Straight Edge Guy at Concert Really Wants to Talk With You

(Columbus, OH) Picture this. It is the before times and you are at a concert for a band that you are both anxious and excited to see. Excited because you like their music and concerts are fun. Anxious because you haven’t listened to them, truly listened to the, since you were a teenager and the more lyrics you start to remember, the more anxious you become. It is right at this point of peak anxiety that a man in a black t-shirt walks up to you and starts to talk to you. As his words begin to wash over you, you notice the X on his hand.

“Hey, my name is Lewis. Are you a fan?”

“What?” you shout back, unable to hear anything over the sound of the pre-show DJ.

“Are you a fan of this band? I just don’t see many people like you at these shows, it’s kind of refreshing.”

“Yeah, I mean, I’m at the show aren’t I? Has anyone asked you if you were a fan?”

“Listen, I can’t hear shit. Can we go somewhere quieter?” He finally asks, gesturing toward a door.

Unsure but not totally turned off, you follow him outside to find out more about this weirdly aggressive boy. He takes you outside to a patio where people are smoking and you immediately see on his face that he is feeling physically ill at the smell.

“Not a smoker I take it?” You ask.

“No, it’s not for me,” he replies, holding his shirt over his mouth, proudly displaying his X. “I’ve been straight for awhile now. None of that for me. In fact, that’s actually why I wanted to talk with you. Are you familiar with the straight edge movement?”

“I mean, kind of, but it’s not really my thing. I like having something to help me unwind or cut loose a little bit.”

“Oh sure, I totally get that. But what if I told you that you don’t need any of that to feel good? What if I told you that all of these people here are decoys set here by me to trap you and take you away to my farm, where we will force you to be straight edge? Ever thought about that?”

“Well, now I am. Jesus. Is that your plan? Is that why you talked to me? I was just trying to be nice.”

Everyone on the patio extinguishes their cigarettes and stares directly at you. They answer in unison, “No point in resisting us now.”

The next thing you know, you are waking up to the sound of a rooster crowing. You look around you and don’t recognize anything or know how you got there.

You glance down and notice a black X on your hand.


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