Soul Music

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The arena is crowded and hot. Countless bodies are packed tightly together as each one presses toward the stage. From teenagers and young couples to middle aged parents, people gather; they are united by one thing: the music. Most of these people would think it is a waste of time and money for me to attend concerts faithfully each month. I am deaf. It is true that I will never hear the music or words in the same way as others do. I firmly believe, however, that the way I experience it is even more meaningful.

Standing in the doorway, I peer into the darkly-lit arena, and as my eyes adjust to the darkness, I begin to take in the familiar sights. The performers on stage move in time with the music, tapping a foot or clapping their hands to a common beat. In perfect synchronization, the back-up dancers add interpretation to each song. Colored lights- blue, green, red- skitter across the crowd, landing on little pockets of people just long enough for others to notice details such as a couple holding hands or a teenager gazing longingly at the lead singer on stage. Just as one might start hypothesizing about their lives, a different group is illuminated.

Excitedly, I step into the stadium, and immediately the walls, ground, and my very being seem to vibrate and pound with each amplified strum of the guitar and beat of the drum. My heartbeat quickens as the rhythmic pounding courses through me. Smiling, I edge my way deeper into the thick crowd. There is simply a sense of electricity present in the crowd; I can almost feel it enter one hand and leave the other, sending a shock of excitement through me.

Finally, I simply become one of the people packed so tightly together. Some in this position

might feel claustrophobic, as there are bodies all around me, jumping and dancing. I have a different perspective; I am no longer different. For once, as the laser lights flicker and the August air envelopes us, I am just one in the crowd, letting the pounding music flood my soul and take control.





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