306. In the Air Tonight

(Saturday post! Thanks to all who chipped into the Tip Jar this week to trigger this post today instead of Tuesday! You’re making me write more, faster! -ctan)

I’ll be the first to admit (now) that a lot of the drama in my life is my own fault. What happened that night, though, I think goes beyond what I can take blame for–unless maybe I can blame myself merely for existing.

Which isn’t to say I didn’t try to blame myself somehow. Yeah, okay, whatever, I know, just tell the story. Here’s what happened.

The show was going really well: that much I remember. I liked the acoustics of the place. The crowd was into it. An energetic but not violent bunch.

We were in the encore by then. Almost done. Almost at the end of the song. Colin had dumped a bottle of water over my head. Maybe that helped. Who knows.

Ziggy had come over to my side. We were sharing his mic, almost at the lip of the stage. I had one foot on the wedge monitor there. There was some other stuff around the sides and back of the monitor, like usual. Cables and whatever, and a round black thing that I thought was part of the stage, like some kind of strut support that wasn’t in use right now. It was around the size of a soup can, with a hole in the top, like you could insert a tent pole into it or something.

We were leaning over it. We were fucking leaning over it, right at the moment it went off.

They say burning titanium flakes are safe for indoor use. You know what? Not when you get shot in the face with them.

Maybe I’m being over dramatic. I didn’t get shot directly in the face. No, the neck of the guitar and my left hand took the brunt of it, so a much smaller amount of sparks got into my eye. That’s probably why I still have my eyesight now.

Ziggy got it mostly on the arm. Unfortunately, that set his sleeve on fire. I’ve seen the video of it, since I couldn’t see anything at the time. He tried to get the shirt off, but he waited until the end of the line he was singing to let go of the mic. I know. We’re crazy. And I tried to play to the end of the song. Actually, I did play to the end of the song, so at that point no one knew how bad off I was.

They got the clue when after that last chord I gave the “cut” sign in Louis’s general direction. I took a bow and dropped to my knees. I was in too much pain to think. Cut cut cut, was all had in my head. The lights went black and I put my hands over my eyes, because closing them wasn’t enough.

Okay. What I’ll say about getting burned in the eye is that it hurts exactly as much as you imagine it would.

There are lots of things that when you see them in movies, you think, that’s gotta hurt, but when they happen to you they don’t actually feel like what you imagine. The crazy thought that went through my head as I sat there on my knees with my hands over my eyes, though, was, holy shit, that feels exactly like you think it would.

The screaming in the video is not me. It’s Courtney, who jumped out of the security pit and was the first one to get to me.

That kid is okay, you know that?

I’ll tell you about the hospital later. That’s about all I can take right now.

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