Liz tore open the newsletter. Rock in a Dead New Year at Oakland Auditorium! It's the end of the seventies. She grabbed her duffel bag and tossed six rainbow shirts on top of a lid of Panama Red.
Her mother peeked in the door. "Leaving already?"
"Yeah. Christmas is over." Liz threw the duffel bag over her shoulder.
"Where are you going?"
"Following the faithful, Mom. Following the Dead."
Liz thumbed rides and walked when no one stopped, making her way to Oakland. Her buzz was solid by the time she joined the masses in the parking lot. The concert had started and so had the spinners.
She waved one of the shirts over her head. "Handmade Dead shirts! Five bucks!" Liz wandered through the crowd and, by selling the shirts and a few joints, earned her admission.
The stadium was packed and she squeezed in making her way as close to the stage as possible. She took a deep breath of the pungent air mixed with pot, hash and body stench.
She lit a joint and offered it to the guy next to her. He stood rigid and stared at the stage, swaying with the music. He leaned against her until she was pushed in his direction by the bodies on her other side. Someone reached out and took the joint so she lit another.
"So how many concerts have you seen? I've been a Deadhead for six years and haven't missed a single one. Well, I've at least made the parking lot." The drum solo started and the packed bodies throbbed with the beat.
She looked over at the man beside her. He was lost in the music; his eyes were vacant and his mouth hung open. He rebounded off one shoulder or another, depending on the swell of the crowd.
"What'd you take? Looks like a sweet trip." In the distance a fat girl threw her peasant blouse in the air.
"Quiet type, huh? I get motor mouth when I'm buzzed. My last boyfriend hated that, but I can't help it." She hit the joint and passed it on.
The crowd behind pressed against her back. Her silent friend fell into her and she shoved him upright. Her shoulder felt warm and wet.
"Gross! Look what you did!" She reached up to wipe the drool from her shoulder but her hand came away covered in blood.
The man beside her moaned as the crowd bucked around them. Somewhere off to the left she heard more moans.
"Buddy, you're bleeding! You need help." Liz reached up and slapped his cheeks trying to gain his attention. More voices began to maon in all directions.
"C'mon. Let's find a rent-a-cop or something." She pulled on his arm and he turned to face her. His eyes were still vacant and his jaw hung slack.
The band started All Over Now. "Damn, that's my favorite song. Hey! What the hell do you think you're doing?" Liz suddenly lost her buzz as he bent and tore out her throat.