Harvey didn’t know why he was scaling the fence that bordered the amphitheater. He had an uncontrollable urge to climb and to keep stepping higher until he reached a vague point in the universe.

The Doobie Brothers were playing “China Grove” on the bandstand, Harvey’s favorite song, but he refused to come down despite his friends, Steve and Roy, yelling for him to stop acting crazy.

“What are you doing up there, Harvey?!” shouted Steve.

“You’re going to get us all thrown out!” yelled Roy with a cigarette dangling from his lips.

Harvey didn’t know what to say. He was in a daze and knew that he should not have dropped that Quaalude. If only he hadn’t listened to Roy, he wouldn’t be 30 feet up a fence searching for the Holy Grail or the answer to some vague existential question.

“Come on, dude, try some. It won’t hurt you,” Roy had said before the concert. “The music will sound better.”

Harvey foolishly swallowed the pill, and now look at him, holding onto a steel fence for dear life. All he wanted to do was scale the fence and dream about all the mysteries that were above him. Supreme happiness, he thought, colors of the summer, the beginning of time, the meaning of our existence are all up there waiting for Harvey to discover it.

Suddenly, it dawned on Harvey. The real reason he was climbing the fence at a Doobie Brothers concert was to find the girl of his dreams; that sweet girl in his English class who looked kind of Asian. The one with long raven hair, gorgeous brown eyes, and pink shorts that showed off her tan legs. He didn’t even know her name. But he knew in his heart that he wanted to be forever bound to her.

“Black Water” was the song that was now playing. When he looked down at the crowd, everyone appeared to be jumping like tiny bugs on a grill. He kept climbing no matter what song was playing, “China Grove” or “Listen to the Music.” He was a bat in the night, a very insane one, pursuing a non-existent dream in the hopeful sky of eternity.

The fence seemed endless as he struggled to get higher. Now, ten spotlights shone on him like a convict who was trying to escape a prison break. A helicopter flew over his head, motioning him to stop his climb and to descend the fence immediately.

Harvey became tired of climbing. His hands grew rusty and raw from the fence. It reminded him of gym class, when he would pull himself up a rope to the ceiling and his hands would burn like hell. He could climb better than anyone in his class. Even the gym teacher, Mr. Herman, said that he scaled the ropes like a wild monkey.

Harvey inhaled the fresh air deep into his lungs. It had gotten a bit colder, but he didn’t let it worry him. He never felt so open and free in his young life.

“Please come down! Nobody’s going to hurt you!” shouted a man from the helicopter on a loudspeaker. “You are in danger of falling. Please descend!”

His friend, Steve, was extremely concerned, not only worried that the security guards would kick them out, but that Harvey would either get arrested or lose his grip and come crashing down to a gruesome death.

“Long Train Running” was playing. Harvey loved that song. God, he loved the Doobie Brothers and that girl in English class with the tan legs. If he could only remember her name. Barbara? Nancy? Janice? Harvey kept repeating various names to himself, but none of them seem to be the right one. He thought about how nice it would be to kiss her as the helicopter continued to circle overhead, as if he were King Kong atop the Empire State Building.

Harvey felt extremely annoyed by the grainy rust of the fence and wanted to let go and wipe it on his shirt, but he was afraid of losing balance. If only he could stop the urge to climb, maybe he wouldn’t feel so tired.

On top of everything else, Harvey had the munchies, starving for a hot dog, fries, or a plate of nachos. Perhaps if he came down, he could hear the rest of the concert, get something to eat, and not feel that he missed out on his favorite group.

Because he was so high, the voices of his friends screaming for him to come down were faint. He thought he heard “Jesus is Alright,” but he wasn’t sure. At some point, he stopped climbing. Harvey was shivering from the evening chill with only a T-shirt and a pair of cutoff jeans. Wouldn’t it be nice if he could let go and fall backward and land on a soft fluffy pillow or on the lap of that girl in English class? Harvey promised himself that he would find out that girl’s name because he’d like to marry her and have a few babies one day. Perhaps after he graduates from high school and becomes a tattoo artist with his studio.

A policeman gave Steve a loudspeaker and ordered him to tell his stoner friend to get down from the fence this instant or he’s going to be in big trouble.

“Come down, now, Harvey!” shouted a pressured Steve. “The concert’s almost over!  Please, don’t do anything stupid!”

“Okay!” Harvey yelled back. “I’m ready. I figured out all my shit.What direction I want to go in life. What girl I want to marry. Can you believe it? I figured it all out.”

Both Steve and Roy stood looking up in disbelief as Harvey let go of his grip and fell into the arms of a waiting rescue worker who dropped from the helicopter. Harvey was slowly lowered to the ground while the Doobie Brothers finished their last song.

Once on safe ground, Harvey said, “Boy, that Quaalude was good. I wouldn’t mind having another, Roy.”

Harvey looked at his raw, bloody hands shredded from the fence. He felt his legs buckle, and vertigo took over. He passed out, falling with a thud to the ground.

Harvey lay there motionless as the Doobie Brothers came back out for their second encore.