Points On a Line
Circle of Kindness -From out of the blue, two strangers cross paths in a yin/yang adventure of reciprocal miracles
by Lee Abraham
This is an absolutely true account of three points on my time line. Taken individually, none are particularly unique. However when taken in context, the pattern among them still blows my mind…
Horror swept over my battered awareness. The person behind the glass was repeating what I had already been told. "I'm sorry, but your name is NOT on the list!," she huffed, growing impatient. "Must be some kind of mistake," I started emphatically. "I spoke with band's PR people -twice-," trying to demonstrate a professional sense of frustration, "and they assured me that my tickets would be at will call…" "Sorry sir," interrupted the ticket person. "There's -nothing- we can do. Please step aside so I can help the next people in line."
Somehow I had a feeling this might happen. I had been assigned to cover this major two-day concert event (specifics are being withheld to protect the innocent) over a month before the actual show. Knowing these concerts would sell out as soon as tickets went on sale, I contacted the band's PR people immediately to put in my request for a media pass. They asked me to fax a written request on the publication's letterhead, which I did within 15 minutes of the conversation. I called them to follow up and was told that the person I needed to speak with was unavailable.
I was told someone would call back because decisions had not yet been made on who would get passes to the shows. I literally called these yahoos -four- times! They finally called the -day before- the show. I was told that I had tickets for the first night but not the second. OK fine. Whatever. At least I still had a little time to scrounge up a ticket for the second night. In the mean time, I was covered for the opener. They even told me that I would have an extra, so I invited a friend that had never seen this particular band.
I was already somewhat dazed even before being rejected at Will Call. I had been bounced from three different, and quite long, -Will Call- lines. The first was based on alphabetized last names, the second a -media line- and the third, the -band services- line. I waited through all three only to be told at the last stop on the line that my name wasn't on the damn list. Horror became rage. Feeling like I should just jump the barricade and sprint past security into the venue, I could only shake my head at the incompetence that put me in this spot. Graciously, my friend split.
The few tickets being scalped were way pricey and the black market route was just not a viable option. Standing motionless, bewildered and still in a state of disbelief, I surveyed the situation in front of me. Positioned outside the chain-link fence separating the haves from the have-nots, I was essentially in the parking lot. By this time it was getting close to show time. Without a discernable cognitive process, I wandered into the bustling crowd clustered around the fence's gate.
Amid the herd of ticket holders making their way in, there were lots of folks lookin' for a miracle and also a few scalpers. I thought about buying an overpriced ticket from the slimy scalpers but actually didn't have enough cash. Taking three strolls back and forth through the crowd, I was simply lost in the moment. No plan. No ideas. Not even any real emotion, just sort of fazed. I mean, I had been -assigned- to cover this show and for the first time ever (at least for me), it seemed that I wouldn't even be able to get in the door. What a fucked up deal!
During the 15 minutes I meandered around, the crowd thinned. With the parking lot scene energy now dissipated, I resigned myself to the situation. Just as I turned toward my vehicle, someone tapped me on the shoulder…
Flash back to the night before. Ratdog was in town and I had an extra. As I was walking from the -Will Call-, tix in hand, some guy asked me if I the 2nd ticket I was holding was an extra. I said yes and he took out his wallet to offer up some cash for it. As is my custom in these situations, I told him that he didn't have to pay me anything, "just enjoy the show." Had I paid for it, obviously I'd wanna get reimbursed, but hey, this is a different thing. Anyway, he thanked me and that was the last I saw of him. Until the next night that is. OK, back to where we left off.
Freefalling into the abyss of the journalist's nightmare, not being granted access to the event you are assigned to cover, the hand on my shoulder gently shook me out of my crashing reality. "Lee, do you remember me?" I must admit, I'm a bit slow on names. Faces I'm not too bad with, and this guy did look vaguely familiar. "Lee, I'm Mackious. You gave me a ticket last night." Still wrapped up in my thoughts, it took a moment, but then my awareness did make the connection. The fact that he had an unusual sort of biblical name, pronounced "me-ki-us," added a little extra weirdness to my already scattered brain waves. "Yeah, Mackious," I said. "I remember you."
Knowing he could relate, I proceeded to tell him about getting screwed on the tix for tonight. And then, inconceivably, I mean even in the giddiest of optimistic revelries I would never hope for what he said next. "Hey man, my wife isn't feeling good and she stayed home. Here ya go." And with that, he handed me her ticket. Stunned. Shocked. Ecstatic! Literally taking a moment or two to verbally respond, the wild waves emotion I had just surfed took a bit to register. Just running into the guy amid the ameba-like sea of humanity was pretty coincidental. The fact that he had a ticket for me was overloading my circuitry.
To cap it off, even though we felt like we were getting into the venue late, the lights came down just as we found our seats. Of course that was after we had celebrated the magic of this most incredible turn of events by availing ourselves of a couple of large and frosty brewskies. Even as the show unfolded, I sort of felt like I was falling through time and space. The sheer incalculable improbability of what had transpired challenged my brain's ability to comprehend it all.
I mean, getting shut out of a show, giving someone an extra, or getting turned on to an extra from someone you've helped in the past, are each -something- in their own right. At least to a degree. But experiencing them in rapid-fire succession vividly demonstrated what is rarely apparent -over time-: that some points on a line actually draw a circle. I guess it's just up to us to make the right connections.