On Friday night i had an argument with Justin about what was better: sex or concerts.
To understand the context of this discussion, you need to know a few things about Justin. First, he’s my “one male friend.” I don’t mean this to imply that i don’t consider any other men as close friends, but Justin is my guy friend… the only human being on Earth who you’ll catch me assessing the merits of an ass to, or talking about who i truly think is “hot.” Justin has impeccable taste in music, but it isn’t any of the organic thoughtful music you hear me whine about from day to day, it’s bump’n’grind and rhythm’n’blues with Prince at the helm of his collection as his own version of Garbage or Ani DiFranco. Finally, Justin and i have known each other for a long time, and while we don’t always agree with each other i tend to defend him in conversation just because i get to play advocate to his devil.
So, on Friday night we had taken one too many purity tests and everyone had ingested at least a shot of some sort of Jersey moonshine that came in an unmarked plastic anti-freeze jug, and somehow we started talking about sex and music. I opined that an amazing concert is better than good sex, and that a great song easily outpaces a good orgasm. And, Justin ripped me to shreds. How could i value something audible and intangible over sweaty lusty tangled bodies in heat? How could i rank singing along to a great song higher than getting off?
Two things became rapidly apparent in this conversation. The first was that neither of us were referring to “making love,” but to sex – and that in my book the latter doesn’t really exist without some semblance of the former so “sex” as an act wasn’t even comparable to a really shitty pop concert. The second was that Justin had only ever seen one or two concerts where the performer wasn’t merely reciting their catalogue of songs to the audience. With such incompatible views on sex and concerts, it became obvious within a few minutes that Justin and i were meant to agree to disagree.
Physical attraction is a wonderful thing, but in my world i lust after music. Imported singles make me hot under the collar. Newly announced release dates make my heart skip a beat. Getting good seats at a concert evokes a cry of passion. The day that Izabelle and i charged our Madonna tickets to my credit card my whole world was an excited explosion of joy and rapturous numbness … it was hard to believe i was living rather than dreaming. And, yet, somehow i’m sitting here at my computer and in four hours i’ll be seated inside of the First Union Center, and the lights will go down, and i will suddenly find myself in the same room as Madonna for the first time in over a decade. And, though i’ll be singing along to song after song about physical attraction and lust, i’ll know in my heart that it’s love that matters. And, right now, the love i will have for the woman singing to me from a stage in South Philly is greater than anything i could feel for anyone i’m sharing space, a bed, or body fluids with. When Madonna strums her guitar to open “Candy Perfume Girl,” or when she explodes into the vocals of “Ray of Light,” or when she closes the show with a electronically infused “Holiday,” i will be barely able to catch my breath – those moments will be ones i’ll try to replicate for years without ever being able to put them into words. The experience will be between Madonna and i and thousands of other adoring fans, and we’ll be the only ones who will ever be able to understand.
Maybe one isn’t quantitatively better than the other, but i think each of us is still a virgin with respect to what we’re not defending. And, the same way that making love to someone for the first time must eclipse everything that came before, tonight i’ll be like a virgin again; touched for the very first time.