Friday, July 14, 2006



I remember my first black eye...

It did not happen in my childhood. I had scrapes and bruises like most kids, but no black eye, no broken bones. It did not happen in my teenage years. I wasn't really a brawler.

It happened at a Red Hot Chili Peppers' concert. I was in my early twenties, probably 1989. The Peppers were playing at the Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver, the place with the springy dance floor. I was very excited, everybody I knew was excited...the Peppers were touring the "Mother's Milk" album and it was going to be an explosive show.

The dance floor was packed. The term "mosh pit" hadn't really come into vogue yet, but picture a mosh pit with about 800 people, all just going bananas! (There were no spectators, if you know what I mean.) I was right in the middle of the floor, dancing like a maniac. At one point I vaguely remember making contact with some sweaty hunk's elbow...we grinned at each other and kept on dancing. I didn't think anything of it--I was making contact with everyone around me!

At the end of the night when I went to the ladies room to freshen up, I saw I had a huge shiner! My left eye was turning that beautiful purple-black colour. It must have been the elbow from the cute hunk...

This black eye became a badge of honor for the time it took to heal. "Where'd you get the black eye, Paula?"

"Oh, I was slamming seriously hard at the Chili Pepper's show..."

Inevitably..."Coooooooooool!" with a tone of hushed reverence and awe.

Yup, I milked that black eye for all it could give me. Looks like I still am!

13 comments:

Karin said...

Do you have any idea how often I look for another story from the Life of Paula?
I love these!

Spoke said...

My first and only shiner came from a sweet young woman...
I WAS a brawler, but never earned a shiner, not even when my beek was broken...
One night at a gig in Vancouver in a sweaty pit, PAULA'S big head belted me in the right eye. She didn't even know she did it. Not the best shiner, but one non the less!

papa herman said...

black eyes...
dad was not so lucky....

recently our middle child, Becket, spent the nite sleeping with Grandpa in their 5th wheel. during the course of the night Becket started moving around and in the process gave Grandpa a kick in the eye... quite a shinner he got!

lindy said...

I once was kicked in the head by a crowd surfer. Ha!
Knocked me for a loop.

Kim said...

I've never had a black eye. I don't really want one but if I do get it, I want a really cool story about a good looking person giving it to me without knowing it. Just makes it happier.
I love how everyone has so many stories to go along with Paulas I feel like I'm sitting around in a group just hanging and tossing the ball of lingo around.
Ooo....I have to share a story too! Umm...there was this time I was playing soccer and this guy twice my size came at me and kicked the ball straight into my head. Everyone was really concerned but it didn't really injure me, actually it healed the headache I had--so I thanked him for it!

Paula said...

Oh, Kim...that is funny. "Thank you for hitting me in the head." Hee hee!!

Kim said...

heheh..., It's not a way I would recommend healing a headache though...

Pondering Pig said...

Hey thanks Paula. Your story reminds me of my days as a dancer in Sixties San Francisco. We had a ballroom with a springy floor too - the Avalon Ballroom, but the dancing style was so different - all graceful and swooping swirls and using your arms and just being "free" if you know what I mean. The only time I don't remember dancing was when it was a Big Brother weekend and Janis was singing lead. Too thunderstruck. Oh yeah, one other time - Andy Warhol's band Velvet Underground came to town and they were so cold and icy and catatonic - who could dance?
My black eyes were from more mundane events - like once in Mexico when a guy crashed a coffeetable over my head.

Paula said...

Mr. Pig, I have often been accused of "dancing like a hippy". I totally get the free-form swooping swirls thing! Hee hee!!

YOU SAW VELVET UNDERGROUND????? Oh, that must have been a total freak! I'm so jealous. Well, no, but I think it's cool that you did.

Sorry 'bout that coffeetable incident.

Kirstie said...

When I saw the picture on your post it brought me back to my preteen days at the mall with a friend. We were at the mall trying to be cool and grown up. We were at Sam Goody, the big music store, and I remember seeing that album cover. We both went "eeewwwwwwwww!" We thought it was some band who liked to drink their girlfriend's milk or something.

Pondering Pig said...

I would have to go into deep hypnosis to remember the details of the Velvet Underground's big San Francisco debut at the original Fillmore Auditorium. It was summer of 1966. I think I still have the poster somewhere in deep storage. It was serious culture clash, although at the time I just thought they were too serious and cold. The Haight-Ashbury was right in the first flowering of peace and love. Euphoria through dancing to great bands was the name of the game. The Underground starring Nico I think her name was didn't get what we were doing and we didn't get their deep New York sensibility. Imagine them up on stage singing Heroin with an ecstatic psychedelic light show swirling around them and kids with beads and velvets standing around being polite until Big Brother came on. (Actually, I don't remember what the other band was that night).
But they were there because they were popular - their first album was being played all over the Haight that Fall.

headphonaught said...

Wow P... "Mother's Milk" was the first CD I ever bought... 2nd was "The Real Thing" by Faith No More.

Wow!!!

Karina said...

I love that story Paula - what an awesome way to get a black eye! I also loved it that you were so into the show that you didn't even really notice that you were really hurt! I'm gonna keep reading your stories if that's OK??? K from SP xxx