the cashier thought i was a maniac

One Ok Rock at Soma San Diego Oct. 23, 2014

This is coming kinda late, but I’m finally home able to write out what happened that day. I wanna say that nothing remarkable happened to me, but that would be lying & I think I’ve gotten past the point of denial and am just coasting now on blissful acceptance of my unbelievable luck. ^_^

That day was seriously….awesome! Let me start out first with how it all started. 

I got to the venue at 11 that morning. My friends wanted me there at 6am but there’s no way I’m getting up that early ^_^ (sorry, not sorry…I’m not a morning person…To the people that came that early, you guys are f*ckin’ amazing!) 

We were originally waiting by the venue’s door, but we got booted to the side alley at about 2pm. We hadn’t seen any signs of the boys, but some of their stage crew were already there setting up (we saw the stage manager smoking outside by the back entrance). We tried to do some reconnaissance in the back lot to see what was going on inside, but no luck in finding anyone friendly to talk to.

Anyway, sometime after 3pm, I was getting antsy & I really had to go pee, so I went to Target across the way. I was pretty hungry by this time so I went over to their grocery section to scope out the food they had available. I probably spent 10 minutes trying to convince myself I wanted a salad, but since my arguments for having a healthy meal weren’t appetizing, I opted for just mango juice.

I was standing by the fruit section contemplating whether I wanted to brave something else when I noticed this cute guy dressed all in black walking towards my direction looking left and right like he’s looking for something but can’t decide as to what it is he wanted. It took me several seconds to realize that the cute guy was actually Taka. 

I stood there frozen while I watched him saunter his way towards the grocery department. I’m not sure if he noticed me staring at him (but if he did, he did a good job of pretending that there wasn’t this weird girl staring creepily at him as he was going about minding his own business). I stepped up to him and said,“Excuse me…” There was a Target employee walking slightly in front of him & I had to side-step him ‘cuz he thought I meant to talk to him instead. Inwardly, I felt so bad towards that Target employee for not acknowledging his existence, but at that point, all my energy was directed towards making some sort of contact with Taka. 

Taka then stopped walking and looked me in the eye. I must have looked really strange 'cuz he had that “Oh, shit…” look on his face.

“Can I take a picture with you?" 

After I said that, he relaxed a little bit and said sure. I don’t know whether he was thinking,"Here we go again…” or “Damnit…this sucks…” but I went ahead and busted out my phone so I could take a selfie with him. My hands were shaking so badly, I couldn’t position my hand properly so I could press the photo capture button. So I asked him,“Um…can you press the button for me?" 

"Sure!” he said. 

He leans forward for the picture, & I just stood there grinning cheekily as he went ahead and pressed the button. 

I then thanked him for the photo & I asked him if he needed any help looking for anything. He declined my offer, but he grinned right back at me as I smiled at him and wished him luck on that evening’s performance. (Gawdz, that smile! That genuine smile! It’s to die for!)

As I walked away (yah, no, I didn’t stalk him to find out what he was there for…i’m not that crazy ^_^), my hands wouldn’t stop shaking and my mind wouldn’t stop racing. I couldn’t believe I just met Taka & I had the audacity to ask him to take the picture for me! I had to stop and collect myself (& also to spam my friends with his photo) before I went to pay for my juice. By this time, all thoughts of food was gone…I had barely remembered to pay for my juice 'cuz I was so frazzled.

I go to the register closest to the exit door, & as I place my juice on the counter, I look towards the Starbucks by the front door of Target & I noticed this mess of blonde hair on this tall guy surrounded by shorter dark haired boys. I was like…“No way….that can’t be them…” & sure enough, it was the rest of the band with Jamil.

I had thought I was able to calm myself down after my encounter with Taka, but seeing Toru from a distance brought me right back to intense fangirl mode. Internally, I was screaming for joy…Externally, I probably looked maniacal like I’d forgotten to take my anti-psychotic meds that day. The cashier noticed my helmet & was trying to make small talk with me about riding a motorcycle, but I was having a hard time stringing words together 'cuz I desperately wanted to head over to Starbucks & see the boys up close.

As soon as I finished paying, I tried to walk sedately towards them (keyword: tried). Toru was the first to notice me & he just stared at me with that lip curl thing he does when he’s amused (oh man….to see that semi-smile on his lips again! that’s the second time this year i got to see him smile!). It wasn’t an unkind look. It was actually damn sexy and it made me want to do all sorts of things like blushing all the way down to my Dr. Marten boots, ducking behind solid objects to hide my embarrassment, or run up to him & plant a big wet one on those sexy lips of his.

Anyway, he stared at me drink in hand & I asked for a picture. My request was answered by silence from the boys. Either they didn’t understand me, or they were shocked to be recognized. Jamil translated for me (“Shashin o totte…” I heard him say), & the boys all chorused,“Sure.” Jamil then says,“Make it quick…” (damn! so rude!) & I think he noticed how clipped he sounded 'cuz he tried to make up for it by making small talk. He pointed out my Hoobastank shirt, & the addled-brain person that I am I say,“Oh man…I am so jealous. Come November, I am going to be dying inside.” Jamil translated my ramblings in one word, “Urayamashi…” I must have sounded so fanatical! Urgh!Toru just kept staring at me with his Gachapin eyes & that smirk, Ryota was hiding behind sunglasses so he just looked bored, & Tomoya was trying to figure out what’s up with his drink.

I wanted to make eye contact with all of them, but Toru kept me captivated. I only broke eye contact with him 'cuz Jamil laughed & pointed at Tomoya’s drink and said in Japanese something about how they gave him extra & it’s overflowing.

By this time, Jamil has my phone & is getting ready to take the picture. Toru made a move to stand next to me, but by doing that he would have blocked Tomoya, so he stepped away & so did I so we could make room for Tomoya. Jamil took two pictures for me, & as he’s handing me back my phone, I turn to the boys and thanked them. I also wished them luck for that night, & they all said thank you ^_^.

I left quickly. I was so embarrassed I didn’t even try to shake their hands or get quick hugs. I walked to my bike, & as I’m spamming my friends, I see them leaving Target & jay-walked back towards Soma. I get on my bike real quick & try to get back to Soma before them. Luckily, some fans stopped them at the street to take pictures & I was able to rush around the corner to warn my friends that they were on their way back. Since I already had my pictures, I didn’t bother them this time & watched fans go nuts as they walked by.

We waited another 3 hours after that to finally get into the venue. We all rushed in, & thankfully we were able to get spots near the front. Unfortunately, we weren’t up against the baricade, but we only had one row of people in front of us (they were tall tho, so it was kinda hard to see). Before the show started, I asked my friends for a group picture, & I immediately posted it on instagram.

We were all pretty amped up so when the lights dimmed down at 8pm, we were all going crazy. 

I honestly don’t remember much from Ghost Town’s performance, but from what I heard from fans who went to the Anaheim show, their Soma performance was a whole lot better. Either their vocalist took notes from Taka’s performance the night before, or they liked the vibe in San Diego better than Anaheim’s, but either way, they were entertaining and fun. I especially like their song “You’re So Creepy”. That sounded especially good live ^_^ 

(We saw Ryota on the side of the stage dancing….I tried to take a picture of him, but it’s just too creepy of me to post it ^_^ and I think Tomoya may have come out too. I think Taka also made an appearance, but not Toru. Jamil was hanging out at the side of the stage too & we got him to wave back at us ^_^)

Ghost Town played about a half hour set & intermission was about 45 minutes long. I was getting impatient at around 9pm & I posted a picture on instagram featuring Taka’s mic & Tomoya’s drums. I was scrolling through who liked my pictures, & I noticed one that really stood out. I had tagged Taka & the boys on the group picture I took of me & my friends since I figured he wouldn’t notice it any way.

I start freaking out & I showed it to my friends. We all started screaming & people thought it was because we saw something on stage (sorry about that!). A few minutes later, the show started & the real screaming began.

I’m terrible at remembering songs that they played or what exactly happened on stage. I do remember Taka throwing up his mic & not dropping it. He also didn’t mess up or forget the lyrics.

They didn’t talk much (actually, only Taka talked & even that was very minimal). As far as his English is concerned, he says “crap” instead of “clap”, but everything else was good. There was this one time he said something but I didn’t hear what he said. He was smirking when he said it, so it must have been funny.

Since we were in front of Ryota, I tried to pay attention to him, but he just didn’t seem energetic as usual. Toru was definitely giving it his all 'cuz I could see the sweat flying from his face every time he moved (those lucky girls baptized by his sweat!!) Tomoya I couldn’t see at all, but I could definitely feel his energy. Taka…well…Taka…he kept coming over to our side. I felt like he spent more time in front near Ryota than Toru. He also slapped a couple of hands during the show & even went on top of the middle barricade to be a part of the crowd.

(My friend Alexandra had gone to their Anaheim show & she said that Taka was even more energetic at Soma & was friendlier. I wonder what happened at Anaheim to make him act like that?)

I forget what song it was, but Toru did that swinging his guitar thing again ^_^ He caught it in time, but as he started playing again, I don’t think he had his hands in the right position 'cuz it sounded wrong. Like discorded notes. I guess I may have been the only one among my friends who noticed it, but that’s okay. He was a trooper & kept playing. Good thing it happened towards the end of the song 'cuz then he played it off like it was suppose to be that way.

The instrumental part was a little different this time. It sounded so grungy and so dark. Some of the endings to their songs were a little bit heavier too. Watching Taka bounce around and then hearing this metal grunge music was a little strange, but it didn’t sound bad. As far as how they look on stage while they play that different style, I think they need to practice a bit more & try looking a lil’ more Kurt Cobain-ish. They just look too damn happy ^_^

They played 3 new songs: Mighty Long Fall, Decisions, and Stuck In The Middle. I’ll be honest with you, I was one of the ones who deeply disliked the MLF single. MLF is all right, Decisions sounds like it was edited for radio play, & Pieces of Me sounds like a sell-out song. But hearing Decisions live totally changed my mind about that song. It’s actually really pretty…that is…Live..only… ^_^ Stuck In The Middle has always been good live. I wonder if they’ll put that in their next album….

Last song was The Beginning, but they came back and played “Wherever You Are” for encore. I think half the audience was crying by this time, either 'cuz of the song or 'cuz they didn’t want the show to end. I cried…I cried during the last chorus of the song. I was so overwhelmed by sadness & I didn’t want to shut out anything that I was feeling so I let myself cry.

As soon as the lights turned on, everyone rushed out. I ran to the merch table & my friends rushed outside. While I was inside buying the baseball tee, Toru was actually outside at the back of Soma signing & taking pictures with fans. I was so torn, but I really wanted my shirt since I wasn’t going to be able to go to Knotfest that upcoming weekend. By the time I was able to go outside, Toru was already leaving to go back inside and freshen up. I ran up to my friend Alexandra & hung around with her. Thanks to her, I was able to talk to Kevin ^_^.

Ryota was outside at that time time too, but none of us called out his name. I didn’t wanna bother the guy so I just stared at him from a distance.

It seemed like we had a ways to wait before the boys came out again, so I went to go get my bike. As I’m riding back towards the back of Soma, I noticed the crowd going crazy. Luckily for me, I arrived just in time to see Taka making his way around the fans. I tried to get as close as possible, but he kept getting swarmed & these girls kept going in front of me to get to him first. Since I already had taken a picture with him earlier that day, I wasn’t too worried. I waited at the end of the line of fans standing around to talk to the boys.

So first came Taka, then Ryota, then Tomoya, then eventually Toru again. Jamil also came over & hung around Taka & took pictures with fans. Taka & Jamil kept getting closer but more girls kept going in front of me to talk to them again.

When Taka was about 6 feet away from me, he notices me standing there. He grins at me & said,“Hey! Second time today!” He comes over to stand next to me, & then Jamil finally notices me too & says,“Hey! It’s Target Girl!” I’m just too shocked (& a lil miffed that the nickname he gave me is so blahh….& girl?? what the heck!! i’m older than you! guess i should take that as a compliment ^_^) 

I guess Taka remembered my issue earlier when I had to ask him to press the button for me 'cuz he put his right arm around me with his hand flat against my back then reached for my phone with his left hand to take the picture. But when he did that, he blocked the camera part with his hand & the screen went dark. He goes,“What happened?!?” & I was like,“Um…I think you blocked the camera with your hand…” The girls around me started to get a lil’ frenzied & were trying to push me away from him, so I stepped aside & let them take their pictures with him. I waited there a while & even helped some girls wit their photos, but eventually I got my opportunity to take my picture with him. ^_^

Just like before, he put his arm around me & just so I can say I did, I put my arm around his waist ^_^ (bwahahaha!) He pressed the camera button for me again (that’s why we’re both looking to the side of the picture 'cuz we’re both looking at his finger ^_^). I said my thanks & let the other girls mob him again. 

I wanted to take pictures with the other boys, but I guess they were taking too long talking to fans so they shooed them away before I got my opportunity. Toru left first, then Taka. As Taka walked away, I yelled out,“Bye, Taka!” He turns around and waves back. He didn’t make it very far & had to turn around 'cuz his ride (Dan & Emily) were standing closer to where the fans were standing. Tomoya and Ryota were the last to leave the fans & it felt like they really wanted to stay & finish greeting everyone. They walked away & everyone was shouting out their goodbyes. Taka finally leaves with Dan & Emily & everyone left to follow him except for Alexandra, Kenya, & I. We just stood there & tried to assimilate everything that had happened that night. 

This definitely beats my experience from Warped Tour ^_^ I’m pretty sure there are other people with better stories than me, but I just wanted to share this 'cuz a few OORers were curious about how I met them. Well, here it is. Hope you liked my narrative of my experience. ^_^