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The Gauntlet: The Fun Of Controlled Violence

1719 words - 7 pages

Raymond SchmitNowacekCreative non-fictionThe Gauntlet"Stand up and fight! And I'll stand up with you!"It's always a tough decision for me. Should I put on the Chucks or the Doc's? Both classics, and both functional. You won't lose either in the pit, with the copious amounts of holes in each. Doc Martens will bust heads, but Chuck Taylor's won't tire me down. I begin to lace up the Chucks. I put on my studded belt, and slip into my old army jacket I covered in patches. On my right wrist I wear a sweat band with a red skull and crossbones, and on my left a quarter inch spiked bracelet. My jeans are torn and safety pinned together. I wear a faded Bad Religion T-shirt and a steel ball baring necklace. I feel excited. I feel jittery. I feel mean."LET'S Go MUR-phys! LET'S go MUR-phys!" We scream and clap. Travis, Joe, Jordan, and Beran have all come at my behest. We've been looking forward to this concert for weeks, and played nothing but Dropkick Murphy's songs on our radio show before we left. The ride to the Congress Theatre was filled with sing-a-longs in the classic Dropkick Murphy fashion. My whole body is literally shaking with anticipation. This always happens to me. I just can't wait for it to begin. I bounce up and down like a kid waiting for the bus on his first day of school. I can't control my hand, it just keeps clenching and unclenching between shaking violently. Then the bagpipes begin to play, and all hell breaks loose.I've heard people talk about being afraid of mosh pits. That they could never go inside them. Afraid of being hurt, of being trampled. Being punched in the face. I never once remember having this fear. I charge forward with the rush of the crowd, and my brain effectively shuts off. I become a whirlwind of elbows and feet. Spinning, pushing, bouncing off of those around me. Every blow I land feels half as good as any shot I take. I pound my body against the frothing mass of humanity all around me. I slip away. My body becomes alive with the simple visceral experience.The Murphy's begin to play 'Forever', a slow song, and I put my arms around the nearest sweaty shirtless guy. We sway back and forth, and shout the lyrics, though we are complete strangers. Complete sweaty male strangers who mere seconds ago were busy beating each other. But we can scream the words to the song along with each other atonally, and look each other right the eye. It is the camaraderie of the pit. I pat this big sweaty guy on the back as the song closes and we both hug. There is just a certain inexplicable bond forged in the fires of the mosh pit, a bond that is unlike any other I have ever experienced. The Murphy's launch into "Blood and Whiskey", and we both go back to pummeling one another.It always amazes me how my friends could recount blow by blow what happens to them inside the pit. I can never recollect more than a haze of fists and knees. I feel the pit coursing through my blood stream. I am the pit. I feel no pain. At the end of the...

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