Updated: Nov 11, 2019
It was a Halloween Night.
The dogs and the band were playing hard when I sat down.
My feet were in the sand at a bar restaurant
where four dogs went full bore around the tables
and four musicians did the same on the stage.
There were 2 street dogs and a couple of pit bull terriers with collars.
An old bitch was Alpha,
and like all great leaders,
had no fear or doubts about how things were going to go.
The other pit bull was a playful male and still a pup.
Pit bull play, like Changa Pachanga, is something to see.
At every moment and at any angle
there was hard muscle and sharp edges,
130 pounds of enthusiasm cannon-balled through the place
with enough force to topple a big man or absolutely clobber a small child.
The guitarists didn’t seem to mind. They did their thing.
This was my first dogs-at-play in a bar and it seemed dodgey.
I've been in bars where big people start
to push people around
and all you wanna do is get out of the way.
I seen a guy, 6'5" 265,
open his arms and drive 15 people down a long hallway through a very small opening.
Pit bulls, like bouncers, like singers and artists, leave a backwash of colateral damage when they get going.
You gotta be mindful around them.
Or you end up a victim.
They use momentum to drive muscle or emotions
until they hit something more solid, like
the floor or a wall
(and maybe a car, or a dumpster).
Their momentum is best absorbed by water or a person being like water
(see Lao Tzu).
The sand was flying as the dogs rolled hard or dug in to get traction.
The lights blazed white
and the barking dogs reminded me of
”Sure Shot“ by the Beastie Boys.
Just so out of place, lending a sense of the surreal.
A respite; a suspension of belief.
Joy Taylor had already belted out a couple of songs
and I’d moved closer to the doggy mosh pit to stage right,
where I got a good look at the group.
Between songs the guitarists didn’t say nothin’.
Like the dogs, there was no doubt who was Alpha in the group.
Taylor bangs back a shot and
barks a bit of harsh criticism in the direction of the drummer,
something to the effect that he was a real duechebag for a variety of reasons.
He makes like water and doesn't even deny it.
Threats are made and the supposed shite state of affairs on stage is attributed
to his lack of basic decision making skills.
And his future as a human, in the band (and as her lover) was looking bleak at best.
It was a motivational speech (of sorts).
And he's nodding.
Feeling the wooden sticks in his hands. Waiting.
I applaud hard (the only one at that point).
and yell something like, “Come on... Just play."
Because they were doing awesome!
She sings with fire in the belly.
With emotions enough to topple a big man
or clobber a small child.
I had a clear exit path
and a five yard head start in the event
my tone of encouragement was misinterpreted.
And although she looked pretty fast,
she was barefoot and there was a shitload of stuff
(including cables) in the road between us;
So I took my chance.
She says, "This is an original."
The drummer smiles wider and wood on wood breaks the relative silence,
the count resonates;
it's the start of a trance.
I could feel it.
Like nothing else in the whole world mattered...
“Two, three, four...”
And the magic began.
Cue the Clowns (CTFC!)
As the song kicked off, right then,
An extended family of dancing clowns appeared from the street;
Drawn in like happy magnets
to a vibe stirred from the voice of Joy Taylor.
From one note to the next people stood and danced
and the clowns mamba'd through.
And one danced with Joy.
And I among them.
And the magic made the dogs go quiet.