July 19, 2003

The heat finally broke last night, at least temporarily. I was en route to Prospect Park to catch the free concert by Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks, looking forward to the show but not particularly caring whether I would ever make it there (ugh, free concerts, summer, crowds, ugh). When I got off the 2 at the wrong end of Prospect Park I didn't give a shit; the sun was going down and the lamplit footpaths of the park were deserted and freakishly quiet but I didn't give a shit; it started pouring but the rain felt great and the grass on the empty fields glowed with the lightning against it and really it was so nice it could have been out in the country somewhere and not half a mile from the Crown Heights bodegas and housing projects. I wanted to lie down in the field and listen to the hissing and the thundercracks, rest my feet, clear my head, but I heard a PA system blaring from far away and even though I'd decided I'd rather Choon In To The New Age Sounds of Nature Mang than hang out with some aging indie cornballs, I followed the sound until I found the source. By the time I got to the bandshell (20 minutes later), "Vanessa From Queens" was just beginning -- my favorite song on Pig Lib, perfectly timed for my grand entrance. The crowd was delirious and exhilarated and very few of the kids had umbrellas. People were standing on chairs, splashing in puddles, dangling off railings, crashing gates, feeling altogether giddy and groovy. I didn't want the rain to stop and I was a little sad when it did. Who knows, maybe I am a hippie?