I did. About halfway through my trek back to the lot, I heard Blink start their set. All I could think of was how I was now missing the one band I came to see because of some really stupid shit.
At least I smartened up at that point. I buddied up with a couple walking behind me so I became less of a target. I even got the guy’s assistance in getting over the guard rail after telling them my tale of woe. Unfortunately, they were parked elsewhere, which left me alone again, in the dark, easing my way down a hill and sitting for a few minutes to ensure that I would not be run down by a train whose tracks I needed to cross in order to get to my car.
I made it back to my car, but do you think I left? No. Because that would make me a bad friend. So, I sat in my car for the next two hours, waiting for the people whom I had brought to this place, to return. Which they never did. I finally drove away around midnight, when people had stopped sliding down the hill about half an hour ago, crying my eyes out.
What had happened? I wondered. Where were they? I got home and cried to my sister, who thankfully was still awake, about what had happened. How instead of being angry that my whole day was mostly ruined, I felt like the worst friend ever because I had abandoned them without any clue as to…well, anything.
I found crush the next day at work (oh yeah, we worked together) and he tells me that girlfriend got “sick” and that he called his father to come get them. I’ll spare you the details of how I mentioned to him that girlfriend had seen me and his whole denial of that happening. And his lack of apology about… well, anything really.
So that is how I came really close to seeing Blink 182 live and didn’t. Apparently, I was braver back then, or maybe just stupid, because I would never do most of the stuff I did that day/night now, without (reasonably) panicking. Of course, I never park off site of the venue anymore either. Either way, I’m proud that I stayed calm most of that day. I wish I could be like that now.