Chris DeLine

Cedar Rapids, IA

311 in an Alley

Published in Blog.

I walked into a music festival, only it was in an alley. The construction holding the stage and surrounding booths together was terribly poor, and in many situations used garbage pieces of wood. It looked rough. After a band I didn’t recognize left, 311 took the stage, only the band had taken a different direction, letting one of their old friends “sing,” while Nick Hexum sorta just danced in the background. He could not sing well, and admitted this numerous times — even during songs — but they kept letting him go on, song after song. As he did the already tiny crowd continued thinning out. Dozens of people became a handful.

I was standing at a distance, preparing to leave, myself, when I saw a woman exit the crowd. She was wearing orange hot pants and was a little tipsy. I used to live next door to her and recognized her because she works at the YMCA I go to. She looked happier drunk — as many drunk people do — but also healthier. A little more tan. Cute. As she walked past me I left the show, but quickly remembered I was supposed to meet my dad at KFC — which, by that time, I was running about an hour late to. I was a little drunk, as well, and tried looking up the location on my phone but was having an issue typing “KFC.”

I walked as quickly as I could in what I felt was the correct general direction. Then, instead of seeing the map, I saw that the girl in the orange shorts had had my phone at some point in time. There were photos she’d taken of herself in one of the wooden make-shift outhouses at the festival. Nothing dirty, just her smiling. How on earth did she get my phone? When did this happen? What does this mean? Is she mocking me? It was frustrating and comforting at the very same time.

Then I received a text from my dad saying no one else was going to be at KFC. A wave of relief rushed over me, though I kept walking anyways because how awesome is fried chicken when you’re drunk?