Day 8: Going Places I’ll Never Go Again

"Sometimes when you bring the thunder, you get caught in the storm."

Our plan was to attend the Usher show at the Bud Light Hotel last night, but as you can see from the satellite imagery I’ve provided, the inclement weather pushed everyone’s favorite doorman back to tonight, which means Usher and Jamie Foxx will be performing together in a one-off Hip Hop and R&B supergroup just like The Band, only completely different.

With an open night ahead of us, Matthew, Matt and I got dinner at this place, and if this were a food reviewing blog it would include some kind of rave review about culinary delight, but it isn’t, so back to the parties. Part way through our delectable dishes Matt got a text from the other side of his budding bromance, our NFL friend from the other night, informing us that we had to hang out again and that they would get us on the list at Sky Bar for some crazy invite only party.

While we waited by the front door like anxious puppies in need of a midnight walk, a fast-talking and garrulous girl with bumped up hair and a Blackberry in hand grabbed the seat next to me and started smoking at the pace a lung surgeon with a weird sense of irony might in between procedures. Part way through a chiminea exhale, she turned as asked me what I was doing. I told her I was headed to the party at Sky Bar and she replied in a reflective retort, “Who do you know?”

Not “Who are you”,? but “Who do you know?” Somehow her steely Canadian stare saw right through my underdressed style and newfound coolness to the unemployed writer at my core. She knew without knowing that I wasn’t somebody, that at best, I knew somebody. I replied, with haste, “It’s a friend of a friend of a friend.” I was surprised when she didn’t turn dismissive at my nobodyness and continued with some questions about who I am and where I’m from before shooting back inside mid-sentence*.

True to his promise our friend got us in without incident, into an almost infinite expanse of pool, NFL players, models, Puff Daddy’s and champagne bottles covered in lit sparklers carried by a teeming horde of half-smiling Lady Liberty’s.


After a night full of drinks and smiles and no less than three man-hugs, we reflected on the fact that when you’re in a place like that you start to look around at everyone as though they are a celebrity and even catch an occasional person inspecting you in case you might be. Part way through our discussion Matt offered up the revelation that we would never be there again. Not that we’d never be in that bar, but that we’d never stumble across an equally serendipitous sequence of events that led us to such a spiraling galaxy of stars.

At the time I tended to agree with him, even if I reach the nexus of my goals, I get a book published and it’s successful, nobody will ever know who I am and I’ll never get access to crazy events full of Pop Stars and athletes because of being someone. But as I sit here this morning and look ahead to tonight’s impending events at the Bud Light Hotel and behind to the little yellow desk in my apartment in Philly that led me here, I’m starting to think we were both wrong, that plenty of stars will align in all of our favor from time to time, so long as we’re looking.

*The look on her face when she saw me actually inside was pretty much priceless. If it had a price it would be high.


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