Dancing With The Devil ch.4 - U2 Feedback

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Old 01-06-2011, 08:49 PM   #1
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Dancing With The Devil ch.4

I had to do revision and squish togther two chapters. I suppose it doesn't matter because the story's just started...
It's a chapter pretty typical of my writing style- something that you can't skip over but can't read entirely.
I doubt there was a chance of this happening.

There are two tickets in the mailbox this morning.
I bring them inside with the morning news and flip them out on the kitchen table. Lina halts in drinking her coffee and stares up at me with a what-the-f*** expression on her face.
I swallow and say, “Do you want to see U2 again?”
She springs up and hugs me around the neck. “Where’d you get these?!”
Pleased that Lina likes it, I answer, “Some guy from the Zoo TV crew called me last night after the show ended, I guess…. He wanted to explain about the previous call and he said he’d send me two VIP tickets.”
Personally I am surprised they’ve gotten here this fast. It makes me wonder if Eric went directly to my address instead of mailing it… but there appears to be a stamp on it.
Lina examines the tickets with a careful eye. “How are you possibly going to be able to go tonight? You have to work.”
Well. I haven’t thought of that yet. By the time I get out of work the show will just be beginning. I’d never make it there in time.
“I can call in sick...”
“No,” Lina says, sighing. “You can’t miss any more of work. You still don’t have much money…”
“But I worked an extended shift last night!” I splutter. “And that was last year… Lina, don’t you want to see U2 as well?”
She takes a deep sip of her coffee before answering. Lina has to have her coffee every morning, although she dislikes the taste. I wait and watch her. She keeps one eye fixed on me.
Finally she swallows and says, “I don’t think I can take three nights of Zoo TV.”
“But…” Lina raises one eyebrow. Suddenly I don’t want to continue. I say nothing else and sit down, pouring myself a bowl of cereal.
“Take someone from the airport if you want,” she murmurs, opening the paper.
Wait…? What does she want?
“Um… do you want me to go tonight or not?” I ask, confused.
Lina slams the paper down. “Oh, what the hell, Marieke! Go where you want to. Do whatever you want with those tickets. I really don’t care.” She gently raises the paper again and resumes reading.
Now what? I am sitting here at the table, unsure of what to do. Finally I take a bite of my cereal. We finish breakfast in silence, and in my head I debate what I want to do with the tickets. Obviously now I can’t go, if Lina won’t come with me…
As I put on my shoes to go out the door, Lina asks, “What did you decide?”
“I know two coworkers who could use some enlightenment,” I mumble, and head out.
Down the stairs. Out the door. Into the car with the two tickets in my pocket. I drive down the road, thinking of nothing. The sun flashes in my face.
And here I am at the airport. I enter the worker’s door and stride through. It’ll be a long day here… good things I have alternating shifts.
My mind is turning as I take calls for the first half of the day. I work two shifts at the airport, one in the morning and one at night. Usually the later shifts belong to someone else, but last night was an exception.
I wonder if any of the other workers knew about the call I got. I want to tell them, but they won’t understand. Lina is the only other U2 fan I know in Rotterdam. However, if the stadium was packed there must have been more fans out there… right?
Lina works as a secretary. You’d think that between us we’d have enough money for a house. Ah well, some things can’t come easy… Besides, I like my flat-mate.
Then the day shift is over and I go home to eat lunch and chill. I still have not figured out what to do with the tickets. Maybe I’ll know by tonight.
***
The workers are leaving their shifts as I enter the building again. They wave and say, “Hi, Marieke,” as I pass them.
Lina didn’t come home for lunch. I haven’t seen her since this morning. Where is she? Maybe she went to eat downtown. I groan and sit in my chair. By now the tickets are burning a hole in my pocket.
Who to give them to? I’m sure that Lina doesn’t want to go. I don’t want to see this show without her. But I know no other U2 fans who would appreciate the tickets.
Damn you, Eric!
And before I know it, after a short time of taking calls someone else comes in and is standing over me. “Ahem.”
I look up and realize my shift is over. It’s the girl who didn’t come in last night. “Oh, sorry! Didn’t notice you.” I pack up and head out from the desk. As she settles herself down, inspiration strikes.
“Hey, Monique, you know the U2 show last night?”
She looks up. “Hm?”
“My favorite band, you know, they played here last night? I was wondering, would you like two tickets for their next concert? It’s tonight. I got them this morning and don’t know what to do with them.”
Monique looks on calmly. “What about you and Lina?”
“I don’t think Lina wants to go,” I say.
The phone rings. Monique picks it up and answers with downcast eyes. I wait for her to finish.
Then she hangs up and says, “Well, they’re your favorite band.”
I am about to say something else when suddenly I forget my words as her own sink in. She’s right. I’ve never seen U2 live myself. Why am I giving my chance away?
“True,” I sigh. My mind is getting confused again. “I’ll see you tomorrow.” I begin to head out.
As I leave, yet another thought occurs to me, and I reenter and tell Monique, “You missed the phone call from the show last night.”
“Huh? What?” Monique is busy now. She absently raises one eye to my face.
“Oh, never mind,” I snap, and leave her.
Driving home, I once again think about Lina. She’ll be home now. I don’t know what she wants me to do. Why won’t she come to the next show with me? I don’t think there’s any reason to say no.
Now I’ve reached the flat and am in the elevator. I think: I don’t have to give away both tickets. They don’t even have to be used.
I open the door and walk in silently. Lina is making dinner. She turns around when my shoes hit the wood floor.
“Here you are.” Her voice is welcoming me back. I smile and sit down on the couch.
“Did you ever decide what to do with the tickets?”
“Yes.” I clear my throat. “I’m going. Are you sure you can’t stand to see Zoo again?”
“Well…” Lina pauses in her work and turns around fully, propping herself up onto the counter. I note the knife in her hand that she abruptly sets down.
“I’m not going to let you go alone, you know.”
“Lina. Do you want to come or not?”
Her voice is soft. “As I see, you have two choices. Not go, or go with me.”
And with that, it looks like I’m going.
“Thanks, Lina.”
“It’s okay.” She jumps down and returns to her food. “Here, put this away for me, will you?”
We hurriedly clean up, grab some snacks, and then are off on our way to see the greatest show on Earth.
***
Luck appears to be on our sides. There seems to have been some kind of delay at the stadium, so when we arrive the first opening act is just ending. Lina and I show our tickets and are seated instantly- right in front of the stage.
I’ve got an excellent view of the scene. We’re sitting in general admission, front row. Lina presses my hand as the band plays. I squeeze back, excitement filling my veins with adrenaline.
The opening acts fly by- can’t remember who they are anyway- and then- the lights get dimmer. We sit together in silence as the rest of the audience murmurs, and then the screens light up, bringing me a shock that runs through my bones.
I’ve heard about Zoo TV. I know the basic concept. I remember that there are TV screens everywhere, showing all kinds of pictures. But I’m not fully prepared for the visual sensation that explodes from everywhere, assaulting me with sound and color.
The confusion is excellent, stringing the most bizarre sequences into one. Lina squeals and nudges me, pointing out certain messages- she’s seen this show before. I lean back and take it all in, breathe the view into my skin.
Right now I can tell that I’m never going to get rewired again.
And then- the audience cheers and I gasp as a familiar face fills the screen. A drumbeat fills the air. No, not just one- two people are on stage now. No, three! I know their names- The Edge, Adam Clayton, Larry Mullen. All as familiar as my own parents to me.
Without warning, the main screen fades to blue. And rising up to take their places in a circle, to my surprise, are the stars of the Flag of Europe. I blink, and with that a person rises up as well. The figure of a man is silhouetted against the screen now. The stars crack and fall back down the flag, disappearing. And The Edge tears into a riff I know by heart.
Zoo Station…
The man moves. He stumbles backward, and I tense, thinking he’s hurt. But it turns out to be false, and he spins around, raises one leg, and launches into the best high kicks I have ever seen by any man or woman.
Cheers erupt. Lina’s voice is loud in my ear. But I can’t think yet.
The man goose steps his way into the spotlight- and now I can’t hold my screams of excitement back. He grabs the microphone in its stand, black leather outfit throwing the light back to us, and sings. “I’m ready; I’m ready for the laughing gas…”
The show has begun.
Lina and I know every song by heart. We sing along loudly and dance. Four fast songs go by, and then it’s time to sit down for the slow One. I catch my breath in my seat, head still spinning from the words on the screens and the closeness of the band. Bono is right in front of me now. I’m excited when he sings and try to catch his eye.
“One love, one life, when it’s one need in the night…”
Lina whispers to me, “Do you like it?”
I nod fast and hard.
Then the set speeds up again, and we’re on our feet once more. We dance our way through Until The End of the World, and then…
Suddenly my eyes are trained on Adam’s fingers on the bass as one note hits the air. Just that sliver of a note is enough to have me leaping up and screaming the same word Bono is singing- although our pitches are definitely different.
“YEEEEAAAAAAH!”
Dum. Da da dum. Da da dum. The piano plays.
“All is quiet on New Year’s Day…”
Lina settles and has her eyes on me, knowing this is my favorite song by U2. I sing along with all my heart. For a moment, my life has suspended.
“It’s true, it’s true, and we can break through! Turn into; we can be one…”
Then it’s over all too fast.
The next time any more excitement comes is a few songs later into the set. Lina’s back arches and she sits up straighter, eyes glued to the stage. I recognize the chords of her own favorite U2 song. Bono sings, “If you twist and turn away…”
We’re cheering. Lina sits quietly, transfixed. I watch as the song nears an ending, and Bono starts singing part of a song I don’t know. Then, towards the very end of that, he sings softly:
“All I want is you… all I want is you…”
The sentiment sounds like it’s meant for the entire audience. The crowd even seems to hush for a second. Then all of us- every single one of us- are standing and singing it back.
“YOOOUU! ALL I WANT IS- YOOUU!” I’m a bit breathless and sing badly. Lina has tears streaming down her face. I pray the magic will never stop.
But of course it does, and the set rushes forward. And then- just when I’m thinking the best part has passed-
An organ begins its unmistakable tones. Though I know what’s going to happen now, my shock is still strong when The Edge begins the riff. Cheering simply erupts from us all. Lina smiles and rises. She’s seen this song live plenty of times before now. But this is my first time, and I scream at the top of my voice when Bono begins to sing.
“I want to run, I want to hide. I wanna tear down the walls that hold me inside!” And the video screens bombard me with Joshua Tree era footage from the eighties.
I add my voice and it seems everyone in the stadium is singing along. Nothing can compare to the power of Where The Streets Have No Name. I’m out of my mind for the entire song, screaming my brains out and choking on the tears I can’t hold back.
My life, it would seem, is complete.
But this is not so. I haven’t seen the encores yet.
???
Next chapter- encore time, with my man...
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Old 01-06-2011, 10:44 PM   #2
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What a wonderful description of Zoo TV. I especially like how you described Bono's infamous entrance!

Does he pull her up on stage, I wonder?
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Old 01-07-2011, 07:24 AM   #3
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This is making me wish I'd seen a ZooTV show all over again!

I can't believe Lina nearly said no...

This is an interesting perspective, I'm looking forward to see how things go. I saw an ad for KLM today and thought of this story.
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Old 01-07-2011, 09:39 AM   #4
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This brought me back to the first time I had seen them which was during Zoo TV and how I tried to capture his eye.
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Old 01-07-2011, 12:28 PM   #5
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Trying to make us jealous, GraceRyan?


I really love this, great that you described the whole show!
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Old 01-07-2011, 12:51 PM   #6
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Trying to make us jealous, GraceRyan?

Having been there makes me pretty darn old, so no need to be jealous!
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Old 01-07-2011, 07:16 PM   #7
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I could have been there (been kicking myself for years) and I'm not that old!

I am old enough to remember when CDs first came out, though, which was 1986-'87... I forgot to mention that earlier, since BlueSilkenSky mentioned it in the other chapter.
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Old 01-07-2011, 07:30 PM   #8
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Wow! Hey look, it's the feedback I wanted. Heh.
Thank you all! Glad you liked my descriptions...
Oh, thanks Ali, so I was right.
But the show is not quite over...
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Old 01-08-2011, 02:38 PM   #9
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This...was great. But really—how could she have almost given away her tickets? D:

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This brought me back to the first time I had seen them which was during Zoo TV and how I tried to capture his eye.
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Old 01-08-2011, 04:11 PM   #10
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I guess she was kinda annoyed that Lina didn't seem all that into it, she probably wouldn't have really done it...
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Old 01-08-2011, 04:28 PM   #11
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Ok good, that's a relief
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Old 01-21-2011, 10:21 AM   #12
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I can't believe she considered to give the tickets away! Thank God she didn't. I love the description of the show and their reactions. Makes me longing even more for a show. It sure is a wonderful experience.
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Old 01-21-2011, 06:01 PM   #13
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I wish I could see a show...
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