The doors should have been opened by now.
I have no sense of how long I’ve been standing here, but it’s been hours. It’s been hours since I could keep from being jostled by the ever growing crowd in front of the arena. It’s in situations likes these when being taller than most people really comes in handy. I can see how shorter people must really hate this. My head is above almost everyone around me but that’s not helping this feeling like there’s a lack of air… and we’re still outside.
I can see Allen and most of the gang. They are nearby but several others have squeezed in around us. It was unavoidable. “Crazy” Allen looks like he’s having the time of his life. A few of the others are next to Allen but they do not so look happy. I’m not happy but there’s nothing I can do.
The doors should have been opened by now.
The two hundred or so morons who got here before we did are getting really unruly. Fucking idiots! Some start throwing empty bottles of beer and wine against the doors. Heh… if you call TJ Swan and Mad Dog 2020 wine. The line of rubbish dividing us has disappeared beneath all the feet of course but I’m not thinking about that anymore.
I’m thinking of the bottle of whisky in my boot and the goat skin of tequila around my neck and under my shirt. Allen insisted. “Price of admission” he called it when I’d objected. Ok yea, he paid the $8.50 for my ticket so…
Allen shoves his way next to me and shouts above the noise.
“No way they’re gonna find our stuff in the pat down going in now eh?” He nods in the direction of the doors that have still not opened. “Cops’ll be way too busy with all these assholes in front of us. We should be first in the doors… ” Allen then turns his head up to the sky and yells at the top of his lungs. “… IF THESE DOORS EVER FUCKING OPEN!!”
“WHOO!!!” Supporting shouts of approval come randomly from the surrounding crowd. “WHOO!!! FUCK YEA!!!” “OPEN THE FUCKING DOORS!!”
Another bottle crashes against the still closed doors to the Omaha Civic Auditorium. Then suddenly, almost as if on cue, as if the bottle was what made it happen… the doors all open at once.
Immediately… I’m caught off guard by a feeling I’ve never felt before. I’m totally unprepared for it. In the hours I’ve been standing here I’d noticed the people gathering around me and of course I know there are more and more people behind all of us but… I never thought to look and actually see how many people had gathered behind us.
It must be thousands!
Thousands of people, and they all have been anticipating the opening of these doors. Thousands of people getting annoyed when the doors didn’t open on time and then when they finally do open… they push. Thousands of people all pushing at once. They push forward into me and the two hundred or so assholes in front of me.
And for that moment, the moment before the people in front of me start moving, I feel the crush. All those people pushing. The people in front of me want to move forward but there are concrete steps with metal railings slowing them down. Also… there are now a big bunch of people running out of the doors!
Well… I don’t see uniforms but there’s a big bunch of large men running out of the auditorium doors at the people in front of me. Those assholes in front of us are getting arrested. Or at least expelled. It all happens so very fast, but not fast enough for me to not feel like I’m going to be crushed by the crowd behind us.
My arms instinctively go out and I put my hands on the shoulders nearest me and push up. It’s really REALLY good to be tall right now. But I’m also big and heavy. The shoulders I’m leaning on are not happy.
“Hey! Watch it man!”
I don’t care, I’m in total survival mode. I no longer can see what’s going on in front of me. The shoulders I’ve been pushing on move and I can no longer use them. I’m being crushed into the metal railing on the sides of the concrete steps as I go up. I grab the railing and push back as I keep trying to move forward.
I don’t know how, but almost everyone in front of me disappears to the sides. Like they are being taken. Abducted. As I go through one of the sets of metal double doors. The one directly in front of me, I feel hands patting my chest and back but no one tries to stop me and I go through.
To be continued…