Two weeks ago, in preparation for a St. Vincent concert, my friend Jesse and I dazed our way through an extraordinary day bordering on the surreal. He was compelled to chronicle the day’s happenings in this absorbing piece. I played no part in the writing of this (although I’m mentioned a few times), but I ask you to read it any way. Putting this part of himself on display like this was a triumph for him, and I think we owe him a few minutes of our time for his courage. Thank you.
I Saw a St.
by Jesse Sebree
So, there’s this band I am a fan of. A fanatical fan, the type of fan who occasionally annoys others with my near constant listening and exploration of the band. The particular band is called St. Vincent, which is made up of the very recognizable Annie Clark as lead guitar and lead vocal and other equally talented individuals. On drums was Matt Johnson who, with the Steven Colbert and Jon Stewart image on his bass drum, was probably the most normal seeming drummer I have ever seen, but whose talent was absolutely undeniable. Toko Yasuda was on… a lot of things-thermin, moog, guitar, backing vocals. I was seriously amazed at how much flexibility she showed in one single concert. Finally there is keyboardist Daniel Mintseris, who was the least visible, but earns praise all the same for pulling off some serious technological wizardry I will not pretend to entirely understand. I do know that it sounded great. Thing is, this isn’t about the concert. It was central to the whole day and it was, for me, a life-changing experience to be sure, but it led to a roughly sixty hour day that I can confidently detail better than I can critique music. It is also a story of the power of music rather than any one musician.
The reason I went to this concert in the first place is a long story I’ll try to condense. For a single semester I was a film student at the Sedona Film School. I won’t go into the dirty detail, but suffice to say it was a mistake that will always haunt me. The whole program was undermined from the start by collage and local politics, and it created what I can only describe as a health wrecking, money sucking clusterfuck that taught me more lessons about drugs, drinking, and disappointment than film. This year was the time to qualify for scholarships and grants, and I had just come out of high school in the top five percent of a 560ish class. Put bluntly, I wasted the opportunity it afforded me as an incoming freshman straight from high school on a school that lied to me. We didn’t have a program director for the majority of the semester. I also quite possibly screwed up my back and right knee forever trying to lift set dressing and equipment way outside my weight class of 136 pounds, which is underweight for a roughly six foot male. The only positive experience was making a few good friends. It was one of these more loquacious and beautifully odd friends I wound up taking on my journey, Spencer Moleda. He is a tall, lanky fellow like me, with an impeccable and occasionally flamboyant dress sense. He can make any tie work; it’s a superpower or something. He is also, and more importantly, a uniquely expressive man-a word I reserve for very few western males of my age (19) - and a film critic. He has a tumblr called airborne submarines. Check it out. I didn’t originally plan on him coming along, but I’m getting ahead of myself.
Anyway, I had dropped out of collage and my employment prospects where grim. The best work I can get is random manual labor jobs at an industrial park on the border. The work is very occasional and is not a good way to earn money, but it was something. I had been turned down as unqualified for a dish washing job, which is something I do on a daily basis at home, and the local department stores where stringing me along for two months. The service industry and retail jobs wanted two to four years experience I don’t have. My incomplete film education is a black mark on my resume. I lie now and say I only finished high school. Either way doesn’t work. I considered working in the fields until a local friend of mine was layed off from an agriculture job. I was, to be honest, getting depressed to the point of thinking suicidal thoughts on a regular basis. I was living with my parents, individuals with whom I hold almost no similar beliefs. I don’t really even have a connection with them emotionally; some days I have to wonder if I know what it’s like to love somebody in any sense of the word. My father is a grumpy, racist, homophobic, and occasionally misogynistic man who would rather spend his time at a bar than with his family. He’s the type of guy who thinks three little words can make up for a mountain of actions that prove otherwise, and he only says them when you’re doing something that reflect well on him. My mother is obviously bothered by his behavior; unfortunately she used to have a tendency take out her anger on her children. Not physically mind you, and not all the yelling was without merit, but it still caused me to drift away from her. She also had the stress of a rare eye cancer diagnosis when I was in the seventh grade. The treatment left her with a bad eye and near constant pain. She didn’t get worse after that; she actually got better about directing her anger. The damage was still done. I don’t think we’ll ever know each other all that well.
All of this combined with my usual periods of self-loathing stemming from a horrendously twisted self-image and sexuality caused by years of anxiety, repression, and occasional sexual abuse. Remember, the Boy Scouts of America only endorse homosexuality when it’s inflicted non-consensually by borderline adult members on younger scouts. I take small solace in the fact that I left before the situations became explicitly penetrative, but that gives a very limited comfort. This cocktail of misery created a potently nihilistic mixture of loneliness, despair, and hate. I mean hate, not a strong dislike, a burning passion to completely ruin yourself and everyone around you. A passion that pushes you to do awful things, that causes your mind and body to burn with an intense heat and pressure that has driven me somewhat mad before. It got to the point where I literally felt like an animal was trapped in my skull and was trying to claw its way out. I was not in a good way. I was desperate for one single ray of light in that bleak time, and then it happened.
I was Spotify-save the hate for the end- listening to St. Vincent music. In times as bad as these recent months music is a life-saver. No exaggeration. It lets me drown out the pressure in my head with beautiful sounds that alleviate the stress and let me feel normal, without it I would be an absolute wreck. I am an aspiring writer, emphasis on the aspiring. It was the afternoon, and I had been writing since the early morning. I had finished the entirety of Ms. Clark’s discography as St. Vincent and was going to listen to some classical music because I am a cheesy caricature of a wanna-be artist like that. As I was typing Tchaikovsky in the search bar, bah on your Ludwig Van, I spotted a notice stating St. Vincent would be playing at the Orpheum in Phoenix March 18th. That’s only a four hour drive from my downer hometown of Yuma. A little plan began to form. I had some money from my jobs and the holidays. I purchased two tickets from a second hand ticket site. They said pit seating first row, seventy-five dollars each, only sold in a pair. I took that deal as fast and most of the rest of money on a turntable and a vinyl of the self-titled album St. Vincent.
‘How fiscally irresponsible of you!” you say, presumably while monitoring the ticker-tape machine and sipping A Fancy Wine that I won’t pretend to know the name of.
“Yes, but I had a reason! Not a good one, but a reason none the less.” I respond, losing the premise and suddenly treating this as a dialogue.
Anyway, I had a reason. One I should have admitted to Spencer or somebody, but better late than never. I didn’t plan on continuing my stay on planet Earth much longer after that. I wanted to have one good day, the first in a long time, and then I was going to bow out with grace. I wasn’t sure how, but I’ll admit the thought of suicide was at the forefront of my mind more days than not’ preferably it would be quick and without the possible mess of something like hanging. What’s messy about hanging? Trust me when I tell you to never stand underneath a man at a lynching or you’re in for a shitty time. Yes, that was a lynching related pun. I am nothing if not the classiest asshole in town. I was going to spend my last days going about business as normal, seeing what the big deal about this vinyl technology was, and going to what media would later assure me was one hell of a show. Not the worst way to go out. Of course, I waivered and waffled at times, but the idea never left me. Sometimes things got really bad and the plan changed to bashing in a certain alcoholics head in and going to jail for a long time, or to run away until body couldn’t work anymore. The basic premise that I was going to do something extreme that would ruin me in one way or another. I suspect Spencer may have stayed home if he knew that detail. If we can take a moment to be completely honest my three point plan also included an unhealthy amount of wanking to nothing in particular. You know what I mean, when there is nothing erotic in your head or on a screen. You just need that rush of feel-good chemicals to even get up in the morning and drugs are too expensive and who am I kidding, I am too much of a wuss to deal with the local drug-dealers. Pharmaceuticals are even farther out of my price range, which says something very sad about America. If it sounds a wee bit pathetic, it’s very pathetic.
I tried for a while to see if any local friends or acquaintances could make it. Fortunately for the world and unfortunately for me, they were busy with consistent work and education. After a number of misses I decided to see if any of my film school cohorts would be interested in attending. Spencer said less, as at the time his pursuits left him with a flexible schedule. I was overjoyed at the prospect of sharing this experience with such a positive and friendly guy. It almost made me forget about the sinister motive behind my trip for a day or two. With a good day assured I coasted along through life, the album was great, I made small talk and slept in a lot. Dad got tired of me and made threats about giving me a boot out the door. We dog sat for my brother. I also made the decision at the start of March that Spencer and I would be the best dressed audience members in the place. My black pants, dress shoes, belt, jacket, tie, vest, and black and white stripped long sleeved button up shirt wound up being very similar to the security personal dress, the exception being they had solid white shirts underneath. Spencer wore some nice tan pants and brown fancy shoes. He wore a green long-sleeved button up shirt and a multicolored, almost painted looking tie. I should mention now that he also drives a very nice silver Jaguar. I was wearing almost entirely hand-me-down clothes and come from a lower middle class-occasionally just plain lower class, but we pulled it off and looked like the snazziest wealthy young gay couple in town. I don’t say that flippantly, people made that assumption a few times and we kind of rolled with it after a while.
This all finally brings us to the journey itself. My day started about a two days before the Greyhound to Phoenix whisked me away. I have less of sleep schedule and more of sleep button that might be pushed at any time. I had stayed up all night and slept through most of the day. This was Sunday, I couldn’t sleep again that night, but I had to stay up the next day to not aggravate my father into another angry rant about how I was lazy. For the record anyone who has met me in the last five years will tell you differently, except maybe my senior year math teacher, but in reality I’m genuinely horrible with numbers. I was up so long I past beyond tiredness and couldn’t sleep that night. The next day I stayed up again to avoid getting shit-talked. In the evening I hung out with some dudes back home during spring break. I didn’t pay attention to the time and by the time I left them, I would have little time to grab the bus at three o’clock a.m. I made the very dumb decision to stay up. By the time the bus arrived I was over forty hours awake. I should have guessed my day would go weird when people at the bus stop asked if I was an employee of Greyhound who could sell tickets. I should probably mention the Yuma “depot” is a bench. Nobody sells tickets at this bench, ever. The dress makes s the man I suppose, the bus line salesman. The bus arrived late by about a half hour or so and was absolutely packed. I ended up sitting next to the bathroom. Instead of sleeping I sat for four hours with my legs squished into the back of someone’s seat. On the way to the back I had pulled a muscle trying to step over someone as they fell asleep and flopped into the aisle. It did not help make the journey better. The trip was relatively uneventful, except for when the poor guy who sat across from me got left behind in Toleson. For the rest a trip I sat across a guy giggling maniacally to himself and playing with a Newport cigarette. After about thirty minutes of him grinning at me I desperately wanted my old neighbor back.
We arrived in Phoenix. I had been up Sunday afternoon through Monday and it was morning Tuesday. I had been up for forty-eight hours. The city put the very best foot forward when I arrived. Outside the depot a white trash couple, or maybe brother and sister, yelled at each other. One drove around while the other determinedly walked away. An odd lady with bruised eyes asked me how the job market for unskilled workers was and asked me to watch her purse. Her husband was short grumpy guy with a cut across his forehead that had recently scabbed over. I could tell from experience that these two beat the shit out of each other on a regular basis. It was spelled out in the way they talked to each other. I’ve seen it before; people try to make a new life together without ever realizing that being together is the reason they need to start over. They eventually grabbed a bus. Around here- Hooray for the Grand Canyon State- it seems to be a fairly common problem, at least that’s how it seems to be from my own experience. I am lucky in the fact my family has always been much more into yelling and passive-aggressive behavior than outright violence.
After a few hours my friend arrived from Oak Creek, near Sedona, to pick me up in that ostentatious vehicle of his. We hugged and decide to get some breakfast. We got lost and ended up stopping at a surprisingly good little café. He told me about how he had been “deflowered”, which was far more interesting than anything I had to say. As we ate he informed me that some fellow film students had, being entirely frank, lost their minds. What he described was so outlandish that I laughed myself silly. They had moved to Phoenix with one of their mothers. We joked about it with the hostess about it as we left. I will always feel terrible about that. We got lost again on the way there and shot the shit about whatever random stuff came to mind. He told me he had been worried about being killed one of the times he had visited the very people we would be seeing. After an embarrassingly long time we arrived at a pleasant home in a suburb outside the metropolitan center of the town. That’s when things took a turn for the bizarre. We walked out to the backyard and four of us sat down for a nice chat. It began normal enough with all of us swapping grief about the mess that was the school. They mentioned bringing a lawsuit against the school. The two of them told the two of us that they planned to flee the country soon. They told us war was coming soon, that we would be rounded up in FEMA camps in a little a half a year. This sounded a bit crazy, but nothing new to anyone who has a conspiracy theorist in their lives. Then they told us they would need to take our phones and stash them inside, so the NSA couldn’t listen in. I started to worry at that point. One of the guys told us about how he had been in an accident when he was a child. The story of all the damage he had to overcome is truly inspirational, including the fact he had to completely learn to talk again. Then he dropped the bomb. He believes a future him inhabits his body with him, guiding down a specific path so he can do something important. This was possible because the soul is immortal and composed of the energy between electrons in the atoms of individuals DNA. He told us that quantum physics proves a theory of his that astrology is real. In his case, the movement of Saturn had caused one specific sperm to meet with one specific egg, marking him as a genius born to do something great with his life because of entanglement. He described paranormal wavelengths and how by finding near identical weed pipes proved he was getting premonitions that made sure he followed a specific path in life. He told us the Large Hadron Collider was being used to manipulate the Higgs-Boson particle to create wormholes, and that one already emerged over Norway. They claimed CERN controlled the weather and that he was being taught by his future self to stop it or something.
The whole time I listened and picked at my chair and wanted to scream, to snap him out of his delusion, but I felt too sick to speak up. I almost cried. I wanted the man I knew back, not this broken creature that had once stood tall. Now he was hugging his legs and tripping over his own words as his own mind tried to work out the impossible nonsense he was spewing. The other classmate just nodded and went along with it. I had met raving transients and had my own encounters with mental illnesses like depression, but that was the first time I saw someone so young and with such possibility betrayed by his own mind. A chill ran down my spine as I realized just how invested he was in this madness. He self medicated his anxiety and paranoia with pot. Of course he did. He believed every word of what he had said. They even acknowledged what they said sounded like Donnie Darko and the Terminator and pop culture shit like that. They laughed about, but they didn’t believe it any less. Then we were inside watching a film they had started, but left school before leaving. It was normal, I tried to calm down and tell myself they would get help. Then they asked if I wanted to see photos of a gang-bang. They taunted me telling me they already knew I would say yes. I told them no, but saw them only. A sense of dread grew in my stomach. This wasn’t just a delusional break; this was a future cult with the man from the future preaching to his stoner buddy and their friends. Their sub-urban ennui would get them interested in anything that made them sound special. It wouldn’t end well and I wanted to leave. We did. Spencer and I got our cell phones back and we were worried not about the government, but that they had tampered with them. We couldn’t even talk about what we heard until we were out of their neighborhood.
We decided to head to the Orpheum Theater after that. I alternated between trying to grasp what I heard-I knew it was impossible- laughing at it to keep tears away, and dry heaving from the sheer horror at what I had scene. I began to feel my exhaustion for the first time. We had been there for hours. Luckily, the day kept giving. When we got near the theater we saw that a number of the streets had been closed off or restricted. Somebody had gotten into a confrontation with the police and got killed. The same people who told us this asked for money. That happened a lot throughout the day. I genuinely felt bad all the times I had to tell people I had no cash.
We ate a pretty good sushi place; I had eel for the first time. Not much to write about. After that we travelled back to the Orpheum and decided to wait the remaining few hours for the show to start. Once we sat down outside a fellow fan told us we had just missed Ms. Clark out and about, and had the photo to prove it. The three of us struck up a conversation from there. His name was Bob Gomez, and he was a pretty cool guy I have to say. We all had a conversation about a variety of various nerd things: TV shows, movies, music, ect. It was in him that Spencer and I confided that we had both never been to a concert before in our lives. He told us it would be good, except for the sea of hipsters. We carried on until we the doors opened to the public. We all actually saw the opening act, Noveller, enter the building. In fact I was trying to recall the name of the opening act as this happened. I realized shortly afterwards what had just happened and felt like a massive douche bag. By the time that happened I was over fifty-four hours without sleep. I was shaking and my heart felt like it was beating a bizarre staccato rhythm in my chest. My perception was just starting to get a little warped at this point. No flying monkeys or anything like that, but I felt elevated. The air felt like it was moving in a way it never had before. I could feel every beat of my heart acutely, but the rest felt a little numb. The inside of the theater was probably the most gorgeous building I’ve ever seen. It was old fashioned looking with gold-trim, or what looked like gold trim, everywhere. I was stunned, and enjoyed loitering around before we were seated.
Oh man, our seats. I have to explain now that I had no idea what concert seating was like. Spencer knew St. Vincent best from her work on the Twilight series soundtrack. Turns out I had got us seats that were mere inches from the stage. Not only, that but I was directly in the center of stage. Suddenly I felt stupid for dressing up nice. Everybody else was dressed casual. Plenty of hipster types were there and a few awesome older couples. Here I was front and center in a three piece suit with a guy who barely knew what he about to see. I imagine I looked like a royal ass. All those thoughts left as soon as the show began. The opening act I mentioned earlier, Noveller, was a one person act. It was brilliant. All of those people in the theater, but it seemed like just the few people in your peripheral were with you. The music was of a kind I have never heard before. It was moody and layered, repetitive and droning in a way that washed over you in waves. Each sound stacking on the other until the songs came to a slow climax that shook every molecule of the body. After each song I felt a strange sensation I still can’t put a finger on. It was like a chill without the cold and left me taking slow deep breaths. I felt a sense of relaxation and satisfaction I haven’t felt in a long time, certainly not a time I can clearly remember. All the bullshit of that day faded away and I reflected on the good parts as I listened. I recalled the terrible thing I had been ignoring, the drastic plans made to implode once I got home. I was filled for a few brief moments of melancholy. I had always had a reason to keep calm and take what I was handed in life, but in that tired state of mind mixed with the enchanting sound I felt like I didn’t want to do it. I felt aged; I was looking back on myself and found my desires lacking. As each song ended I came back down to earth, and each time I came back down I felt more and more like I didn’t need to do it. I felt almost like life had some sort of reason to keep moving through it. It might sound stupid but it is true. The act ended and everybody cheered.
During the act the seats to the right of me were finally filled. Now I’m going to get to talking about hipsters. I don’t have the genuine hate some people hold for that particular sub-culture. I understand the hate, but they baffle me more than anything else. The apathetic affectation takes so much work I have to ask why not just be involved or apathetic? Involved apathy seems like the worst of both worlds. This guy was pretty nice though, none of the outward dickishness you see depicted in pop culture. We made some small talk; turns out I might have got my tickets from a friend of his. Small world and all that. I do have to call him out on one thing. He told me he had no love for the album Strange Mercy and yet every time St. Vincent played a song from that album he sang along, and he knew every damn word. Why would you pretend to dislike something in a conversation with a complete stranger you will never see again when you obviously loved it to tiny bits? I still laugh at that conversation. Spencer immensely enjoyed the opening act as well. The both of us have been fans since, and it even pumped him up for the main act he knew barely anything about. The two of us talked about how deeply affecting the music was and waited for the main show to start.
I am perfectly willing to say Noveller and St Vincent are equally as breath-taking live, but they are beasts of entirely different natures. I was feeling tired and introspective. Then the lights went out. The room became electrified. Before I had been wrapped up in thought, now I was aware of the whole theater as it became a single-minded mass. This was why we were here. I had taken my jacket off, preparing to move before I had fully realized I was going to. The first song, Rattlesnake, blew me away. I sat in my seat mouth open. There came a point when the sheer force of the sound, I could feel it pounding on my gut, my own tired brain and the beat matched up perfectly and my pulse became the beat of the song. This is going to sound like poetic malarkey, but it is true. When the song stopped my body freaked out. My heart had been racing to the song and it felt like it stopped with the music. For a few bizarre moments I thought I had a heart attack. My left side went numb. Music started up again and it faded. I snapped a bit and for the first time in my life I wanted to dance and sing along and be part of this group experience. I was sitting at the time. During a rehearsed speech portion of the show somebody asked why we were sitting down. Years of social phobia was my excuse. After that portion the music started up again. I didn’t realize until somebody right behind me got up that the question was earnest.
I stood up and had Spencer stand as well. Before that moment I wouldn’t have stood much less encourage someone else. I was changed. I don’t have the talent to call what I did dancing, but I thrashed to the music like a madman. Sorry people behind me. I sang along, getting so nervous I would slip up, but I kept going. I whooped and shouted until my throat was sore. I thrashed until I had blisters on my feet. I even made eye contact with the people on stage a few times. Every time I felt a huge dumb grin come over my face. I would like to say one of these grins was reciprocated, but that’s probably just coincidence and wishful thinking. Well most of the time. One of the times was after Ms. Clark looked into one of the stage lights and then into the crowd. That was terrifying and awe-inspiring. At one point some leaped on stage and… not danced exactly. Spencer described it best as sloth having a seizure. The look that was sent his way was hilarious to watch, but if I was him I would have ran until I reached another state. Being an idiot, he kept going and got escorted away by security. A bit after this something happened that I will remember until the day I die. Annie/St. Vincent/ Ms. Clark or however the best way to address her is had thrown a pick into the crowd, but it hit a speaker and bounced back on. It was right in front of me and a few other people who all slowly inched towards it song by song. Then Spencer leaned over the stage and grabbed it. I was happy enough to know he would have it. Instead he handed it me and said “Happy Fucking Birthday.” My birthday is in January, but that didn’t mean anything. Here was his spoil and he handed it over like it was nothing. I don’t want to sound weird, but there was a connection when I took that pick from him that I never felt before. I didn’t know how to thank him. It was the kindest thing anyone has ever done for me. I could have cried right there and then. When the song “I Prefer Your Love” was sang we put our hands over each other’s shoulders and swayed to the music. I said earlier that I had to wonder if I had really loved someone, I’m positive I did then. This moment, the music, the singular mind of the crowd made me think about the day. I had seen some rough things. My perspective expanded and I realized that the one moment I experienced was something worth living for. This joining with strangers wasn’t to be feared but embraced. Before the last songs were played and the crowd roared, I roared, for more I felt a love for everyone, not just for the music or my friend. A cloud was lifted. To use an old cliché, music saved my life. Friendship saved my life. Maybe I would have just gone home if I hadn’t felt it and pushed down my dark desire, but I did feel it, and I could release all of it rather than hold on.
Of course, all good things must end. The show wound down and we left the show. I had to drag myself out of the building and shoved my feet in pile of ice to deal with a nasty blister. We went to the merch table and each bought a record from Noveller. I picked up a new vinyl and he got the most recent CD. Spencer dared me to tell her that I was a giant douche bag, which is how I felt for not recognizing her. I told him I would if would follow up and supply the context. I followed through. He did not. Any other night I would have been annoyed, but as it was I laughed and just generally looked like a complete fool. We began to leave, but the Jag had a flat we didn’t want to deal with right at that moment, so we hung around the fans waiting to catch the band as it left. The group was told there would be no such appearance, politely of course, and left. Spencer and I went to fixing the tire. We succeeded. I only fucked up the car a little. Spencer went with a man to get him some cash to pay for parking. He got robbed in a rather bizarre manner I won’t detail. It was a little past midnight when it happened. Sit in your ivory tower all you want and tell him it was stupid, but the truth is in these cynical times we need more people as trusting and bright-eyed as Spencer. It’d be a less bitter, cynical, and happier place.
As he drove me back to the bus station I entered what scientists ought to refer to as the “balls high” stage of sleep deprivation. I looked down a few streets with traffic signs. What I saw at the time was an infinitely extending row of sinister red lights that threatened to blind me or make my brain explode from staring into eternity so long. This happened a few times. When we reached the bus station I tried to start napping, but was overcome with paranoia that my heart would fail if I slept and all the lights were unbearably bright. We talked about the day and concluded that in spite of the bad it had all been more than worth it. He left, and then came back later to tell me that he was glad I enjoyed it and that, “I deserved it more than anyone else there.” I most certainly needed it, but he was the one who deserved, who had earned it, not me. I’m proud I gave that experience to him. Life never has such tidy endings. As I got in line for the bus he informed me the doughnut had also gone flat and we left each other shaking our heads at the strange day. The security guy marveled at our bromance, like it was a gorgeous beast. The bus driver back home was the same as the one to Phoenix. Real small world isn’t it?
I passed out in the bus and woke up in my hometown, happier than I’d been in years. I might not see Spencer face to face, and I am saddened by that fact, but I’m glad we had that time. I might never go to a concert again, but I don’t think anything can top that night. I’ll be depressed again about something one of these days, but I will never feel so completely alone again. You might expect me to end this with a St. Vincent or even Noveller song. Nope, in this one instant it’s Vic Chesnutt that says my new outlook best. You should have seen this coming. Come on, you should have picked up on the fact I’m a horrible person and a certifiable hack by now.
For the first time I can live with that. Maybe, just maybe, I can even do better.