[The following is written by user @Ertle_Turtle.]
One early summer morning, I awoke to a man I did not know standing over me while I slept. As a single mother to two small children, the trauma I experienced from having an intruder in my home while all three of us were sleeping soundly is one I do not wish on my worst enemy. Thankfully, we are all safe.
I don't miss the "things" this man took from my home, but what I did miss was feeling safe. I went through the rest of July in a haze of fear and gripping anxiety that caused me to awake in the night to wonder if someone was there . . . or did my boyfriend leave me here alone?
Baker's Dozen was my boyfriend's trip. Phish was his band. His love. I went along not sure what to expect, but excited I could at least sightsee in NYC during the day. As tears stream down my face, I'm here to tell you: Phish healed my soul.
During Night 11 of the Baker's Dozen, I stared around MSG to the thousands of people happily dancing, helping one another, and every single person was SO excited and genuinely happy. I wondered what they had that I didn't? I looked around wondering how all these thousands of people knew when to yell out at the same time, raise their arms at the same time---and those glow sticks! All I knew is I needed whatever these people had!
We got there really early on Night 12 to snag that "Boston Cream" donut. I danced the night away, laughed, watched the happiness on the faces of thousands, and stared at the band, in awe of what they were doing. A guy I had briefly met before the show knew it was my second show ever, so during set break he came to talk to me, and give me a thumb's up. I kept thinking, "Where did all of these nice people come from?!"
The final night arrived. I danced and danced, I laughed, I had a stranger buy me a water because they overheard me telling my boyfriend he forgot mine. I told my boyfriend, "don't worry about it, don't miss the show!", but this stranger then came back from their trip to the concessions to give me water! I had NEVER seen generosity like that in my 20 years of attending shows.
I cried during the last show. I cried because I was so happy. I cried because I knew it was almost over. I cried because I didn't want it to ever end.
I arrived back to Jacksonville, Florida, with a peace that passed any type of understanding. The fear and anxiety was completely gone. I cried the day we returned, and for days after we were home. I have listened to Phish 24/7 since I got returned from Baker's Dozen. I have read everything I can about these men. The men who I feel healed my soul without even realizing it. These are just men, I realize that. Men with families. Men who are just that, men. They healed one of the most traumatic things to happen to me yet in this short lifetime. The scene, their talent, and the community as a whole is something you will never be able to explain properly with words. Get to a Phish show to witness the healing.
I appreciate you taking the time to read this. I hope whomever comes across these words is able to experience the healing my soul received from Phish as well. Might be a noob, but forever a phan <3 Ashley
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