My soul is married to music; my mind is married to storytelling. I went to both of their weddings two weeks ago.
I sat rather anxiously in my chair of the swanky, "No, this isn't airport food!" restaurant, logging in to the mobile app of my bank to make sure I could pay for dinner. "Oh, good," I thought, "Just enough money for a blade of grass and a ground of coffee at a cute bistro in Brooklyn."
My eyes were tired, my outfit was New York-ready, not 80 degrees at 9pm California "fall" ready. My brother called at the perfect time for me to look cool as I ordered a glass of wine and a plate of brussels sprouts that they were "out of", so I got mashed potatoes, because I'll always be a 6 year old boy when it comes to my eating habits. I quickly ate my dinner and drank my wine as if my crossfit coach was cheering me on when I realized how soon I'd be boarding.
Middle seat. Normally this would be fine, but it wasn't at all for two reasons:
1. I work for a private airline where "middle seats" are a thing of the past, and I can easily drool on every part of my body because the comfortability levels rise with each trip. Let's all roll our eyes together on this one. I get it, okay? Spoiled rotten. Now shut up and let me finish, ...darling.
2. This was a redeye. The kind where you land at your destination at 3am your time and are expected to be a functional, kind human-being. I was set for failure already. Anyone that knows me at all understands conversations don't happen when I first wake up. My best friend used to drive me to school in complete silence because A. I would either drive to the beach or never wake up, and B. She admitted (in later years) that it was "scary" to try and talk. This made for a cute, uplifting Maid of Honor speech at her wedding last year. Moving, really.
I spent the entire boarding process romanticizing that my flying partners wouldn't show, or I would fall in love with one of them just so I could sleep on their shoulder. Neither. By now, my excitement had hit its peak and I felt like Anne Hathaway in The Devil Wears Prada after Nigel gives her the "Wake up, sweetheart" speech. Scared shortless (hi mom), but ready to take on this big city with nothing but a "size 6" determination and readiness. That faded quickly after I had finished my glass of water and had to pee, watched Pitch Perfect 2 for the second time, and pretended like I could fall asleep. I thought my back had fallen off mid-flight and took my legs with it. Momma wanted out.
We finally landed and I walked out of that plane like I had been living in it for the last 13 years. I didn't care where the exit was, I just walked until I found "outside" and called my Uber. I can neither confirm nor deny that my level of consciousness was safe enough to maneuver anything, let alone New York City, but by the grace of God I did. And by George, I did it gorgeously. Eyes half-open, backpack strapped to both sides of my body, and in all black. Like a true New Yorker ...?
Let's move along to the shows. I'm not telling you what band or artist I went with yet because that'll come in part two. I have a lot to say about that, ya'll. And this next bit of Part One will come and go pretty quick: I went to New York to photograph a musician, and came home with an understanding of a dream I didn't think I would find so quickly.
Do you ever think of your dreams as somewhat of a filing cabinet? Stay with me here. Every time someone asks me what my dreams are, I tell them almost nostalgically, as if they're a faded, fond memory or daydream that will never happen but I know so well. Well, they happen, friends. They happen good. Real good.
Stay tuned for Part Two. It's bed time.
Cheers, Brothers & Sisters.