Dear Masta Pate,
I’m going to an EDM show tomorrow. Some of my fellow attendees are old friends. Others are new to me. I’m nervous about hanging out with new ladies. I really want them to like me.
Which brings me back to our first EDM show. I was so nervous. You were a new lady and I really wanted you to like me. You are younger than me, but it was clear you’d already lived several lifetimes. I’ve always been a little slow on the uptake.
You were brash and loud and having a fucking great time, no matter what. You’ve got a lot of great things going for you. You’re endlessly forgiving, you assume the best of people, you’re fiercely loyal, you’re self-sacrificing. But that’s my favorite thing about you. You’re having such a good time no matter what is happening that the people around you can’t help but have a good time too. That’s what my socially anxious and overthinking ass needs.
I didn’t know you or Betty (named changed to protect the innocent) well at all when I agreed to drive from Birmingham to Atlanta to see bands I’d never heard of. I think I’ve listened to Pretty Lights twice since then, Bassnectar one time, and Beats Antique considerably more.
I wasn’t signing up for the concert. I wanted an adventure. I wanted to make friends.
This is going to sound like melodrama when I say it but I think you know it’s true. I was really lonely when I met you. I remember the moment, which is super rare for me. It was my first Birmingham Philosophy Club meeting. I told myself I was there to make friends, but five years later I can be real about how much it helped jump-start my friend making that a super hot Jewfro fauxhawked Russian guy in a Rothbard tee shirt who I’d later move to D.C. with had invited me.
I was married and working an office job and living in the suburbs and trying to find my people, but they just weren’t there. I went to Ladies Club of Forest Lakes meetings and endured learning how to decorate for the holidays and listening to women complain about childcare and their lawns. Did you know that in that year not once did we talk about what a stateless society would look like?
I had amazing work friends, but at the end of the day they went home to their husbands and their friends and I watched a lot of TV.
I wish I could say it was love at first sight. But to be completely honest, my first thought about you in Philosophy Club was, “Why is this bitch talking so much?”
I figured it out later. You were talking so much because you were there to learn. You don’t show up places to look good or be seen. You don’t hold back because you’re scared of what people will think about you. If you’re having a discussion about philosophy, you’re having a discussion about philosophy. If you have a question you’re going to fucking ask it, because that’s what you came for. And you’ll be fucked if you’re going to leave without trying your best to get what you came for. I don’t know what to call that. Maybe it’s being present? You’re somehow both self-aware and un- self-conscious. But it’s my second favorite thing about you.
Anyway, the point is that trip really set in motion of the great loves of my life. I’m a shitty friend and terrible at long distance, but you are fucking amazing and I’m so happy to know you.
So while I’m nervous about tomorrow, I’m also so, so grateful for that weekend. I’m grateful for the flirting with boys at the gas station going in and tailgating beforehand. I’m grateful for the offers of drugs from guys in animal suits. I remember being annoyed in the moment because we had to wait in line forever to pay huge amounts of money for Bud Light. There were a bunch of those moments. But when I look back on that weekend, they’re all fuzzy and inconsequential. Because that weekend gave birth to one of the most important friendships of my life.
I learned at that EDM show that the mind can produce some CRAZY visuals that are breathtakingly beautiful and that acid turns my anxiety up to 11. And that molly plus acid makes taking a shower with your friend seem like a great idea and that you know what? IT TOTALLY IS.
Love you so much Masta.