For One Night, I Was Young Again

There was a time when I thought nothing of going out at 10PM to start my night out. These days, if it is dark out, regardless of the actual time, even during a solar eclipse in the middle of the day, I want to go to bed. Last week, I was experiencing some anxiety about heading into Chicago on a work night to go see a punk rock concert with my son. It seemed so wrong on so many levels for someone my age.

But I sucked it up and drove to Chicago during rush hour. To my surprise and relief, I made it on time! My son advised me we were going to take a bus. I had never ridden a Chicago Transit Authority bus. In fact, we were supposed to take the very bus that was half a block away and about to leave. We ran, and I felt young and fast once again as we caught the bus. My balky left knee not only held up, but it felt better than ever after the short sprint. As we entered the bus, I wondered how many altercations I would be in as we rode. I had prepared for the evening by not shaving for a few days in a futile effort to look tougher. As it turned out, we didn’t get in even one scrape, although I swear a matronly grandmother gave me the stinkeye as I snagged the last open seat before she did.

We had a casual, relaxing meal before the concert, but my anxiety rose again as we walked to the concert hall. This would be a concert by the Australian punk trio The Chats. If that name sounds familiar, you may have been one of a couple people who read my post about their latest release. I figured I would be the oldest in the concert, but it turned out there were plenty of olds at the show. Being a senior with hearing loss was probably good. The Chats were loud. Take a listen.

That’s not a message to their fans above the stage but the name of their latest album. They seemed nice.

I enjoyed the evening, mostly the time I spent with my son and the experience of a punk show. As for The Chats themselves, I enjoy their recordings more than I did their concert performance. They blasted through 29 songs in under an hour. It was often difficult for me to tell where one song ended and the next started. And I was disappointed when the lead singer spit … off to the side of the stage and not into the crowd. That’s more polite than punk.

The best part of the evening for me was definitely the bus run. Before that unplanned sprint, my left knee was sore with limited range of motion. It was almost like that run tore away scar tissue that limited my movement. My knee isn’t perfect now, but it is so much better that I was even able to bend my knee enough to trim my own toenails. That’s good, because my wife claimed she wasn’t comfortable using my angle grinder to give my little piggies a trim.


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