;"If you don't get here soon, I'm carving your name into my arm!" I sniffle, paranoid-peeking through the blinds. I hate my parents. I hate my parents. I hate my parents.

;;"Ooooh, then I'm slowing down," comes Tony's twisted telephonic triage. "I'd love to see that!"

;;We're going to a suicide party. Well, not necessarily a suicide party, but one that – depending on your philosophical vantage point – will either lead to our eventual encounters with the blades of razors (like tonight, even) or will encourage pouty girls who don't eat to run into the arms of the Lord Jesus Christ, wear skinny jeans, stop gouging their flesh and generally fall into that dismal fray that includes Pedro the Lion and Natalie Portman bathroom scenes. Either way, it's a no-win.

;;"Do you think they'll accept blood at the door?" I paper-cut. "I mean, they always ask you to hold your wrists out anyway. Why not give them a little something more?"

;;So this is the story. There's this charity, see, and they're called To Write Love on Her Arms. Why? Well, two reasons apparently. The first and most preposterous comes from some allegiance to Joaquin Phoenix who – whilst lensing useless promo pap for the dangerously hideous She Wants Revenge – took to scribbling notes of theme and mood direction on his forearm … and only geniuses deserving Christ-like reverence (and, well, crazies) are willing to run that ink-poisoning risk. The second reason more poignantly revolves around a troubled girl on cocaine who felt it appropriate – necessary, even – to carve a hate word to herself on her own forearm following a particularly horrible childhood or a particularly bad party. Cutting, then. Didn't Oprah invent cutting?

;;"Do you think they'll play any Echo and the Bunnymen?" Tony hops the curb outside the Social. "You know, ‘The Cutter'?"


;"I'm leaning more toward Cutting Crew."


;Ouch. Well, from the looks of things, there really isn't much flesh here to feel our bouts with tasteless incision anyway, as this is just about the only emo show I've ever attended where there aren't at least 60 dirty-haired miscreants in uncomfortable pre-show crouches rolling their eyes and ruing my existence. There are just two, actually. Outside, emo boy No. 1 says to emo boy No. 2, "Did you send me that Macy's card?" without any sense of camp or irony, and I'm quick to understand that, although his shirt reads "CBGB's," he and his fop hair have never snorted coke off Joey Ramone's bathroom-floor urine stain. Emo is the rock & roll Target … and I am NOT Isaac Mizrahi.


;"I feel like I'm at summer camp," I itch. "Christian summer camp."


;"The thing about this scene is …" Tony surveys with his God finger.


;"This ain't a scene, it's a goddamned arms race!" I Fall Out, Boy.

;;But we're not really here to blindly hate on the insecurities of hungry girls. I, after all, am myself a hungry girl with a pedigree that I still wear on my wrists in the form of two scarred "x"s. I fashionably overdosed in a pool of blood nearly 10 years ago – the very same day that I thought Duran Duran's career was over – because I was "um, tired." I am not above scrutiny. I am scrutiny.

;;However, an out-of-tune pep rally of the Warped Tour variety in the name of Jesus is enough to make my own scars split open and pour out communion wine. I feel sick.


;"I dare you to go over to the merch booth and ask for a Band-Aid," I double-dog Tony.


;But it's too late for that kind of topical shenanigans; the music is already starting. On stage an emo Sanjaya-headband of a man is shooting way high for notes he'll never find, all culminating in some saccharine Godspeak: "Guide me!"

;;Somebody with a mohawk to our left says something about being "big in Europe" in between staccato, fat-boy drumbeats, leading Tony to gaze over the eight or nine misfits in attendance and say, "So, this is Europe?" and coin a new acronym: NME, New Metal Euro. As in: "That's soooo NME, but not in the good way."


;"Omigod, the first Dashboard album saved my life!" he smirks.


;"Your hair is everywhere," I don't.


;Realizing that this is going nowhere – and certainly not to an eternal salvation with childproof razor blades and infidelities that scream – we decide to get even more pithy with a game of "She does, she doesn't" involving every skinny girl who walks her arms through the door (meaning three). We spot one with an actual "To Write Love on Her Arms" T-shirt, which is specifically the fashion find that I need in my dying life, and Tony approaches to find out where, oh where we can find one, if not at a benefit of the same name.


;"The Warped Tour," she rolls one eye, "or the Internet," and then the other.


;We decide to pop over to Bar-BQ, where girls still cut their arms and only date guys that look like Jesus, for some alcoholic clarity, but seeing as it's all-ages hours, all we find in the overhearable sphere is this bit of wisdom: "It's the guitar player from Explosions in the Sky's little brother, and it sounds just like Explosions in the Sky meets Godspeed."

;;What doesn't? It's the end of the world.

;;But it's not the end of this story. As if on cue, the following morning my 1-year-old miniature pinscher, my little Lindsay Lohan named Josephine, stops just short of carving my name into her paw, pulling a bottle of Alan's prescription helpers off the table and effectively overdosing in a pool of her own sick. Cue small-dog stomach pump and overreaching gays-at-the-vet drama (but no blood!).


;I guess she hates her parents, too.


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