August 12th was the Night of St. Lawrence’s Tears. St. Lawrence, a deacon of the early Roman Church put to death in 258 by the Roman Emperor Valerian (“episcopi et presbyteriet diacones incontinenti animadvertantur”), is the Saint of Librarians. Lawrence was grilled to death on a grid iron. Supposedly, he was so tough that instead of betraying the Church he said, “I am already roasted on one side and, if thou wouldst have me well cooked, it is time to turn me on the other.” August really is the best time to barbecue.
The night of his roasting, there was a meteor shower which Christians took to be a sign that the Heavens cried at his death. This meteor shower reoccurs every year, “The Night of St. Lawrence’s Tears.” History Lesson Over!
Well, on the Night of Saint Lawrence’s Tears 2007, I went to see Mika Miko at 21 Grand with Mindy. When we got there, Sophia was already trashed, dancing feverishly next to the guitarist in Mikaela’s Fiend, dressed for the beach in Miami; wearing a tiny top, smaller shorts, and flat sandals; her body bronzed from a recent trip to Raging Waters and glistening with sweat. When I mentioned the outfit, she said she’d been wearing something even skankier but her friends wouldn’t let her leave the house until she changed.
She dragged me outside for a cigarette and at one point she laid across the hood of a car on her back smoking a cigarette and drinking a Tecate. When a group of guys looked over at her, she said, is this your car? They all chimed in, no. It’s all good then, she said, reclined on the windshield and flicked her ash.
It was kind of like this:
Margo showed up right before Twin’s set. She had her hair down in soft waves and spiraling curls framed her face. She was wearing a light summer top with a t-shirt and jeans underneath and black flats. She glowed just like the Lady of Guadalupe:
Sweet Hope in the Midst of the Bitterness of Life
Mindy left to get food at this point, but texted after only a few minutes to say that the Taco Bell/KFC would not serve her as a pedestrian in the drive-through. When she finally did show she had a bag of fries she bought at the burger place nearby. She said the guy behind the counter felt bad for her and sold her the bag for only a dollar, but then the other guy working (manager, maybe) stepped in and charged her an additional 65 cents. The first guy said, mysteriously, “Metal shouldn’t be taking it out on Flowers.”
Metal shouldn’t be taking it out on Flowers?
I Googled this phrase and turned up nothing. Is the next Mallarmé working at Giant Burger in Oakland? Perhaps, perhaps…
“While that heart no tooth of any crime
Can wound lives in your breast of stone,
Frightened of dying while I sleep alone.” -Stephen Mallarme
When Mika Miko were about to play, I went up front with Sophia and her friend, Andreas. Andreas said Mika Miko do this amazing cover of The Misfits song, Attitude.
They’ve been trying to remove it from their set but Andreas says he gets them to play it everytime he sees them. Just watch, he says. Sure enough, between every song he yelled in an incredibly high-pitched voice, “Attitude. Play It. Just play attituuuude!” They were like, we don’t play that song anymore, but then at the end of the set, sure enough they rocked the song and it ruled.
Good job, Andreas!
Afterwards, we gave Mindy a ride to her car, and then Margo realized she’d lost her phone. At first she thought she left it at the show, then she realized she left it at the church on Broadway Auto Row when she’d stopped there to use the bathroom (why, I don’t know).
No, Not God’s Gym
This is where it gets gross.
When we got there though, the church door was locked. This despite the fact that Margo insisted ALL churches are ALWAYS open. Not in Oakland they are not!
I called her phone and we heard it ringing, not inside the church, but in the yard out front, behind a tree in a dark little nook. She said she was nowhere near that tree or that nook, meaning someone picked it up and put it there. We searched for it in the dark and found it, but it was all wet and smelled bad. A bum had peed on it! She ran out into the street, screaming, grabbed some leaves and tried to dry it off. Meanwhile, I’m standing there behind the tree and I realize I smell something horrible. I look down and to my unending horror I discover: I AM STANDING IN BUM SHIT! I ran out to the street and, mimicking behavior I observed in Margo, grabbed a handful of leaves and used them to clean off my shoes.
Basically, we found ourselves outside a church in the middle of the street on Broadway at 1 AM, making horrible retching sounds, cleaning shit and piss from shoes and cellphone with leaves as best we could on the Night of St. Lawrence’s Tears, like tool-using animals!
We had planned to watch the meteor shower, but decided we’d both cried enough for one night, so we just went home.
It is worth noting the event that led directly to St. Lawrence’s martyrdom. The prefect of Rome demanded he turn over the Church’s wealth. He asked for three days. He gathered up the poor, crippled, sick, blind, and most wretched benefactors of the Church, and presented them to the prefect. Here is the wealth of the Church, he said, so they cooked him.
The next day, Margo sent the following message:
“something on my person smells like a dirty, sleeping squirrel but i can’t figure out what…”