The Stage That Was Never Mine

July was shaping up to be a busy month, with gigs from Hardwired piling up, and the Stream Machine commercial doing its best to reel in clients. This particular event didn’t require our streaming services, but rather our technical expertise. Hardwired had been contracted to provide WiFi services throughout Prospect Park for a concert series. So, there I was, spending my days under the unforgiving summer sun, climbing tents and running long ethernet cables to various drop spots scattered throughout the park. My shirt clung to my body, soaked in sweat, as I ascended yet another tent, the hot sun mercilessly beating down on me. The heat radiated off the roof surface of the tent, making the air around me feel thick and stifling. I took a moment to catch my breath and light a cigarette, inhaling deeply as I tried to muster gratitude for the opportunity to make some money. But, deep down inside, the misery brewed as I knew I was still just setting up stages for other artists. “It’s supposed to be me on that stage,” I lamented to myself, wallowing in my private anguish. I kept a smile plastered on my face whenever I was around Jan or the rest of the Hardwired team. We worked tirelessly, day in and day out, ensuring that every square inch of the upcoming festival would have a reliable WiFi connection. We wanted to give guests the luxury they would normally experience at indoor venues. As I lay down, 20 feet in the air, on the scorching roof surface of a tent, I felt the heat seep through my clothes and burn into my skin. I gritted my teeth and focused on running the ethernet lines, trying my best to ignore the discomfort. The huge stage being built just a few feet away from me served as a constant reminder of my unfulfilled dreams. I stared longingly at it, my heart aching with a mix of envy and longing. Although the satisfaction of providing for my family temporarily eased my frustration, I knew the real money was in becoming a famous artist. The thought gnawed at me, consuming me, as I spent those sweltering days running cables and setting up WiFi networks.

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