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  • Writer's pictureNemi

Falling Behind...

It feels as though the nights have zoomed past me, as they tend to do these days. The summer days are slowly coming to an end and pumpkin everything will be ushered in sooner than later. I'm not sure if I should be upset at the Native Americans for this pumpkin pie blunder or the British for not understanding the apple pie assignment; I doubt anyone really broke bread and celebrated as one, back in the early 1600's as we're led to believe, though it does make for a good story in many books.

I know, I know, no one decided to cozy on up to their phone or computer screen to read a history lesson brought to you by your favorite African guy. Now, come to think of it, I might be the only African guy in most of your lives, so by default I am your favorite. Again, I'm assuming and we know what happens when I assume (I'm usually right).

The last time, I viewed live music was back in August of 2019 and to be completely fair, I was merely going through the motions, as I so often do. We get tickets, we pick and choose who we want to see during the course of the weekend, we eat, drink, laugh, talk ish, and hate the long walks to and from our flat, in San Francisco. Maybe I'm just gettin' old but then again, maybe within the last ten years or so of festival life, I have an appreciation of not doing so much walking if I don't need to. Yep, I'm just getting lazy, age has nothing to do with it!

An opportunity recently presented itself for me to venture to Denver, CO to see the iconic rap group, the Wu-Tang Clan who were being accompanied by the Denver Symphony Orchestra, for a live performance of Enter The Wu-Tang, 36 Chambers. Now, when I type 'opportunity', I mean, I was told I had one option and that was to go, due to the fact my ticket had already been purchased for the show.

I tried not to go for about five minutes and then I quickly came to the realization that my buddy had already mapped out all of my excuses and escape routes. Am I becoming predictable with my want to stay home? Hmmmm... We'll circle back to this at a later date and time. My buddy Bobby, aka Pickle Rick, aka The American Transporter, aka Mr. Crusty Heels, aka Bald Bobby, aka Honey B, aka Robert Facebook, aka, Grizzly Fest Rick, aka The Smacker, also selected my seats on the plane too and all I needed to do was show up for the flight.

For those of you who have zero idea about how I pack for a trip, I'll fill you in on a little secret. I tend to pack my bags very very very late at night or even a few hours before I leave for a trip. There's something to be said about this pressure and I'm not sure it's the best or worst thing in the world. To be completely honest, it's a bad habit and really annoying but hey, it's just me; I'm sure a wife or girlfriend would roll their eyes and bite their tongue at my process. "Baaaabe, you'll thank me later. Yes, yes, I'm bringing all of these chargers and the Nintendo too... Okay, not the Nintendo". I digress.

The timeframe from, "Hey we're going to Denver, for this show" to "Damn, we're really in Denver for this show" seemed like it took place within the blink of an eye. All of the anticipation of not only seeing Wu-Tang perform but seeing them in a venue such as The Red Rocks Amphitheatre seemed a bit overwhelming, when considering we're in a pandemic and a lot of folks don't care about their fellow human. Either way, there was no turning back, we were in Denver and committed to being a part of something memorable. Yes, we wore our masks and yes, there were probably people there with all sorts of ailments; I'm pretty sure those folks were at the top of the venue!

As the crowd filled in and the show got underway, I knew this was going to be a night unlike any other I had been a part of in recent memory. It was about an hour before we started our trek into the venue, we received word that one of my buddies had passed away in the Bay Area. The news came through text and I called a friend in the Bay to confirm the news and he informed me that he couldn't tell me the news wasn't true.

I'm not sure if anything prepares one for the news of death, especially unexpected death. I didn't want to go into the show, Bobby knew this but there we were at the foot of a place we'd dreamed of walking into one day. The losses seem to be taking place more frequently now, the tears feel as though more more persistent these past few weeks. In retrospect, we were all walking into a place we'd hoped to find comfort in at some point. I hope to find you above, my good brother, as do many others who mourn your loss.

I'm FALLING BEHIND in being better at my craft, better in life. Red Rocks was everything I dreamed of it to be, the crowd was massive, the atmosphere and sound were perfect. We were touched with something special and new memories were created all the while thinking of moments I never circled around to or finalized.

My phone has messages of failed meetups between me and my buddy, you know the ones, "When I'm in town, I'll message" or "Let me know when you're around", there's years of that which I won't erase but hopefully use as a guide to be more intentional.

Red Rocks was memorable in so many ways.

There was a film crew there interviewing concert goers for a documentary of the event and as fate would have it, I was picked out of a group of folks standing in line, again, fate being Bobby pointing at me and letting the camera crew know that I'm a real fan.

As the interview started the words flowed easily as did the memories of how long I've been following the group. My parents always taught me never to be afraid and there I stood not afraid to share the why...

I'm afraid of the lack of closure, the lack of being able to say goodbye; I type this knowing that tomorrow isn't promised and if tonight is it for me, just know that any time we've shared together has been real.

Peace and Light

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