I hit the pavement for a kid I met at Warped Tour, in a dream. He was shy, low-esteemed, spoke in mumbles. When he smiled, shadows drew toward him and amplified his laughter. He had sandy eyes, a wobbly stomach, and wore tighty-whities loose around his thighs. If he crapped, it would all wiggle out the sides.
He took me around to the shadiest pockets of East Oakland on bikes that rusted and fell to shrapnel. We carried the pieces to his place, a dark studio at the end of a crack hall. Similar to a crack house, a crack hall is one floor designated for crack in a complex filled with other shenanigans like whoring and chop-shopping and meth-making, possibly the sales of babies. He played the guitar for me, and then the drums when neighborly arguments over drugs, whores, or babies overshadowed base, tom, and cymbals.
We ended the night on a shady cot on the whore floor. The sheets were stained with blood, he explained, because his grandmother had died of ruptured hemorrhoids the day before. Talking side by side, he fled at the site of a striped spider, which he crushed upon escape.