"Hi, we're Los Coyotes and we've been a band for about three hours."
Those 13 words kicked off what would become an evening full of acoustic improvs, free-form drumming, ridiculous white-boy rap battles, cute coffeehouse girls and a complementary pot of green tea. It was just the kind of random weekend shindig I'd been searching for.
It's been so long since I've been a part of any local scene that I had completely forgotten what it felt like to be surrounded by that kind of kindness, support, unity and love - it's what my heart has been yearning for all along. I spent three years off in my own little world, hating everyone and everything for my own stupid reasons; it feels so good to once again be amongst the company of old friends, and new strangers as well.
* * *
I ran into Tyler's older brother last week while I was at work. I don't know if he recognized me, but I told him to give Ty a shout for me. Last night he came in again. We didn't speak to each other, but as he left he called out: "By the way, I told Tyler you said hi."
It didn't mean much maybe, but it made me smile.
Ironically, Tyler and his girlfriend popped in later that evening. He recognized me right away, which I found surprising since we hadn't seen each other since . . . what, 8th grade? Jesus, has it really been that long?
We had a nice short chat about work and the future - you know, typical "catch-up" stuff. He told me he would stop by more often now to chat.
Such nice kids . . . it seems I was the only one who changed.
* * *
After the Los Coyotes show, we all moved into the parking lot outside Jack in the Box. We packed the van, begged for rides home and talked about future shows.
"Dude, you totally made the show with us," Zach said afterwards. "We'll be back next Saturday. You should join us."
I didn't have the heart to tell him I'd be out of town this upcoming weekend, but we swapped phone numbers anyway. As souvenirs, I got Zach's drumsticks (from when he threw them into the crowd) and a small candle from the main stage.
I have become such a concert whore lately, tee hee. My current inventory includes drumsticks, broken guitar picks, spare change, ripped posters, empty bottles. Now I can add more drumsticks and a candle. I should build a shrine, maybe. Then take a picture and use it as an album cover, just like Social Distortion and Jane's Addiction and X used to do.
Before everyone left, we all placed our hands into a circle.
"What should we toast to?" someone asked.
"Los Coyotes!" I said.
"Los Coyotes!" everyone yelled, and then we threw our hands into the sky and howled at the moon, laughing our heads off. Every person in that parking lot walked away with a smile on their face, myself included.
And for the briefest of moments, it didn't matter where we came from, or why everything was falling apart. It still doesn't, we are all better than the circumstance.
"Ladies and gentlemen, the world is ours. Happiness . . . it feels just as good as I had imagined it would."