the fray / 10.18.2011
well now that it's been an entire week, i think i'm ready to talk about the fray. i mean, the show was incredible, but the whole night was such an adventure that i really just needed a few days (or a week) to organize my thoughts and form coherent sentences about it. and post them in a blog that was not too outrageously lengthy. but we might have different definitions for what that means because this post is pretty long. (i promise i really did try to summarize!) are you ready?
t and i rushed home from work to catch the train from new haven to grand central. now, here's the thing you need to know about that: neither one of us have ever gone to new york city without someone else with us who knew what they were doing. combine that with the fact that t is exactly like my mom in that she worries (about everything), and you've got an interesting train ride. full of questions. how do we know which train it is? how will we know when it's our stop? is grand central the last stop? should we ask someone?" "how will we get a cab once we get there? granted, this didn't go on for the entire train ride, but she spent a significant amount of time looking out the window at each stop to make sure she knew where we were in respect to where we were going.
the train ride was quite entertaining because it was during the evening commute and there was a group of younger people standing near us having an interesting conversation involving personal preference when it comes to showering with a window or door open in the bathroom. at one point during their conversation, t looks at me and goes, "i can't really hear what they're saying. all i hear are the supporting details, not the main idea." ...she is such a teacher. there was also this guy and girl standing near us who weren't a couple, but you could tell by the way they looked at each other that they were both interested in becoming one. it was so much fun to watch and see their faces expressions as they talked and laughed and smiled at each other.
we finally made it to grand central, but before our train came to a complete stop, t leaned over and asked the guy sitting across from us if we were, in fact, at grand central. he chuckled and said yes while i died laughing. her mind must have been going a mile a minute, worrying about whether or not we were at grand central, but she didn't say anything to me. just the random man across from us.
hailing a cab was a whole different level of anxiety for t. she was practically pacing on the sidewalk, trying to figure out what to do. how do you get one? how do you know if there are people in them? where are we walking? is this the right way? how do you know we're going the right way? should we ask someone? this time, the questions were pretty much nonstop because i wasn't really giving any answers. (although i was able to tell her that the group of people waiting on the sidewalk was not a line for taxis. it was a bus stop.) i was just walking and making it up as i went along. it was kind of a "try it and see if it works" method. all i knew was what i'd seen in movies. and i knew from my mom telling me (and by reading various news stories) that you don't ask strangers in new york for directions.
eventually, t's worrying got to me, so we just hopped in the nearest taxi, which happened to be a black taxi towncar thing (i'm clearly not from the city), and paid way too much for the man to bring us to the wrong place because he was on his phone the whole time. lesson learned: wait for a legit taxi even if t won't stop asking questions long enough to hear an answer or even to take a breath. because, let me tell you, it got worse when we were roaming around on the sidewalk of a random sidestreet in God-knows-where, new york.
okay, honestly, we were only a few blocks away, but we didn't know that for sure because we didn't have a map and the google maps on my phone is broken, apparently. t continued to ask me what to do and where to go and if we should ask someone for directions like i had all the answers. i simply reverted to my earlier "let's try this" plan, with the addition of a short but desperate prayer, and maybe some sharp words to t about how we were NOT asking anyone for help, and we eventually ran into these two older men who were looking for the same place we were. (side note: they were not actual fray fans, they were just going because they heard it would be a good show. WHAT.) i'm convinced that we ran into them because Jesus brought them to find us. i mean, why else would two grown men have consciously walked two blocks away from the street they were on when it was the one they needed to be on? and i know this because i heard one of them say, "oh, we need to be on that street? that's where we just were."
so we finally find the place and get in and immediately run into our next obstacle: two tall (one really tall) men, who are wearing sweatshirts tied around their waists and are probably not fray fans either. it took about twenty minutes, but i eventually built up the courage to tap the tall man on the shoulder and ask him to let us stand in front of him. best decision i ever made. (he said yes.) we were SO close and we didn't even realize it because of the wall that had just stood between us and the stage.
the show was amazing, of course. they came out and i gasped and held my breath because they were so close and so beautiful and then i couldn't stop smiling and screaming because i just love them and i was so excited to finally see them after so long. they played lots of new songs and a good mix of old songs too. it was absolutely wonderful. i took a few photos and videos, but i mostly just tried to soak it all in because i knew the feeling i had standing there couldn't be captured. as many pictures as i took and as many words as i'm writing now, none of it does it any justice.
it was over all too soon and t was nervous about the whole taxi thing again, but we got one pretty easily and he brought us right to grand central (probably because that's a destination that's difficult to miss) and from there, we headed back to ct. the train ride home basically consisted of us being hyper and having a photo shoot to pass the time, a random man who "heard what we said," and being too tired and too cold. but all the while still worried about missing our stop at the same time. i was really only worried because i thought i'd fall asleep and not notice when the train stopped. t was worried because she was, well, just worried.
we made it home around 1-ish and i just slept at t's apartment so i wouldn't have to drive home. although, i don't think driving an extra twenty minutes would've been an issue because i'm pretty sure i was on the best post-concert high.
it was a great night. one of the best ever.