A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z #

Patrick Roche

"The Red Tour, March 29th, 2013"

When you are at a Taylor Swift concert at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey
And you are alone
And you are surrounded by girls between the ages of 12 and 16
(With the occasional father chaperone interspersed, sitting down
And on his 3rd beer before the opening act,
Trying to forget this night before it starts)
And you are a 21-year-old male

Wear the shirt that you bought in the lobby, the one where Taylor is pressed onto the front in
orange, on fire, guitar slung to her waist
Fix your glasses, your hair, pop a breath mint
This is your night
Do not sit down. Not once. You are short and teenage girls are taller than you
The seat is uncomfortable anyway

When her silhouette appears, shadowed onto the curtain which will in a moment fall
To her feet in humility
As she stands, feet shoulder-width apart, one hand on her waist, the other holding the
microphone at a 45 degree angle upward from her mouth, her neck arching back, her voice flying
to the rafters or to the sky or to God
Breaking into the first notes of “State of Grace,” the opening track from this album, her magnum opus
Lose your f*cking mind

When she hurtles through “Holy Ground,” possibly your favorite song on the album
Lose your voice
And darlin’ it was good
Never looking down
And right there where we stood
Was holy ground


Even when the teenage girls around you pretend they’re too cool to dance along or show any
emotion (despite mouthing along to every word)
Because they think they’re above all of this
(Despite their skeletons clearly clawing out of their skin to swarm the stage)
Do not remember that adolescent fear, how to hide every pleasure or joy
Instead, remember all the boys you did not kiss in high school
Remember the CDs (Taylor Swift, Christina Aguilera, P!nk, Kelly Clarkson) that you hid
Under your bed and only listened to when your mother was at the supermarket
Remember how you loved to dance but never would
Remember how you hated the way you loved and who you loved

Remember who taught you how to love
How to hold a boy’s name under your tongue and whisper it to the rain
Remember whose music you memorized

And when she erupts into the bridge of “All Too Well,” seated at the red piano,
Cry, and remember you once kissed a boy in public and the world did not crumble
Remember how this woman’s songs taught you that love is wild and beautiful and red

And don’t you ever forget the words. Ever.

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z #


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