Farewell to the Queen

“I should be on the list,” I tell the mountain of a security guard blocking the door.

“What’s the name?”

I could give him my name but I know the fastest route to getting into the club.

‘I’m Chris Forsythe’s sister.”

The bouncer steps aside.

For as long as I can remember, most people on the “scene” have known me as Chris’s sister.

Going through this process, I have received a lot of good advice.  But two pieces were on my mind yesterday.  A new friend told me to make sure to take care of myself, and to do what I needed to facilitate grieving.  An old friend advised that on some level, I need to mourn for myself because I am never going to be the same.

Last night, I headed down to the Black Sheep, Chris’s second home.  I was by myself.  I just needed to be in that space one more time.

For the first hour or so, I stood behind the sound board, the place Chris would normally occupy.  I watched the band, but mostly, I just cried.

If I am honest with myself, I haven’t been a part of the scene for coming up on ten years.  I live in another state.  I have two small children.  I have embraced my weird version of a suburban mom lifestyle.

But once or twice a year, I would return to Colorado Springs.  On those occasions, I got to travel back in time.  I wasn’t Kat, the forty one year old mother of two.  I was Sizzle’s sister.

For the span of a couple of hours, I felt like Queen of the Scene.  I walked right through the doors, hugging door guys and bartenders as I made my way behind the barricaded area where my brother stood pushing buttons and knobs.  I ordered a drink and got money out of my pocket to pay for it, but somehow my cash was never taken.

I would spend the entire night talking to old friends, watching their bands.  I commented on how their sound changed or reminisced about previous shows.  If I was lucky, a guy might try to flirt with me, something that never happens to me in Arizona.  I would feel cool, attractive, witty and embraced.

I’d wait for the show to finish up so I could enjoy a couple of beers with Chris.  Sometimes I’d help him wrap up cables and put mics away.  We’d close down the bar, staying out much later than I ever do when I am not on vacation.

Looking around last night, my friend’s words about mourning myself hit me.  Most likely, that part of my life is over.  Of course I know I am always invited to see friends’ bands when I am in town.  I have no doubt I am permanently on the “list” at the Black Sheep.  But Chris was my reason for going to those events.  He’s the one who would tell me to get my ass to the show.

I needed to see the Sheep last night.  Chris’s memorial night was magical.  As wrong as it might sound, I had so much fun that evening.  It was truly a once in a lifetime event.

But last night was business as usual.  The bartenders had to pour drinks.  The sound guy had to mix bands.  The crowd was there to see the show.  Magic time was over.  Back to real life.  I don’t say that with any ill will.  That’s how it has to be.  Jobs have to be done. Mourning has to commence.  Not every second can be spent in sadness.  I think it just took me a bit longer to get there than every body else.  Watching the crew do their thing, I realized they needed to move on, and I will have to as well.

It was strange and comforting to watch the show last night.  Some things never change.  Girlfriends running the merch booth.  Bands plugging their latest single.  Outcasts trying to blend into the walls by pulling their hoodies over their heads or hiding behind the hair in their eyes.  Extroverts wearing skimpy or crazy outfits to get noticed.  The scene will carry on, whether I am there, whether Chris is there.  It is a thing unto itself.

I went outside to get some air.  A guy from one of the opening acts asked me if I had seen his band.  I replied yes.  He asked me if I liked it.  I must not have done a good job concealing my opinion.  When they were on stage I turned to J Rose and said “this band sucks.”  He laughed because I guess that is what my brother would have said.

I tried to recover by saying it just wasn’t my thing.  I figured the guy would walk away, but instead he asked “well, who did you come to see then?”

I replied in honesty that my brother had worked here and had passed away, so I had just come to be near him.

The guy’s face lit up.

“Oh my god! Are you Chris Forsythe’s sister?”

I replied that I was.  He shook my hand and paid some compliment I can not remember.  All I could focus on was that was probably the last time I would ever be asked that question.

I decided to call it a night.  I asked Jeremy to call me a cab.  As I waited outside for it to arrive, a friend of my brother Jeff came up to me to pay his respects.  He asked what I was doing, and I replied that I was waiting for a ride.

“No, you are not.  I will take you home right now.”

I brushed him off, telling him I was sure my cab would be there any minute.

“No, I’m driving you.  Jeff is my family.  I know he would do the same for my sister.”

It seemed like a fitting evening to my last night as Queen of the Scene.  Just by being someone’s sister, I couldn’t be subjected to waiting two minutes for a ride.

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