Day 4- Cluj Napoca
This was a small, fun show. When we were done playing the kids cheered for another song, but I had already walked off stage and back to our merch. They ran back, picked me up, and charged the stage with me over their heads. Once I got my footing, we played, laughing through it all.
Day 5- Bistrita
This day was brutally hot. The kids we stayed with took us to a public pool, and upon entering we noticed that about 1/4 of the women were not wearing tops and about 2/3 of the men were in speedos, including one old man that very obviously stuffed. If his penis was real, it was about as big as a pineapple. The water was the coldest I've ever felt, just a couple minutes inside and not only were we freezing, but our bodies actually ached.
Dave and I walked around the parts of Bistrita near the venue. Every block had 2 or 3 second hand shops and everywhere we looked we saw ads for xerox machines.
Pierce sleeping like a mummy in the venue, pre-show:
The show was attended mostly by the bands that played it, including a Hungarian band we played several shows with called Think Again. There were two rapmetal dudes that never left the couch they were sitting on, and one drunk punk that parked his weary rear on the 3" tall stage.
After the show I sat reading a book under a street light. I was tired of Romania. I longed to eat and be full. I missed to be able to drink tap water. I felt terrible for the promoters that were losing money on these shows. (One promoter said he was cancelling all the rest of his shows for the summer after our shows bombed.) The whole week had been uncomfortable and awkward. We were at odds with our tourmates. We were going broke. Wahh wahh wahh. My mind wasn't a place I wanted to spend time in anymore. So with my nose in a book, I was transported away from it all and far back into American history, which had a hell of a lot more problems than our shows in Romania. I relished the moment to myself, until the drunk punk from the stage sat near me.
At first he pretended to be on the bench for his own reasons, examining his finger nails, looking at his shoes. Then he scooted down, closer and closer, until I held up my hand and told him he had come quite close enough. Through pierced lips he slurred, "What aaaahre youuuu rheading?"
There went my momentary solace.
"Well, nothing now that you're here talking to me."
He was too drunk to notice my sarcasm. He was lost in a boozy thought, and seemed the type to share it when it stumbled its way out. Accepting this fate, I closed my book.
"These people," he motioned out in disgust at Think Again, Dead Vows, the promoter, the 3 kids that liked us, the 2 rapmetal dudes, and the rest of Kingdom, "they don't accept me. I hate them. I want.... I want...." he searched for the proper words,
"...I want to fuck them."
At this I smiled, and asked if he was saying he wanted to have sex with them.
"No... no... FUCK THEM!"
I suggested "fuck them UP", and explained that "fuck them" meant he wanted to have sexual relations with them, perhaps without emotion or strings attached. He laughed. "Yes then, fuck them UP."
As he stared out into the crowd, I stared at him. Piercings climbed up his ears like ivy, faint white scars covered his arms. He was in his mid 20's, sitting out in the bug-filled night with me for company- a hostile hostage at best- translating his woes into english in hopes that I may understand. To be this angsty this late in life, to feel so misunderstood, to be the lone punk in a sea of hardcore kids, weighed down not by the hundreds of studs on his jacket, but by the years he's lived feeling outcast by the outcasts, was kind of tragic. A wave of empathy swept me. In a way, I could relate. In a way, I think most of us can.
We sat quietly together for a few minutes. Then he asked, in earnest, what punk meant to me. I asked if he meant the music, the idea, or the lifestyle. He pondered that. For 20 minutes. I went back to reading, Drunk Punk a few inches to my side, scratching his chin and murmuring, "Hang on... I almost... I just... Uhhh...", and before he could clarify, I had to go.
As I stood up I told him not to wait for acceptance, that if he felt there wasn't space for him to make it, and if anyone had a problem with that he should tell them to eat shit. I don't know if he wanted advice, and I certainly don't know if I'm really qualified to give any, but I felt like I needed to offer him something. He responded by sinking his head into his hands dramatically. As we pulled away in the van he was still there, alone under the street light, consoling himself, or making plans to fuck everyone, I don't know. Either way, I waved goodbye.