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Soundshow This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

I'm dressed edgier than usual; this is actually what I wish I could wear every day. My black shirt features chains for straps and a gleaming silver jaguar. Fishnet tights show below long shorts. No school polos, no pressure to look professional or intelligent or pretty. Everyone here dresses comparably. This is my crowd.

The theater is cramped, but everyone can move about a foot in all directions. Luckily, though, not for long. I prefer personal space, generally, but not tonight.

It's best if we become one. I enjoy the sense of community, the intricate reasons we find ourselves here together. Maybe simple as the city we call home. Maybe more complex. Maybe we're twin souls. Maybe we're searching in the same ways for the same truths.

I like those metaphysical yearnings. Plato and Kant. Forms and categorical imperative. Truths that cause what we see as reflections, and reasons why people respond justly and why they should. Makes sense. I'm not much for mundane reality, but where forms exist, I'd guess it's kind of like a concert, and I want to be there. Despite doing well in philosophy class, I want it raw.

I'm up close. We're standing expectantly, some waiting like caged, feral beasts to attempt better positions. Rows press forward one by one, and everyone's flattened, like it or not. We wish we didn't have cumbersome sets of arms, that we were bigger and taller, that everyone wasn't tipping over diagonally, that our rib cages weren't being compressed so we can barely gasp the wet air. We are surrounded, and it only gets better.

In this semi-dangerous environment, we rely on each other. Put simply, we make friends. We genuinely look out for one another. We share a caught water bottle with those parched and deserving around us, find anchors and elusive armrests and people we have everything in common with. We might be acquaintances just for this night, or we might meet again by chance or fate.

When the frenzy starts, and we go wild and writhe and move and scream beautiful words unintelligibly until our voices break, magic is tangible. We are bombarded: the rhythm overriding our heartbeats and each other. For as with friends we make enemies, fighting viciously to squeeze just a little bit closer. Knees meet heads; we don't question why or how. We are rude and unashamed. We depart completely soaked in the perspiration of the five closest people.

We all, blissfully worn, have stars in our eyes. The collective existence we gave life to has dissipated. It is an experience not to be missed or forgotten. Our emotions are high, our dreams much closer, just beyond our outstretched fingertips of moments ago. This is the power of music. A language everyone understands, words aside. I love them, words, but I don't need them for this. They're not enough. What is? The sound, and I love being carried away when I listen, eyes closed.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.





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