waterfalls and satyricon.

31 October 2011 § 1 Comment

I returned exhausted last night to San José, where I’d hoped to find my messy homestay room just the way I’d left it a few days before heading to La Fortuna. I’d half-slept on the bus all the way back, and listened to the screeches of the little girl in the seat in front of me, simply glad they weren’t cries instead.

It took the whole ride back for my shirt to dry – it being the last piece of relatively clean clothing I had that morning. In the morning rain (a constant), we went to the rope swing at the river. Mud, rapids, cold water, rocks. The cut on my foot was still wide open from a week before, when I swan with the sunken ship in Panama, refusing to heal over (In another world, it would probably needs stiches, but it doesn’t hurt much, so I’m patiently waiting for a scab to form.), but I figured a swim wouldn’t hurt it any more.

Rain, rain, drama, and rain. This weekend, I figured out why I tend to travel solo. Other people make for easy miscommunication and hurt feelings. And the plans, in my eyes, should never be so permanent as to not permit change or redirection. Lots of feelings were tossed around in hostel rooms, and I pretended to be asleep so as to try to make sense of them without adding to the trouble. What great fun it is to hear what people will say about you when they think you’re not listening! Absolutely fascinating.

We found waterfalls, a sleighted surprise, after a 4km walk along dirt roads which lead out of town. We were greeted by a hammock house and, later, an elegant visitors center charging an exoribitant amount of money to see one of the many wonders of the world. After descending nearly five hundred steps to the jungle floor, I found religion cascading from the stone high above, and my shoulders broke its course before it hit the dazzled pond where we stood. I had a moment. Eyes closed. The world existed in unison, and I was okay for a few minutes. Silence. Splashing, understood silence. Pura vida. The sort of thing we find, and are immediately unwilling to share.

Let me repair that: it’s the sort of thing I find, and am immediately unwillingly to share. I’m not sorry for this. These minutes go unphotographed, to be plied and manuevered to the whims of my memory forever, and untold amongst the stories of coffeeshops and walkabouts in cities anonymous and grand.

(It’s not that I don’t like you. It’s that we operate on different pages, and it seemed that no resonancebowl was going to mend the shift between us. Please don’t take it personally, because it has to do with me, too, and I’m not cool with people stealing feelings from me. They’re mine, damn it.)

Like I was saying. I got back last night and my mamatica (my host mother) reminded me that Mel had bought me a ticket for the Satyricon show, and showed it to me. I told her to tell him thank you, it was going to be a good show. Her sister, who saw my oblivion, cut in.

The concert is tonight, Sean. At eight. I must have looked perplexed while my brain searched for the current time. I’d just looked at my phone. It was 7.58. Shit.

I was exhausted and hungry and thirsty. My mamatica called me a cab.

The summer after high school, I lived in Albuquerque, New Mexico, with a family friend and her beau, who’d been kind enough to take me in so I could finish school and figure out what to do next. My best friend worked in a local venue, The Launchpad, and after a few shows the bouncers, one of them an old-school hardcore punk from Jersey (though it could have been New York – I mean no insult to him 😛 ) named Miles, stopped giving me shit about getting in for free. I was there every week, and even if my buddy wasn’t working, Miles would let me in for free, so I could spend my money instead at the merch tables. My collection of t-shirts from metal bands was immense.

One of the shows in Burque at the Sunshine Theatre had a huge and diverse roster of death metal, black metal, and hardcore, which at that time had many clashing fans. The noble intention of the bands was high-spirited and supported by everyone but the troublemakers, like the guys in the pit who wore skinny jeans (before people mistakenly thought they were cool), and would kick you in the face as a form of musical expression. This did not go over well in a mosh pit where, if you fell, all attention went to getting you back on your feet before you’d get punched in the face again (the differences seem arbitrary, I know, but the cultural differences were subtly very profound, and caused many black eyes and friendships). Satyricon, Suffocation, Jungle Rot, The Black Dahlia Murder, and Victimas, a local grindcore band I thought myself on good terms with, personally.

Satyricon is a black metal band from Norway, and are as sucessful as black metal gets. They have a long a history of putting out both really great, as well as really funny, dancable (in elitist terms, shite) albums. Nevertheless, their performances are well-honed from years of touring for a devout population of fans who sometimes go to great trouble and distance to find albums and shows from bands they love.

Last night, in the same venue where two weeks ago I saw my legendary introduction to Sonambulo, I re-entered the world of metal after many years of wading through piles of music I only partially cared for, and rarely enough to buy it, and found again the place where I feel most at home, most familiar, and connected with people. It’s a rare experience, and one much-needed after a tumultuous weekend at the foot of a volcano where, if it erupted, I could see nothing through the rainclouds until the boulders smashed into the fancy restaurants which surrounded me, thinking it perfectly okay to charge eight dollars US for a plate of food in a self-proclaimed third-word country which even in the states would be a rip-off.

thank you.


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