For our Who Am I? course, our assignment for Unit 2 was to recall a memory from our past and create a 800 word paper, describing the memory in full detail. The memory had to have metaphors and descriptive words, in order to capture the attention of the reader. During the process of recollecting my memory, I was proud of the fact that I could re-tell my story with such detail, and meet the required word limit. While writing my memory, I consulted my friend who appears in my memory to ask her about what came to mind for her of that same day. I learned that my individual memory differs from our collective one, however, together we still remember the important bits. Below my written up memory is a short slideshow, with an attached video clip to give you the feel of my special memory. Enjoy!

You ask for a strong memory that will live inside me forever? Well I have one to share. It has to do with something that happened while I was listening to music, a passion that I share with my grandmother, Gerda. However, our taste in music differs slightly. During a recent telephone conversation we had, she stated, “Oh! I was absolutely head over heels in love with Frank Sinatra. He was a total dream!” I, on the other hand, enjoy going to concerts, and experiencing the insanity that comes along. That is why this memory is so dear to me. Because that is exactly what it is about.

The sky was slowly darkening, like a blanket was being tossed gently over the sun, even though it was only three in the afternoon. Something felt wrong, different. The first drop of rain hit me square on the forehead, immediately filling my stomach with butterflies and a sense of excitement. The tremendous music was blaring in my ears and the beat was making my heart pound. The song was coming to an end, but I could tell that something seemed off. It was not until the song had ended and the rain was coming down faster, that I knew just what was wrong. A man had gotten up on the big stage and was speaking loudly into one of the many microphones provided. Suddenly, it was like dominos, a chain reaction. Like everyone unconsciously knew that with this poor man’s words, it was time to get mad. Angry shouts and screams broke out all around me and my best friend Lucy, who was looking just as shocked as I felt. It was complete pandemonium. The man on stage who made the announcement looked like a puppy that was about to be pelted with jagged rocks. But the message was clear.

Lollapalooza was called off. We were being evacuated. We were all being evacuated. The boos and hisses and angry shouts spread like wildfire. The whole of Grant Park was being evacuated. Lucy and I looked at each other, horror-struck, as comprehension quickly dawned on our faces. The weather was due to get worse and everyone must find refuge. However, on August 4th, 2012, there were more than 160,000 outraged concertgoers all packed onto 320 acres of land.

With the first deafening crack of thunder, Lucy and I looked at each other and simultaneously broke into a run. Screaming, we pushed passed drunken, laughing, shouting people and squeezed our way through hundreds upon hundreds of people all scrambling in the same direction: out…out to a blocked off, shoulder-to-shoulder- crowded, Michigan Avenue. Everything out on the street was insane. Lucy and I took hands and gripped tightly. We had to stay together.

The rain was torrential now, and we were soaked to the skin. We had stowed our phones inside plastic bags that we found on the street, but we had to find shelter because the announcer who called off Lollapalooza was right: this rain was dangerous. The street was still packed, even fifteen minutes away from Grant Park, and we couldn’t just keep pushing through people and aimlessly walking around downtown because it was getting extremely dark, even though the temperature had not dropped.

I could see Lucy shouting something, but I couldn’t hear over the deafening sound of the rain.

“What?!” I questioned.

“We should just go in there!”

She shouted even louder, and she gestured to the Apple Store across the street. I felt relief sweep over my entire body at her suggestion. I nodded enthusiastically and we took hands again, squeezing around people until we reached the Apple Store. I pushed the heavy, resistant doors open until we were finally in and found cover. As we caught our breath, we began looking around. From beside me, I heard Lucy giggle. And when she laughs, it’s hard for anyone in the vicinity not to laugh along. And so naturally, I did. We laughed about the fact that we were soaking wet. We laughed because we were cold. We laughed because we were standing in the middle of the Apple Store, and everyone was openly staring at us. We laughed at the fact that we were stranded downtown with nowhere to go. We laughed until we discovered that Lollapalooza was back on in twenty minutes. We laughed until we cried when, a half hour later, we were swallowed by the tremendous crowd gathered in the muddy mosh pit of the only band I cared about seeing that day. And even though the rain made it so we could catch only their last song, I was still laughing, because it was my favorite. I will never forget Lollapalooza, 2012, sitting on Lucy’s shoulders, singing along to SomeNights at the top of my lungs.