You kind of think the boy could be really pretty if he weren’t wearing all the makeup.
Corpse paint, he calls it, but it’s only 1990 and everybody still thinks about Peter Criss and Ace Frehley when they see it, the Starchild versus the Phantom of the Park. You haven’t seen a corpse before but you don’t think corpses have really long, clean, gleaming blonde hair.
You go to talk to the boy but he just stands in the corner, every now and then banging up against the fake brick like a busted robot, mumbling to himself with his head down. A girl with a purple mohawk yells död vänligen leende but he just turns around and rolls his eyes up in his head.
You had a friend that said he stinks because he buries his clothes for a week before a show, but you think it just smells clean, like turned earth after it rains, like the farm your uncle had outside Uppsala, summers spent wandering a child’s Valsgärde, chopping down barley and oat with tree-limb swords, on a journey with Leifur Eiriksson or Ingvar the Far-Travelled.
You snuck in a couple of Falcons and even though everybody says you can’t even get drunk off them you’re only seventeen and it doesn’t take very much. A few years later you’re talking to a girl from California and you say oh yeah it was a really amazing show, it was really just a privilege to have been there that night, and by that time you’ve told the story so many times that the edges have worn smooth. The whole thing was just twenty minutes and when you watched it on YouTube you didn’t remember a note of it, and all you can think of is that weird little boy with the pretty hair.