Do Not Touch My Drumstick

A beam of light shone from the ceiling, highlighting the drummer on stage like a target for alien abduction. His arms blurred as he pounded out the beat of One to the crowd.

Perspiration dripped beneath my T-shirt as my front pressed against the metal barricade where I was wedged between my friends, all of us reeking of salty sweat.

Thank god this wasn’t general admission, I thought again. For the first time in a month, my arms were free to move, my instrument of torture removed early in the evening. Permanently.

A sickeningly sweet cloud poured over me and my eyes watered. I returned my focus to Lars as his drum kit spun around to face us.

I yelled in approval, noticing a rasp in my hoarse voice.

The music from One filled me, the massive speakers placed in the arena delivering it to me until my body was the song.

I lived every beat. Guitar strum. Note.

I circled my head as fast as I dared, praying I didn’t somehow reinjure the newly freed collar bone while headbanging.

The song ended and I looked up.

Lars moved from the kit, waving at the fans on the corner of his stage, a mere thirty feet from us.

And a miracle happened.

His eyes met mine. Somehow.  And it was just us in the crowd.

I love you, man! I mouthed, careful to enunciate my silent words.

You love me? His lips asked, his question clear in the thundering din of the audience.

I love you! I pointed at him with my good arm as I spoke.

Here. He tossed a glass of water he’d picked up. I didn’t bother reaching for it as others around me grabbed for the glass, the cold liquid a balm on my hot and sticky skin.

No! I screamed silently, the words only for him. I want a drumstick!

He laughed, thrusting the stick in my direction. You want it?


He walked down his stage’s ramp into the floor area between the two stages.

My heart pounded with each footstep as he approached me.

Twelve feet.





Without another word or attempt at communication, he placed a drumstick into my eager fingers. They closed instantly, my knuckles almost white from the instant death grip.

A guy standing next to me discovered this when he tried to rip the drumstick from my grasp the second Lars turned his back.

It was the side of the broken collar bone, still weak.

But the drumstick didn’t budge, my grip and the copious amount of tape wrapping the stick keeping it secure in my hand.

I turned to the guy, imagining myself The Terminator. I gave a slight shake of my head and bathed him with a menacing look, the meaning clear.

Do not touch my drumstick again. Ever.

* * *

Creative non-fiction does more than report events; it draws you into the writer’s experience and allows you to live memories and emotions along with the author. Descriptive language is at the heart of that side-along living. How you as a writer convey sensory information will decide how engaged your reader becomes.

For this week’s memoir prompt, we’re going to let narrative take a backseat. Choose a moment from your personal history and mine it for sensory detail. Describe it to us in rich, evocative details. Let us breath the air, hear the heartbeat, the songs, feel the fabric and the touch of that moment.

Let’s keep the word count to 500.

Concrit is welcomed as always.


About Kelly K @ Dances with Chaos

Kelly K has learned the five steps to surviving of motherhood: 1) Don't get mad. Grab your camera. 2) Take a photograph. 3) Blog about it. 4) Laugh. 5) Repeat. She shares these tales at Dances with Chaos in order to preserve what tiny amount of sanity remains. You can also find her on her sister blog, Writing with Chaos ( sharing memoir and engaging in her true love: fiction writing. It's cheaper than therapy.
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30 Responses to Do Not Touch My Drumstick

  1. Wow! What an awesome moment! The drum was totally playing in my head (once I figured out it wasn’t U2 – hee!) through the last half of that, even though it was over!

  2. Erin says:

    Ahhhhh Lars! The man is a genius on the drums! What an excellent memory, and I’m sure collar bone or no collar bone injury you would have kicked that guys ass if he got a hold of your drum stick!

  3. I love this – you’ve captured the atmosphere so well, and I can really feel that excitement with you!

  4. Jaimie says:

    …omg, that was awesome. 🙂

  5. Sweaty says:

    OMG, words cannot express how awesome it was!!!! For Lars to come over and hand the drumstick to you (screaming here). Lucky, lucky girl! I would probably kicked that annoying guy who tried to grab it away from you. What a douchebag !! grrr

  6. Kir says:

    WOW!!!!!love that memory, I was right there with you and could see you tell him, “DON’T TOUCH MY DRUMSTICK”.

    it was incredible writing!

  7. Renee says:

    Well done! I could smell the sweat and feel the beat vibrate in my chest.
    And? I felt the menace directed at the idiot that would try to take your drumstick.

  8. kaleba says:

    Aw, great story! I was right there with you. Well done!

  9. christina says:

    AWESOME. just AWESOME! 🙂

  10. julie Moore says:

    How exciting! Very vivid description of a concert and the environment. Awesome.

  11. Nancy C says:

    It’s official. I’m totally jealous. That moment where he mouthed “I love you.” OMG.

    • I couldn’t believe we somehow had this conversation in the din of a concert.

      And then I actually got what I asked for..

      I mean, I wasn’t flashing them or anything. I think I was wearing a too big Metallica T-shirt, so I wasn’t even dressed up.

      I did have the advantage of only being 20 years old.

  12. shah says:

    This reminds me of so many fabulous gig moments. The electricity in the crowed and within oneself as expectations are met ans exceeded. Wonderfully captured here.

  13. CDG says:

    The moment of being the music is just magic. Raw magic.
    Well done.

    Do you still have it?

  14. Terry says:

    You brought it! You brought us right in with the sensory details you shared. I love the silent words passed between you two, and I could see why this memory is burned into your memory!

  15. Frelle says:

    holy wow.

    lucky girl, and amazing, compelling storytelling. I could easily visualize the exchange happening and him walking over and everything, having been a fan since high school in the 80s 🙂 awesome.

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