It was early afternoon at The Laundry and Amanda sat at one of the benches, idly messing with her phone. She looked up to the bar where Claire and Kim stood waiting to be served. She half-shrugged her shoulders and opened Tinder swiping left and right, pausing on the occasional picture, delving deeper before making her final decision.
Her friends walked over to the table with a gleaming bottle, coated in condensation, and an ice bucket. She clicked her screen to locked. Below their feet they could feel the opening thud of Joanna Gruesome’s set, the bass drum reverberating through the concrete.
“Is there anything you really want to see today?” asked Claire. “I dunno, maybe Young Fathers?” replied Amanda.
“Alwvays are supposed to be good,” suggested Kim.
“Let’s definitely go and see SOPHIE later,” Amanda grinned, as Kim tilted the bottle of prosecco and let the bubbles spill up the awaiting glass.
Amanda stood in the midst of The Oval Space, the bright guitars of Alvvays bouncing through the room as the buzz of alcohol flooded her pulse. Kim was at the bar, Claire dancing beside her, arms swaying in half moons. She pulled her phone out of her pocket, a stream of notifications glowing from the screen. “Jesus.” She breathed with a flicker of thrill. New matches and messages pulled her head down. “Hey, how’s it going? Are you at Visions?”
“Hey! Visions Festival by any chance?”
“Hello. How’s your weekend? Visions?”
She began to fire back replies. “Haha, yeah. You too?”
“Yeah, I’m here. What are you seeing?”
Claire leaned over her side. “What are you doing?”
“Killing it on Tinder.”
Amanda smirked the corner of her smile. She could tell her friend was jealous, but it served her right for all the times she’d talked lovingly about her stupid boyfriend, James.
Kim returned with three cans of Red Stripe and they fell back into the undeniable beat of Alvvays. But Amanda couldn’t keep her mind off her phone. She kept reaching into her pocket and sneaking glances at the screen. She could feel each new message vibrate in her bag. She slipped replies with her hand by her hip. “I’m going to SOPHIE later.”
“See you at SOPHIE?”
“Not sure, but probably gonna end up at SOPHIE.”
She was on a roll. Amanda was killing it.
The late summer afternoon turned to dusk and the three friends left The Oval Space as the sun was setting in a pink haze. They felt exhilarated from Young Fathers set and snuck in to the start of Andrew WK to find a hundred sweaty bodies crushing up to the barrier.
They pushed their way to the Brewhouse and into the dark wooden panels of the live room where SOPHIE’s set was thumping through a busy crowd. Amanda looked down at her phone again. Message after message rang from her Tinder. “I’m here. Where are you?”
“Here at the bar. Grey flannel shirt. Beard.”
“Hey, I’m here. What’s your number? Trying to find you.”
A hand fell on her shoulder. She spun with an expectant guilt, relieved to find it was only Claire. “What do you think?” her friend yelled.
Amanda shook her head and took one last look at her phone. “Do you want to go to Poliça?” She asked. “It’s a Tinder clusterfuck in here.”