Danke Schön, Rammstein

Posted in Uncategorized on May 12, 2011 by Dani Patton

2 days ago, I travelled to Chicago to see Rammstein in concert. I’ve been a Rammstein fan since middle school, and they were the first band I ever listened to in a language besides English. And when they announced a North American tour back in February, the first in 10 years, I knew I was going no matter what. My brother Evan, also a huge Rammstein fan, wanted to go as well, so we had to convince my mom to let him skip school for 2 days to go, which she was totally cool with!

We took the train out of Michigan early Tuesday morning, and got into Chicago around 10:30. We were staying with my friend Beth and her boyfriend, who I also stayed with for the X Japan concert. We went to her place, slept for a while, and then started getting ready for the show.

They drove us to the Allstate Arena, and we managed to get in there with little hassle, except for the security guard who made me take off my belt, chain, and bracelet, which was kind of annoying. We found our seats, and waited for the night to start.

Combichrist was the opening band. I didn’t really know much of their music, but after seeing their set, I had a new respect for industrial bands. I didn’t expect them to be good live, but they kicked ass. And, they only played for about half an hour, which was good cause I was ready for Rammstein!

We only had to wait about half an hour after Combichrist finished. The lights in the arena went off, and the opening to ‘Rammlied’ began, as Richard and Paul broke their way through a wall on the stage, and Till used a welding tool to cut a door, before kicking it in. Next came ‘Buckstabu’, with Till stalking around the stage, growling and yelling. Then was ‘Waidmann’s Heil’, one of my favorites off LIFAD. The crowded screamed ‘STERBEN!’ with Till as fire when off around the band non-stop. Next they played a couple older songs, ‘Keine Lust’ and ‘Weisses Fleisch’. After came the explosive ‘Feuer Frei’. The explosions and pyrotechnics, which went off every time Till sang ‘bang bang!’, were so hot we could feel them in the top section. It was during this song that Till, Paul, and Richard wore their masks that allowed them to blow fire several feet into the air. ‘Wiener Blut’ was next, and they had baby dolls hanging from the ceiling with green lasers shooting out of their eyes, and at the end of the song the babies exploded into fireworks. ‘Fruhling in Paris’, the one slower song of the evening, really showed the band’s emotion.

‘Ich tu dir Weh’ was next, and it was definitely a crowd favorite. Especially when Till grabbed Flake and threw him over his shoulder, before dumping him a bathtub on stage, “murdering him”, and then getting hoisted about 10 feet in the air on a platform and pouring sparks into the bathtub. At the end of the song, Flake gets out of the tub, now in his sparkly silver outfit, does a weird little dance, and he spends the rest of the show playing his keyboard while walking on a treadmill. Next came ‘Du Riechst so Gut’, Rammstein’s first single ever released. ‘Benzin’ followed, which was the only song off “Rosenrot” they performed. The pyrotechnics were insane, and at the end, Till used his flamethrower to set a guy on fire. The stage went dark for a moment, and then the lights came on as the band marched out from underneath the stage to ‘Links 2,3,4’. Then, the opening notes to ‘Du Hast’, the song that made them famous in America, rang out, and the entire crowd lost it. I’m pretty sure there wasn’t a single person in that arena that wasn’t screaming “Du hast mich!” as loud as they could. They finished the regular set with ‘Pussy’, during which Till climbed onto the giant dick-shaped cannon that shot foam into the crowd. The band took their bows and then left the stage.

They came back on a few minutes later, and ‘Sonne’, my favorite off the Mutter cd, began, and Evan and myself headbanged for the entire song. Next came another favorite, ‘Haifisch’. During, Flake got onto a raft, and proceeded to row across the crowd. The last song of the encore, ‘Ich Will’, started and we all went crazy, cause we knew the show was almost over. The band once again left the stage, before coming out again about 5 minutes later. The song was ‘Engel’, and Till took the stage with giant angel wings on his back that light up and shot fire from the tips about 10 feet into the air. The show wasn’t over yet though. During their bows and thanks, Till announced that it was Mr. Schneider’s birthday, so the crowd sang happy birthday while Flake played it on the keys.

It’s hard to put the experience into words; the lights, the non-stop pyro & cryotechnics, the theatrics, all of it combined to make this one of the best shows I’ve ever seen; it was worth every penny. The stage show topped even Iron Maiden and X Japan, and I don’t say that lightly, as they’re my two favorite bands. I’ve been so lucky to be able to see my 3 favorite bands in the past year and half. Rammstein has been such a big influence, and they are the main reason that I’ve been studying German for the past 2 years. I just hope I don’t have to wait another 10 years for them to come back!

X Japan at the Riviera

Posted in Uncategorized on October 9, 2010 by Dani Patton

I went to X Japan’s live in Chicago, and it was an amazing experience. Not being from Chicago, I had to take an 8-hour bus ride from Marquette to Milwaukee, and then an hour and half train ride into Union Station. After meeting my friends Becca and Beth, who I hadn’t seen in months, we proceeded to get lost trying to find the Riviera.

We got there around 2, and there was already a line, though it wasn’t very long. We talked with some of the other X fans, and were drawing attention because of our giant X banner!

As it got closer to the time when the doors were supposed to open, X Japan’s film crew interviewed Becca and myself. They asked us things like were we were from, what X meant to us, and what we wanted to say to the band. It was so exciting, even though I pretty much babbled non-stop.

Once the doors opened, every gathered in front of the two doors. We waited at least half an hour for the doors to open, and when they did, everything went insane. Everyone was trying to get through at the same time, and once we were through, it was a mad rush to the stage. We got separated, and I managed to get on the barricade on Heath’s side, which is where I wanted to be! Becca found me, and I hung out with these 3 women who were huge Heath fan, and got excited about my banner.

[Pic taken in my room, since I somehow deleted the pixx I had with it in line]

Soon afterwards, the lights dimmed, and Vampires Everywhere took the stage. They weren’t as bad as I thought they’d be. However, the only part I liked was the intro where they used ‘Cry Little Sister’ from the Lost Boys. But they had good energy, and the crowd seemed somewhat receptive, and quite a few were headbanging. It was nice that no one booed them off the stage though.

VE left after 5 songs I think, and as the orchestral versions of ‘Without You’, ‘Say Anything’, and ‘Forever Love’ played, we waited for X Japan to take the stage.

Finally, the intro began playing to a darkened stage. Moments later, the band took the stage to the screams of the fans, silhouetted by the giant blazing X behind them.  From the opening notes of Jade onward, they band played with an incredible energy throughout the entire live. Personal highlights for me were the Yoshiki/Sugizo ‘Kurenai’ duet, the floor-shaking performance of ‘X’, the audience participation of ‘Endless Rain’,  where Toshi dropped out twice and let us sing [and cry, in my case], and Yoshiki’s epic solo during ‘Art of Life’. Yoshiki also hinted that they will be back, since he didn’t get to try pizza yet, and I can’t wait to see them again!

Toshi’s voice was fantastic; I couldn’t believe some of high notes he could hit, and how long he could hold them out for. His stage presence was excellent, from encouraging the fans to jump and scream and dropping out to let us sing. He also dumped a bottle of water of me.

Yoshiki was, of course, crazy! Going from beating the drums like a man possessed one song, to playing the beautiful piano intro to Silent Jealousy, he never seemed to run out of energy. And he stage-dived twice, once at the end of X, and again after the band had finished getting pictures taken.

Both Becca and myself adore Heath, so we were really excited to have him right in front of us. He played in his usual, reserved, quiet way, and at time would raise his arms to encourage the screaming crowd. One of the bests parts of the night for me was as he was leaving the stage, he pointed at me and the banner and gave me this huge smile. At which point I totally had a fangirl moment.

Pata was also in front of us, and he totally rocked out in his cool, laided back way. He seemed content just chillin’ on our side of the stage for most of the night.

Sugizo impressed me not just with his talent, but with his incredible showmanship.  His violin solos were breath-taking, and it was great to see him play the solo during Rusty Nail, instead of using the damn playback.

Set List:

Jade
Rusty Nail
Silent Jealousy
Drain
Violin Solo (w/ US National Anthem)
Violin & Piano Kurenai
Born To Be Free
I.V.
X
Encore:
Endless Rain
Art of Life

PiXX: http://www.flickr.com/photos/42045510@N04/sets/72157625123106498/

Video: http://www.youtube.com/user/HippieVampire69?feature=mhum

X Japan at Lollapalooza!!!

Posted in Uncategorized on August 10, 2010 by Dani Patton

This entry will probably suck. Mostly because I’m having trouble finding the right words to describe the experience.

I never thought I’d ever have the opportunity to see X Japan. Their live at Lollapalooza was one of the best times in my life.

I waited an hour and half to get my spot. I ended up basically in the 2nd row, and I was so surprised and happy I was able to get that close. I’m pretty sure that the Japanese girls in front of me had been there for most of the day. I chatted with other X fans. Up front, all you could see was X fans, in their various shirts and outfits. The Yoshiki and hide cosplayers were incredible. Everywhere I saw banners, towels, thundersticks, plushies, flags, and the heart-shaped fans that someone was passing out through the crowd.

I can’t even describe the feeling of being there with so many fans. The roadies came out with Yoshiki’s drum set, and almost all of them did the ‘X’ arm sign. Which got the crowd chanting “We are X”. Then, Yoshiki himself came out and started warming up his drums. Everyone went crazy, and we were all screaming his name and taking pixx.

At 4:00, orchestral music began playing over the speakers, and on the big screens, you could see the band walking towards the stage.! As the guys walked on stage, all the X fans in the crowd lost it. ‘Rusty Nail’ began with a huge explosion of fire, and everyone started jumping, headbanging, and singing as loudly as we could. They played ‘Jade’, ‘IV’, ‘Kurenai’, and finished with ‘X’. The band then went to the edge of the stage to take their bows, and Yoshiki threw out about 10 drumsticks.

Some of the specific highlights:

-All the members played fantastically. Toshi’s vocals and English were awesome. Heath and Pata rocked on the guitar and bass. Sugizo was particularily impressive with his guitar, spinning around in circles and swinging it around his body. Yoshiki, was, of course, nothing short of genius on the piano, and insane on the drums.

-Yoshiki & Sugizo’s violin/piano duet of ‘Kurenai’. It was so beautiful!

-Toshi getting the crowd to sing parts of ‘IV’

-When Toshi introduced hide on guitar along with the other two, and pictures of him appeared on the big screens.

-The crowd jumping in the air and crossing their arms throughout the entire song ‘X’. It was cool when even the people who weren’t fans started doing it!

-How the studio version of ‘Tears’ played as the screens showed the band leaving the stage and walking away. All the X fans stayed and sang the song, some crying, then started chanting ‘We are X’ again for a few minutes.

I have nothing bad to say about the live. I just wish it had been longer! It was so incredible to be there, united with all the other X fans, from all around the world. If you have the chance to see X Japan on their upcoming American tour, do not miss it. You will regret it if you do!

Iron Maiden!!!!!!!!

Posted in Uncategorized on July 19, 2010 by Dani Patton

Wow. This is my first time posting in almost a year! But I have to get down the details of the best concert I’ve ever been to.

Dream Theater & Iron Maiden.

The bands were playing at the DTE Energy Theater in Clarkston, MI. Which is pretty much the coolest outdoor venue. I’d been here twice for Crue Fest, but this time we actually got seats! The tickets were a gift to my dad for his birthday. He’s listened to Maiden since they started, so I grew up listening to them as well. My two brothers also went. And just like Crue Fest, we took the wrong merge. But this time we were able to fix it instead of going half an hour out of the way.

Anyways, onto the bands. Dream Theater was the opening act. And holy hell, they were fantastic. And I wasn’t even a huge fan to begin with. I only know a couple of the songs they played: “As I Am”, “Panic Attack”, and “Constant Motion”. There were a few others but I didn’t catch the names. The play between the bassist and guitarist was impressive, and I got really excited when the keyboardist broke out a keytar. The vocals were excellent, as well as the drums. However, I didn’t know many of their songs, and about half way through I was wanting them to finish up so Maiden could take the stage.

When they started playing an Iron Maiden song over the loudspeakers, we knew it was about ready to begin. As the song ended, Star Wars-y music started playing alongside videos of outerspace [Maiden’s new album is the Final Frontier, so the music and stage reflected this theme]. The curtain was pulled down, revealing the stage set-up.

The band then took the stage, opening the show with ‘The Wicker Man’. At this time, almost every seat was taken, and the entire lawn behind us was filled with people. Right away, I was amazed by the band’s energy. It was pretty impressive for a bunch of guys in their 50s. Bruce Dickinson was moving non-stop almost the entire night, jumping in the air, climbing up on the bunker, etc. He would talk to the audience between almost every song in that charming British accent of his.

The level of musicianship in Iron Maiden is incredible. All three guitarists played perfectly, taking turns soloing. Steve Harris was, as my brother would say, slappin’ the bass like a madman. Nicko was crazy on the drums, despite the technical difficulties. Once he started playing the wrong song, and then later on broke part of the drum kit. My favorite was Janick Gers, because he was so much fun to watch. While the rest would mostly just run back and forth or stand on the speakers, he would repeatedly swing the guitar around his neck and body, run around in circles, jump in the air, and chase the roadies that came onto the stage. Oh, and he was harassing Eddie, which was awesome. And I can’t forget Bruce, whose vocals were spot-on the entire night.

They played for almost two hours. The setlist included: The Wicker Man, Ghosts of the Navigator, Brave New World, Dance of Death, Blood Brothers, Fear of the Dark, El Dorado, Hallowed Be Thy Name, Iron Maiden, Running Free, These Colours Don’t Run, The Reincarnation of Benjamin Breeg, Wrathchild, The Number of the Beast, No More Lies, and Wildest Dreams. I think they may have done one or two other songs but I can’t remember.

Some specific highlights of the show were: Bruce dedicating ‘Blood Brothers’ to their fallen brother Ronnie James Dio; Eddie coming out during ‘Iron Maiden’ and playing guitar; the sliding back drop that changed with almost every new song; and the fact that they played almost every one of my favorite songs.

Low points: The douchebags behind me that kept dumping beer under our seats, where my Maiden flag and cell phone were at; and the no camera policy. Also, not really a low point, but I wish that they had played ‘Journeyman’ and ‘Run to the Hills’.

All in all, this was the best show I’ve ever seen. I really hope that this isn’t Maiden’s final tour and CD, because I really want to see them again!

More photos: http://www.facebook.com/#!/dani.elizabeth69

Videos [will be up in the next couple days]: http://www.youtube.com/user/HippieVampire69

Crue Fest 2

Posted in Uncategorized on August 17, 2009 by Dani Patton

As you can probably guess from the title, I went to Crue Fest 2 in Clarkston on Saturday. What a fucking adventure. It was me, my brother Evan, my friends Becca and Beth, and Becca’s dad. Becca, through some insane luck, managed to win tickets from the radio on Friday, so we had to stop in GR to pick them up. Where we got lost. All I can say is: FUCK MAPQUEST!!! Then, after we got her tickets, we got lost on the way to DTE. Thanxx to mapquest’s wrong directions, we took the wrong exit, so we ended up being lost for about an hour total. So that meant that we missed both Charm City Devils and most of Drowning Pool. But we caught “Tear Away” and “Bodies”, and it seemed like we missed a pretty good set. Next up was Theory of a Deadman. Having seen them once, I new what to expect from them. And they didn’t disappoint! Despite the fact that their set was short, they were damn good. They were able to get in all the hits, and I really enjoyed them. Then Godsmack came on the stage. Not being a huge Godsmack fan, I didn’t really know what to expect from them. However, I was quite impressed. Not only did I realize how many songs I actually knew, but I also learned that they were all incredible musician. Their set was filled with energy, and quite a few pyrotechnics. Sully’s voice was wonderful, but I was most impressed by the drummer, who kicked into a killer solo towards the end of the set. All I can say is, I would definately pay to see them again!

And finally, the Crue. I honestly didn’t believe that they could surpass last year’s performance. Well, they did. This year was special, as it marked the 20th Anniversary of the release of Dr. Feelgood. So that means that they performed the entire CD from top to bottom. Which meant that we got to hear the songs that we wouldn’t normally, like “Without You” and “Time For Change”. The guys kicked ass. I didn’t even matter that we couldn’t really see them. The sound was incredible; they were all on top of their game. And the lights, the pyrotechnics, and the fireworks were unbelieveable. Their stage set up was simply awesome. Mick’s solo at the end of the set was amazing; he must have soloed for about 5 minutes straight. Vince and Nikki were both amazing, as usual. They’ve still got it, even after all these years. The only thing that sucked was that Tommy couldn’t play, due to the fact that he’d burned his hand the day before. So his brother from Sevendust filled in. Besides the Dr. Feelgood album, they also played an encore that included “Home Sweet Home”, “Saints of Los Angeles”, “Shout at the Devil”, and “Girls, Girls, Girls.” For once I’m actually glad to live in Michigan, since this is one of their favorite places. As Tommy said, we’re some of the crazyiest motherfuckers around! Oh, and completely random, but I saw the same hot goth guy this year that I was obsessing over last year. Not that any one cares, but it was nice for me!

Me and Becca

A Rose for Jasmine

Posted in Uncategorized on August 10, 2009 by Dani Patton

IMG_2233

Today I, along with thousands of fans around the world, were shocked by the untimely passing of Jasmine You. For those who do not know, Jasmine was the bassist of the Japanese Visual Kei band Versailles. The details surrounding his death have not yet been revealed; all we know is that he was taking a break from performing due to worsening health conditions. I cannot put into words how much this hurts me; I’ve felt numb throughout this entire day. I’ve been a fan of Versailles since their inception, and to think that a part of that amazing quintet, a talented and beautiful man, is gone forever it’s…….too painful to think about. My heart truly goes out to the family and friends of our dear Jasmine, for I know as sad as I feel, their pain must be unimaginable. So all I ask is that if you happen to have come across this blog, keep Jasmine and his loved ones in your thoughts; and if you’re the religious type, please send up a prayer for him. Thanks.

-Dani

A short story

Posted in Uncategorized on March 23, 2009 by Dani Patton

Forever Love

A darkened room: the only light comes from the smoldering embers of a spent cigarette. A lone figure sits, hunched over, head in hands. The figure slowly rises, crossing to an open window. The distant sounds from the street far below, combined with the pounding of the rain, echo loudly in his ears. He grabs the edge of the window, slamming it closed with such force that it rattles within its pane. Flicking a switch, a dim light brightens the room, unveiling the identity of the mysterious figure. Clad only in a pair of low-cut leather pants, a silver-studded belt, and a black choker around his neck, he cuts a striking figure. Approaching six feet in height, he is stunningly beautiful; flawless golden skin, sculpted chest and arms, high cheekbones and full lips. Only the bottle of Jack mars his beauty, hanging limply from his hand, half –empty. Taking a deep swig, he walks, staggering slightly, back to his seat. Setting the bottle down, he buries his head in his hands, biting back the tears that have threatened to fall all night long. Breathing deeply, he regains his composure for the time being. Eyes still closed, he reaches out, running his hands along the instrument in front of him. Long, elegant fingers, fingers which once danced across bare skin, now danced only across ivory. The fingers slammed upon the keys, pounding out the melodies that he had not played in years. His voice, soft, smooth and luscious, gave life to the lyrics he had written so long ago. He never sang the songs he wrote; he put everything instead into the piano. In the dead of night, the only audience that ever heard his voice was the silence. His voice begins to waver and tremble, his fingers shaking ever so slightly. The emotions, buried deep inside, finally overpower him. His carefully crafted mask crumbles as the sobs rip forth from his chest. Slamming on the keys, he collapses upon the piano.  He sits there, unmoving save for the rapid rise and fall of his chest, as the tears continue to fall. After what seems to him an eternity, the sobs stop, replaced by a strange calmness. He sits up, tilting his head to the ceiling. Light reflects across the tear-tracks streaking his cheeks, and eyes of amber open, standing out in stark contrast to the black makeup surrounding. Breathing deeply, his fingers pick up the melody that he had so abruptly abandoned.
He was alone; had been alone for years. No one could ever seem to fill the gaping hole in his heart. Add to that the fact that he had practically been a recluse for several years, well, that wasn’t exactly conducive for meeting people. It was only a couple years ago that he began to go out amongst the living again. However, he no longer played music for anyone but himself.
He could feel a heaviness in the air. All night long he had felt as though there was a presence, that there was someone watching him. Picking up the pack, he absentmindedly pulled a cigarette from the box. Lighting it, he raises the cigarette to his lips, inhaling deeply. Still drunk, he wanders around his apartment, trying to shake the feeling of being watched; trying to set his mind at ease. This night was always the worst night of the year. And every year the paranoia, the grief, and the agony only seemed to increase. The pain did not fade with time.  He made this walk every year. He knew no matter how much he wished, no matter how much he desired and longed for, that no one was there.
Upon completing his rounds of the apartment, he stops in the kitchen, and grabs a beer from the refrigerator. The alcohol is the only thing that fills the void inside; the only thing that helps him get through the day.
Making his way back to his piano, he stumbles and falls to the floor, not bothering to get up. Even in his drunken state, he notices the feeling of being watched is still there. Experience tells him that there’s nothing there: that the feeling should have left him by now, but he can’t help but hope that maybe this one time, she’ll be there.
The figure on the floor stirs. Several hours have gone by, hours spent in a drunken unconsciousness. Blinking his eyes and brushing several blond strands out of his face, he rises to his hands and knees, not yet daring to attempt climbing to his feet. Feeling a cool breeze, he closes his eyes, letting it blow across his face. Suddenly, he feels a sickening plunge in his stomach as he realizes that the wind is blowing through the window he had slammed shut. Feeling temporarily sober, he climbs to his feet, looking towards the window. Looking at a figure silhouetted in the moonlight. Feeling as though his veins have turned to ice, he forces his feet to move, steering him towards the nameless figure. Standing directly behind the figure, it turns, and he cries out in shock when he realizes that it’s her. Feeling as though he’s been punched in the stomach, he tries to catch his breath, his eyes never leaving her face. A face that is unchanged; remaining exactly the same as when he last looked upon it, ten years ago to the day. He tries to speak, but all words fail him. She smiles softly at him, that impish smile that he always adored. Moving closer, he reaches out to caress her cheek. And with his fingers centimeters from her face, the figure fades away into nothingness.
He collapses to the floor. The window is closed; it had never even been opened. His body begins to tremble as he realizes that she was never there; that it was all just the product of his drunken imagination.

————————————————————————————

He stands on his balcony, the pouring rain cascading down his lithe frame. He leans against the railing, his fingers running along the blade of the object in his hand. He stares at the razor, contemplating.  He can’t count the number of times he’s been in this position over the years.  Tilting his face up to the sky, he softly sings a couple lines from a song:
“Endless rain, fall on my heart, in this wounded soul.
Let me forget, all of the hate, all of the sadness.
Endless rain, let me stay a memory in your heart.
Let me take in your tears, take in your memories.”

Sinking to his knees, his soaking wet hair hangs in his face. His eyes remain locked on the blade; he presses the cold steel into the ball of his thumb, not even wincing as it penetrates the skin.  A single drop of blood runs down his wrist and arm, and drops to the ground.  Pressing the blade to his wrist, he steels himself for what he is about to do. Closing his eyes, he is assaulted by images and memories from the past. His breath quickens, and his heart begins to beat rapidly. With an anguished cry, he turns and flings the blade into the depths of his apartment. As much as he wants the pain to be gone, he cannot commit to the selfish action of taking his own life.
Climbing to his feet, he wanders back inside his dark apartment, not even bothering to close the door behind him. Leaving wet footprints behind on the tile floor, he walks to the kitchen, pulling out a chair and taking a seat at the bar. Deep in thought, he lights up a cigarette from the pack sitting on the bar. His addictions have only grown deeper over the years, and the random packs of cigarettes lying all around the apartment seem to prove this. Along with the full liquor cabinet, and the lack of barely anything edible in the fridge and cupboards.  Reaching over, he picks up a notebook, flipping to an open page. The book is almost completely full of letters and songs he had written. Besides getting drunk, this is how he worked through his grief, by writing.  Grabbing the nearest pen, he begins to write on the paper. As he gets farther down the paper, he brings to write faster, his pen scribbling frantically across the paper. With his face only inches from the paper, he suddenly shoves the book away from him, breathing harshly as though he had just run a mile. Getting to his feet, he walks to a drawer, opening it and pulling out an envelope. Returning to his seat, he takes what he has written and seals it in the envelope. Pressing his lips to the envelope, he walks to the door, grabbing a jacket and throwing it over his shoulder on the way out.

————————————————————————————–

He stands at the edge of a lake, hands deep inside his pockets, his hair whipping around his face because of the wind. It is dawn now; the sun is just breaking over the horizon line. Taking a deep drag, he exhales slowly, the smoke drifting upwards towards the heavens. His eyes, hidden behind an expensive pair of designer sunglasses, are clear. He stares off into the distance, for once truly enjoying the solitude. He leans against a tree, removing the envelope from the pocket of his jacket. Reaching deep into the pocket of his pants, he removes a lighter.  With a flick of the wheel, the flame springs to life. Hesitating for a fraction of a second, he makes up his mind. Touching the flame to the corner of the envelope, he watches as the flames devour it.  As it burns, he watches as the ashes drift, carried away upon the breaths of wind. As the dying flame burns close to his fingers, he releases what’s left into the wind, and watches as the ashes of his letter are scattered across the lake, disappearing. Turning to leave, his eyes catch on something; a figure, one that is barely there. Even from a distance, he sees a ghost of smile grace the face of the figure, before vanishing. Once again turning to leave, he realizes with a slight shock that he is smiling, the first smile in ages. Feeling freer, his mind turns to the letter, and he understands that he can now go on living.

“Ten years. Ten years without you. They all think I’m crazy for not moving on. Hell, maybe they’re right, maybe I am crazy. Sometimes I think it’s more than likely. Every day without you a small part of me dies, and soon I fear there will be nothing left. However, that’s not what you want, is it? I don’t know if I imagined seeing you tonight, or if it was real, but regardless, I know what I must do. I must move on. The look in your beautiful eyes, in your smile, told me that. I can no longer dwell on the past, and on what could have been. Although I will never forget, and will never stop missing you, I think I can finally live again.

‘Swing the heartache – Feel it inside out
When the wind cries – I’ll say good-bye
Tried to learn, Tried to find
To reach out for eternity
Where’s the answer – Is this forever

Like a river flowing to the sea
You’ll be miles away, and I will know
I know I can deal with the pain
No reason to cry

Crucify my love – If my love is blind
Crucify my love – If it sets me free
Never know, Never trust
That love should see a color
Crucify my love – If it should be that way’”