We drove north. A long way north.
It was February, the roads were shit. It wasn't snowing. It was too fucking cold to snow anymore. The sun was bright overhead, which only illuminated the ice crystals hanging in the air.
"Why does this planet even have a -30 degrees?" Andy was cranky we'd been up way too early to get where we were going. There were three of us in the car. Three of us that were kicking back, listening to the sounds of our childhood. A roadtrip that could only happen in the frozen prairies of Canada. Fueled by double-doubles and a chance to escape. The three of us hadn't done this in a long time.
We were driving to a concert. Once again the band had skipped our hometown. These were guys we knew. We'd been to their shows a half dozen times. Met up, partied, drank. We'd seen some good nights together whether the band knew we had or not.
"Titled axis, total bullshit." I chime in, probably too late for most people to pick up on the joke. But that was us. Rage blew air through is nose, not really a laugh, an acknowledgment of the joke that had been around as long as we had been together.
We finally got to the mall. A mall. They were playing in a fucking mall. We had seen them at Warped Tour, Gilman, House of Blues. They are in Canada in February playing in a fucking mall. Whatever. We made it there and brushed off the cold. Dropped our kit in the overly expensive hotel room upstairs. We toured the mall. Hit the water park and counted the public displays of flesh, of affection and of shame. We laughed. Nothing that was happening here was serious. We left serious back in cowtown. When we decided last night in a haze or drink, bad decisions and late night bravado. Serious business was for someone else.
We left the waterpark, ate too much, drank enough to support the habit and smoked too little. That 4:30 dusk announced that the night was going to be on us soon. We were ready for it. We needed it.
We danced that night. We sang along. We partied and hit on women and picked fights with smiles on our faces. We skanked and rolled and shared like champions. We punched assholes, we grabbed asses and lived ever second of that night.
The houselights came up.
We sobered up.
The last notes of the encore round of "Sell Out" faded into every disgusting corner of that tiny stage inside a huge mall. We walked out into the night with skinned knees, bruised egos and impending hangovers.
Water, naps and Red Bull got us home in a blizzard. It had finally warmed up enough to snow.
We were kings that night.