Dilly Dallying Through Seattle

Hemming and hawing its way through the back of my mind was a story about a witch coven, or at the very least a bar nestled somewhere close-by and run by witches. The details of which I was keeping to myself in hopes that I could make one fiction story last to the end without jinxing it–just once, please.

In the midst of my thoughts about crystals, alchemy and witchcraft I was dealing with swarms of doubt not surrounded by my entirely fictitious concerns for the world of magic. This doubt was central to a recent loss in the family, and that I might have finally lost touch with a side of the family tethered to distant memories of my childhood that somehow made my childhood still feel rosy. Uncle Grady was very much my every summer for years. Now that he’s gone, few remain that are tied to that part of my past. And as that circle shrinks smaller and smaller with time, I wonder what’s really left for me all the way back at home. Am I better off so far away now? Is it horrible of me to even consider these things?

“Imagining that the show would feel like a bit much today, yeah?” was a message I received the next morning, before I was fully awake, from my friend Savannah. A few hours later I responded that I need it. A few moments later, I got messages about angry girls and their bands, and I convinced myself to get ready for the event later into the evening donned in a comfy sweater and cat-eye makeup with gold glitter on my eyelids. Something feisty, something glamorous, something perfect for the night ahead.

It started with a decision to stop for food before heading inside the dive bar where three bands would play. We got potato salad–somewhat of a Germanic influence. I tried the veggie burger, Savannah tried the BLT. The place was off of Ballard and known as the “People’s Pub.” It was just us, two people at a bar not talking, and a large group of women chatting over what looked like several mystery shots and grilled cheese sandwiches with tomato soup. They were laughing and chuckling and we were staring at our watches in anticipation for the time to grow closer. We finished our food and walked two doors down to the little hole-in-the-wall bar that stamped us with the image of a drunk penguin on our wrists for admittance to the backroom.

If you’ve ever been to the Masquerade in Atlanta, it might be easy to picture the stage-size of Purgatory. This Seattle bar’s stage wasn’t much bigger, but the room had no chairs or tables to hinder the ability to stand and enjoy. (Unlike the Atlanta venue where the recycled tables and chairs are shoved in that room with the side-stage that they stick bands not talented enough yet to perform in Heaven or Hell.) The opening act in this Seattle bar was a smaller band with three guys who sounded an awful lot like a garage band version of Krill or Johnny Hobo or something else I can’t quite place but I know I’ve heard before with less diversion from the guitar, bass and drum kit than the inspired–and trying to rock hard with lips pressed firmly against a microphone that had likely seen even more action earlier in the week. But right now it’s a Wednesday evening, and no one cares where that mic has been or where they’re going with hands balancing glasses of water and shots of whiskey to pass the time. And I had already consumed one whiskey sour by then–as had Savannah.

Next in line were the ones we had all appeared for: Powwers and Dilly Dally. Both of which are bands with female leads and feisty, raw lyrics and hardcore screams and pleads between verses. The music was reverberating off of the walls. At times it felt like you could feel the sound waves move through you same as if you were to lay face-up on a beach right at the tide and feel the water tickle its way up and down your legs and spine in a pattern that calmed and chilled you.

Savannah would disappear some throughout the night–sometimes with a fireball shot, sometimes with a new whiskey sour, sometimes with just more water and a beer. When her hands were free, she would grab mine and intertwine our fingers as she arrhythmical-y danced along. My dancing would gradually increase as the night and alcohol progressed from rhythmic (because I’m not tone deaf or rhythmically-challenged like her) head-bobbing to more swaying and moving like a puppet on loose strings. We weren’t alone.

We both felt the buzz without the pain, and I remember feeling like an angry female listening to angry (and sometimes more angsty) females with my gold glitter eye-shadow and hurling a fireball or two with ease. I remember feeling stronger and less like I was brooding in an apartment upset about a lot of things that I couldn’t control like family obligation, negligence and death. I remember thanking God to be there, to feel something else, and to feel like I was out and whole again.

This fire, this fire, this fire, desire
This fire, this fire, this fire, desire
This fire, this fire, this fire, desire
Desire, inside her
It’s calling all my ladies


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