Inspired by Heathenfest (with Eluveitie, Belphegor, Alestorm, Kivimetsan Druidi, and Vreid) here are some rough guidelines Lily and I came up with while not screaming, drinking, or getting kicked in the back. These are not really instructions, since most people at metal shows already follow these guidelines and are shockingly nice, but rather observations based on the average cordial metalhead's show behaviour.
-- Be friendly! Everyone here is probably awesome.
-- Identify your needs for the evening and situate yourself accordingly. If you just want to chill against the wall and listen, find that area. If you feel like going completely batshit insane, there's an area for you, too!
-- Don't be too sensitive. Even if you're on the calmest sideline, you might be accosted by someone's elbow. They probably didn't mean it.
-- Watch out for girls
-- Some girls want to be in the very centre of the craziest section of the pit. Watch out for them anyway.
-- People in the pit want to be on the pit; people who don't want to in the pit aren't in the pit. Don't shove someone in against their will (unless they're saying no with their lips but yes with their eyes).
-- People on the very edge of the pit should be treated like the bumpers in a pinball game.
-- If a dude goes down while in the pit, at least two, and preferably four, other dudes nearest to him must stop what they are doing and help him up.
-- If a girl goes down in the pit, everyone stops what they are doing until she is safely returned to an upright position.
--If a girl gets sucked into the pit against her will, use any means necessary to get her back out again, up to and including bodily throwing her to safely. (This actually happened to me).
-- Official security guards are almost invariably dicks. Don't incur their wrath.
-- Metal dudes who are working security are awesome. Buy them a drink.
-- If you're the biggest dude around and there's no security in sight, congratulations. You are now security. Sorry about that.
-- This is a tricky one, and hard to manage, but we appreciate it so much when it happens: pay attention to your comrade's footwear. Some are wearing steel-toed boots; some threadbare chucks. Try not to land directly on the feet of the poorer shod.
-- And finally, thank you all for taking the time to carefully groom before the show. While Lily and I were getting crushed and kicked and elbowed in the face during Alestorm, all we could smell was clean shampoo, deodorant, and fresh sweat. Awesome. Keep up the good work.
Way back in the middle of June, I got a shit-ton of paperwork from my ex-husband's lawyer. After the agonizing wait for the year-long separation to run out, the time had officially come to file for divorce. I read through all the forms, scrawled my illegible signature across each one, and got them notarized. I sent them off the day before I left to spend a month in Los Angeles. While away, my ex sent me an email to let me know that the papers had been received and formally filed on July 12th, my twenty-sixth birthday. In a mere six weeks, the process should have been complete.
Four months passed. Because he had to file in the summer, most people working for the family court system were on vacation. This led to a huge backlog of paperwork and ridiculous wait times. All because every judge in that godforsaken city decided to spend six weeks at the cottage instead of placing three stamps and a signature on my divorce papers. Every day I would check the mailbox, and no matter what other goodies might be in there for me, I'd always swear a little under my breath when once again, my divorce judgment failed to show up.
And then, today, the Day of the Dead, after a very full weekend of Halloween-related debauchery, it finally arrived in a nondescript white envelope. The paperwork that officially severed my last remaining legal connection to my ex-husband.
I proceeded to pour myself an awful lot of bourbon over ice and am going to get blazing drunk. I can't imagine a more logical or appropriate course of action.
The process not completely over. 31 days after the judgment was granted, I can request a copy of my Certificate of Divorce, the last bit of paperwork that will ever need to be processed in the matter and something I will need if I ever want to get married again (ha. ha.). But the judgment is the important thing, the formal degree that the marriage I once had has been dissolved.
Because here's the thing: while I've been using the term ex-husband since Ed and I separated, we've still been married. We've been completely autonomous, completely apart, since I got on a plane at the end of June last year, and as more time and geographical distance elapsed and I started to scab and scar over. But the feeling of being somehow still being bound to another person that I would be perfectly content to never see or speak to again was deeply uncomfortable, and the wait has been awful.
I expected to want to celebrate. I expected to do an undignified dance and invite everyone I know out to drink with me. It's a kind of freedom, to be sure, but even more so it feels like a cauterization. An old wound that might have eventually gone bad has been reopened so it can finally heal. This is good; it also hurts like a motherfucker.
I have a high pain tolerance. Winter is almost here. Its the Day of the Dead. I'm ready.
Labels: Le Divorce