1996 Country

Bush’s Gavin Rossdale is reflected in my infant’s dark eyes. The both of us are watching MTV’s 13 Most Memorable Spring Break Moments in the middle of the afternoon. He’s so little and doesn’t see his mom in the audience. And my college roommates, our ribbed tanks and snapbacks hanging off our belt loops. We have our bathing suits on underneath our clothes. We have clear lighters hidden in our socks. Nicole wears jeans on the plane. She is a psychopath. She changes in the airport bathroom as soon as we reach Fort Lauderdale. We spend all afternoon at the beach drinking Red Dogs. I open three at once to calm down after our plane was nearly devoured in hurricane clouds. Nicole has to carve a divot in the beach for her boobs whenever she turns over. You’ll attract the worst sunburn of your life on a cloudy day and that sunburn will permanently brand a butterfly shaped clasp to you. The approaching storm threat is less of a threat and more of an omen. When the plane dropped I felt a rippling in my stomach. When the plane dropped I heard Heidi mutter a prayer under her breath. A frat boy with lotion all over his nipples is passed out over an inflatable raft behind the crowd. We saw the clouds as a black shelf from the patio earlier where we ate dinner to Cypress Hill somewhere in the background. We take half smoked roaches we bought from the mystic living under our hotel and light them right before the rain droplets start coming down. The storm smells like leather. Gavin Rossdale almost doesn’t come out on stage. A whisper travels through the crowd that the producers told him not to play, it’s too dangerous. He comes out anyway maybe because he is on drugs or we're on drugs. The heat is kicking around with water bottles at our feet and then we’re floating above them, singing the same noises at the same time. When I say I felt alive I mean before MTV’s cameras turned on, I think I had actually been dead. Something melts in the air. Sparks cackle at the extension cords, cackle like laughing. Then Gavin Rossdale is gone in a circle of light. MTV cuts out before that part but you can see, very clearly, the beginning when the white starts to appear. An in memoriam is shown on TV. A camera operator also disappeared in the light. He was born in 1978. When my baby was born, he had my same exact sunburn markings but I didn’t tell anyone. My baby fusses with a loose string on my shirt. I know how I felt on spring break is still somewhere in the background. A couple of years ago Nicole ended up murdering an actual person over a parking space in the parking lot of Kohl’s.  

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