'The ASBO Chronicles' ask what we have to offer beyond the limits of our own experience. What does it mean to live well? These are moments in time - chronicles of a self-proclaimed Antisocial Behavior (dis)Order.
I'm hot, literally and figuratively.
It's Saturday afternoon in late July, and it's hot as balls and humid as hell. The sun is mercilessly beating down on my head, but every 90 minutes or so it also starts pissing down rain. It comes as no surprise then that the ground is a pen of slop; they're fencing us in like chickens in a coop. Pigeonheads come home to roost.
The gin and tonics that Richard and I backed in the Uber on the way here are kicking in, compounding the heat and my frustration. I'd bolted out of the car about a mile from the entrance, scurrying over a hill and then down a grassy knoll to pop a squat. Richard has hopped out of the car too and is waiting around the bend, so we walked the rest of the way onto Randall's Island together.
I prattle on and on about last night's dream, until we're strolling past a line of a hundred cops with rifles and shotguns slung across their chests. I look nervously over at Richard repeatedly as we walk past them, not-so-subtly stuffing the baggie deeper between my bra and the underside of my breast. Richard catches my glance.
"They're not worried about you, ya know," he says with a smile. I cut my eyes at him skeptically. "If they were busting everyone bringing drugs inside, there'd be no one left at the festival."
My Huaraches are already destroyed, but every step brings us closer to Lil Wayne, and we forge ahead, safely inside now, linking up at the entrance with a few other friends.
"Let's stop here for a gin," I say tugging at the corner of Richard's tee. We divert course for the quick detour and, cocktails secured, pivot to continue our muddy sojourn to the main stage.
"You can't leave with those," said a hefty security guard, lifting his arm to block our exit from the "booze section." I'm confused. And then look around to notice that, yes, we are in fact cooped up chickens yet again.
We find a quiet corner to down our drinks. A random raver saunters over to us, tall, tan, shirtless and wearing a water bottle as a backpack.
"Wayne's not coming," he mumbles, leaning over, his chin sweat mixing with a tiny trickle of spit. "What?!" I reply.
"Wayne. Lil Wayne. He's not coming."
"Are you serious? How do you know?!"
"I know," he says, definitively, and then wanders away. Instantly, I believe him.
Richard keeps hope alive. "Come on," he urges me, upbeat. "He might still show up. Let's move closer."
We toss our empty cups away, but before making moves it's important to thwart the impending disappointment. It settles over me like a Northern Cali fog, my most formidable foe, and consistent friend.
I break away from everyone and slink back to the edge of the pigeon-person coop, perching my bag on the ledge. I reach inside and remove two perfect pills from my purple patent wallet. Popping the capsule open in half, I pour the contents of one into Richard's water bottle and the other into my own, discarding the gelatin casings on the ground. I shake it, taking a few sips.
It's 6:10 p.m. and the screen behind the stage comes to life suddenly, making the announcement. A collective "awwghh" sound rumbles across the grounds. "Due to weather conditions, Lil Wayne's flight has been delayed and he is unable to perform tonight. He was looking forward to performing for his NYC fans and plans to come back as soon as possible."
He performs at a strip club with 2Chainz later the same night. This water tastes like shit.
Suddenly, I am extremely hungry. Starving, in fact. I embark on a solo mission to the pizza line and wait, drink my water, check Instagram, text Chase who's on his way, light a cigarette and smoke it, text Warren that Wayne is a no-show, pay for my slice. I take two bites before being repulsed by the smell, realizing that if I don't get this pizza away from my face now there's a solid chance that I might vomit.
Luckily, my friends find me again mid-shouting with my favorite twin DJs, Angel and Dren. I am screaming. They are both lovely, calm and impeccably dressed. And helpful, offering to take something out of my hands as I try to hold my water, smoke a cigarette, dig through my purse, talk on the phone, and hurl the slice of pizza away like a grenade.
"I mean, I wish I could have my nipples out!" I yell. "I'd enjoy nothing better than that. My breasts are just too big! If I don't wear a bra these days, it isn't cute. I'm telling you...not cute!"
"But remember that time in Paris?" Dren recalls. "You had on that lingerie..."
Lauren and Richard walk up from behind me just in time, rescuing the twins. We trudge through the mud again and reunite with the rest of our group, laying out straw mats on a little hill overlooking the empty stage. Richard and I lean back, legs kicked out in opposite directions, our heads side by side, looking up at the sky.
"My ex says I walk like Conor McGregor," I say. "You don't," Richard laughs.
"The thing is," I say, "there are no stars in New York. Like, when I was in the Vineyard I looked up at the night sky and was like, oh shit, STARS! I had completely forgotten that stars exist."
"I know," Richard says, "but you know, the thing about New York is, it's full of the most amazing people. These talented, exceptional, interesting humans, doing and creating the most important things. It's a different kind of natural beauty. Maybe in New York, the people are stars."
"I think you must be right," I whisper.
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