1. Seeing Flag live
A cliché question amongst music bores is 'best festival line-up dead or alive'. Black Flag would always be on my list. Ideally, Keith Morris would sing most of the set and Henry Rollins would sing 'My War' with Kira on bass. FLAG, a reunited Black Flag without Greg Ginn, is as close to that fantasy as I'll ever get. If you watch closely, you can see me (and my best friend next to me) getting stomped in the left corner of your screen.
This is one of my bruises the next day.
Unfortunatley, that was the least of it. The muscles on the right side of my neck got infected after being overly stressed at the gig, so I ended up in the emergency room at the hospital a few days later.
They fitted me with a neck brace and I was zonked out on muscle relaxers, painkillers and antibiotics for a few days. ("Some day, I'll feel no pain .. They'll take away the part that hurts and let the rest remain.")
2. Hanging with my friends
Despite being in real pain, I did manage to spend a few hours with people who have no agenda whatsoever except seeing me happy. As you get older, that becomes surprisingly rare.
3. Resting my head on Dominique Nzeyimana's shoulder in the sun
My daughter is eight years old now. She was scared my injury would mean I would miss her performance at her school's annual 'Fancy Fair'. She had prepared two dance routines and performed them both under a warm spring sun. As I watched her, I rested my head on the shoulder of Dominique. The smell of the warm fabric of her coat, the sun on my face and the feeling of being there with her infused the moment with the kind of happiness you remember from childhood. I admit that like most people, a large chunk of my time is consumed by what W.H. Auden calls 'And in his own weak person, if he can, dully put up with the wrongs of man'. But I also admit that I am lucky. And thankful for it.