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My Natural Habitat This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

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Downtown Allentown. The midday sun shines down on the gum-littered alley street. Teenagers scatter themselves in line along the graffitied brick wall. Cigarette smoke rises from most of the conversations and kids are crushing energy drink cans with their converse. Cars blur by on the busy city street adjacent to the alley. More and more kids stick to the waiting throng. They stick like the faded colored gum that’s found itself on your shoe.

When the doors finally open, the mass of spiked hair -dos and skinny jeans dwindles down slowly. Stamping them individually, is an unamused girl in her early twenties, chewing gum like she’s too cool. Filtering in, the kids stomp up the industrial metal stairs, and find themselves in a darker atmosphere.

The main stage is eminating vibrations from the bass player’s amplifier. The amber-toned lack of lighting reveals scratched up checker flooring, and glinting barracades. The merch tables in the corners are home to band groupies, and the bar is full with angst stricken 25 year-olds. In front of the stage, kids talk, yell, wait and laugh.

Music hits you like a train and suddenly, the air around you cannot be breathed, but heard. Everyone throws their hands or fists up, and yells. The band’s lead singer slinks out of the darkness and into the stage lights. The crys grow louder instantly. The guitarists jump up on their amplifiers, and the drummer starts off the first song by clicking his drumsticks together. The lead singer lets out a raspy pre-chorus. And now the kids in the crowd are being thrown up against the barracades,their bodies sandwiched forcefully together. There’s also crowd surfing, a moving roof of bodies, and moshing. The most pit is forming. A circlular wall of kids contains the flying fists and donkey-like kicking. All of the motion in sync with the drumbeats and baselines of the music. A mass of moving bodies.





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