Emma had been waiting for this, her first Pearl Jam concert, with the anticipation she used to have for Christmas mornings—with the innocent expectation of pleasure, and a greedy desire to fill her senses to capacity.

As if in collusion with her wish, Mother Nature contributed with eye candy: leafless tree silhouettes against a cobalt blue sky, and a parfait sunset of burnt caramel orange, indigo blue and chocolate brown and a clear, white crescent moon.

Later, under a darkened sky, in traffic that reminded Emma and her companions frustratedly of home, the moon became a 3-D globe. “It doesn’t look real,” Emma said.

“It looks wrong,” one companion said.

“Looks like a grapefruit,” the driver said.

“Yeah,” Emma said, “like you could just reach up and grab hold of it.”

Later, entering the northern city, Emma did a double take. “This looks like how I imagine Batman’s Gotham would look like,” she quipped, marveling at the round, high-rise buildings springing up like mushrooms with rectangles of soft light casting a glow.

Reaching their destination at last, Emma and her companions parked across from the arena and ran through the bone chilling weather to get inside before the concert started.

When Pearl Jam took the stage around 9pm, Emma rose to her feet, and there she stayed until the band left the stage for the third and last time that night. During the three hours, Emma sang, danced, was bumped into by others dancing around her, coughed at the second hand marijuana smoke, and did not stop smiling the entire time.

Senses full, she and her companions left for the long drive home. All in all, it had been a fantastical experience.








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