The Apple Store Incident

I took a job with my brother working at a hotel in midtown. Having access to the deepest parts of the infrastructure, I would often lose cellular service while on the clock. With a small time gap between our schedules, I found myself waiting nearby, cigarette in hand, for my brother to clock out before heading home. As we traveled down the escalators, a voicemail pops up on my phone screen. Curious, I take a listen before heading inside. It’s Javi, and he’s sharing information about a free Incubus show going down the following day at the Apple Store in Soho. Bracelets were limited, so my brother and I rush downtown, and secure our attendance to the festivities. With a Morning View gig on the horizon, I spent the night crafting flyers to be handed out at the event, in an effort to promote our Incubus tribute to an Incubus crowd. I joked with the band, “I’m going to get this flyer in the hands of Brandon Boyd”, which was met with a round of “yeah, whatever’s”. As showtime grew closer, my brother and I made our way to Soho, where we opted to stop for a few drinks before making the line. “Let it fill up a bit, so we can hit everyone with flyers”. As the beer settled in our bellies, we noticed the line had grown considerably and decided to make our way over. We slowly pace our way to the back of the line, being met with the classic attitude of New Yorkers, snarking over my attempts at shameless self-promotion. We approach our place in line, which happened to border the VIP entry, and whispers suggested that I would soon be face-to-face with the band I revered. The trucks pull up slowly, and the sidewalk roars. My brother grabs his cell phone, capturing the moment when I would hand flyers to the closest members of Incubus to me. As Brandon enters, the artwork on the flyer triggers his curiosity. He takes the flyer out of my hand, and I turn to my brother in disbelief and celebrate. “I got it. I did it. I fucking did it!”. The band begins preparing, and the crowd starts to fill the venue. We stand comfortably in the back and await the start of the performance. An iTunes exclusive, the set would be filmed and distributed on the original Apple platform, which prompted the crowd to yell in between songs, capturing their voices in the taping. Song after song, I sing along, mustering up the courage to yell a promotional phrase. Finally, in a silent room, I project from the back, “Morning View Tribute!”. In what felt like a millisecond, someone nearby would yell in response, “Be Original!”. I don’t know who looked first, me or my brother. But by the time the embarrassment on my face became apparent, the red in my brother’s eyes made me fear more for this man’s safety than my own ego. I was made a fool of, in a large crowd of people I had introduced myself to, within the presence of the band that I idolized. I left the Apple Store that night an emotional mess. The high I would experience pretending to be someone else began to fade, and a storm was brewing inside me.

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