Search within:

Normal Behavior

Cristopher Shell
November 16, 2023

I can’t stop thinking about my resume.

I’m bracing the waves of a mosh pit, loud music is blaring like a war horn, and the floor is sticky from what was once in the crushed cans underfoot. For some reason, all I can think about is the font on my resume. Is this normal behavior at punk shows these days? What if it is too garish? Or not garish enough? What does garish mean again? I said I was detail-oriented, but now I can’t even remember what font I used in the first place.

A year ago, before I started the Master of Arts Administration program, I never would have been thinking of this sort of thing. I would have been throwing myself around, both bruising others and being bruised, mindlessly playing along. The bass player, clad in tattoos and a Cat Sabbath tee-shirt, strums the opening bars of my favorite song. Right now, more than anything, I just want one of these flailing bodies to tell me if the skills I show on my resume reflect the needs of the organization I’m applying to. Maybe I can ask the bass player after the show if my cover letter speaks to the organization's mission, vision, and values without trying too hard. I bet I could pull it up on my phone, and I bet he knows a thing or two about this sort of thing.

A crowd surfer sprawled out passes overhead.

I can’t turn this off. I’ve learned how to see. Stopping now would be like getting glasses for the first time, experiencing the world and its entirety, and then deciding that I, in fact, am not terribly interested in the fluffy feathers of a bird in winter, or the crystal-like clarity of a mountain stream, or even the autumn landscape on my drive through Appalachia each morning. Why would I give that up, even if everything is different now? 

This venue, now that I think about it, puts on performances. Someone here is an arts administrator, too. I wonder how they cultivate their partnerships. And how they go about defining sustainable growth. Or if they have given their mission a second thought in the past few years. Someone in a white shirt with “STAFF” across the back voyages through the masses. I wonder if moshing related accidents are covered in their insurance plan. Either way, this is some good old-fashioned community engagement. Oh! I can ask them about it they come back through.

Really, it’s nice to see. This is the art I love. And even though I’m looking at it differently, it is still the art that I love. Now, it’s more than a hobby or passion. It's more than my career. This is my life.

A massive man slings his arm around my shoulder, pulls me in close, and screams along with the band. I’ve never seen him before in my life, but grab him right back, nonetheless, throw my free hand into the air, and sing along.

I wonder if he is thinking about his resume, too.