Many thanks, for your patience and indulgence as I continue to wrestle with family health drama. Almost two weeks ago, I started to tell you about my experience at LIFEspot, and then left you hanging on the cliff. It's high time we picked up where we left off -- which is exactly when things got weird, in beautiful, creative and surprising ways.
Upon entering the venue proper, I was immediately reminded of nothing so much as a cross between my high school commons area and a roller skating rink. The bland, institutional decor, the stage set too high for the size of the room and the prominent snack bar all transported me to a simpler, more miserable time I like to call, "my teenage years."
Something about LIFEspot, however, was very different from my adolescent experience. The teenaged me - poseur rebel in a farm town best known for its fried chicken and A&W carhops - would have admired and been intimidated by the retail-worldly suburban teens who almost literally filled the room. Fashions - both genuinely daring and Hot Topic-approved - were paraded proudly. Flesh was bared. Androgyny was embraced. And in the "more goth than you'll ever be" category, one girl, from whom we kept a safe distance, held a large pet snake -yes, a snake! - draped over her shoulders. Teenaged me would have wanted these cool kids to be his friends (well, maybe not the snake girl), but wouldn't have had the nerve to talk to any of them.
What was most remarkable about the scene, however, was that this permissive, creative and teen-friendly environment - where everyone seemed to feel free to express their whole weird selves - was administered, supervised, enabled, condoned and made possible by a bunch of parents, presumably associated with St. Andrew Methodist Church. As I watched a parent behind the snack bar smilingly serve up a slice of pizza to a caffeine-and-corn-syrup addled adolescent, I had to remind myself that all of my prejudices about teenagers and high schools and church people were, at best, gross generalizations and, at worst, outright fictions.
I had come, however, to hear some music. That, too, would turn out to be a delightfully weird experience.
...to be continued, yet again, in a later edition of the Mile High Makeout.
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