A beautiful true story.

*A few days ago, I found myself sitting in an elevated hallway, a sort of tunnel connecting a local mall to a fancy hotel, with a certain theater positioned off to one side in the middle. There was a band coming to that theater; actually, they were already there, since I was staring out the window of that hall at their tour bus, watching people move things. There were tables in the hall, a Starbucks, and lots of people in suits wandering back and forth at the end of the workday.

I was dressed pretty nice too, since it was the end of my workday, but I was merely sitting around - a bunch of friends from up north wanted me to meet them at the show. They were traveling down for the first time, and they’d also need me to guide them in via cell.

But it got kind of boring, you know? Watching people standing around and smoking cigarettes. I had the best seat in the hall; perfect view of anyone entering or exiting the immediate vicinity of the theater. I had a coffee, which was nice.

Yet people kept walking back and forth. Back and forth, back and forth. It was inevitable, I guess, that I’d eventually get up and follow them, into the fancy hotel.

And boy - it was fucking fancy. I used to constantly dream of hotels, magnificent, labyrinthine plush structures, back when I was in college. This was a pretty nice one, if hobbled by the handicap of being real. I fit in pretty well, having not been changed from work, and I soon found out just what all those people had been milling around the area for:

Success Magazine!

No, I swear. It was a launch party for an actual magazine titled “Success Magazine.” It didn’t take long for me to realize that this was the most brilliant thing I’d ever seen. The magazine itself was… Success! As must be all the people circling around the party! Why, I could literally feel my social station climbing in my belly just by tagging along! Success!

So I walked around a bit and nodded gravely and knowingly at people -- Success needs no vulgarity of language -- and drifted toward the back of the reception area since my sudden assumption into the echelons of self-made privilege had warranted a trip to the men’s room.

And Jesus Christ what a men’s room! Lovely ivory décor, striking utility fixtures, and classical music piped right in! It seemed even louder in the stalls, where it counted the most! It was by far my classiest use of the toilet in months, but the pleasure didn’t end with flushing. They had champagne hand soap at the sinks, folks. I mean, champagne hand soap alone isn’t anything huge, but as the wafer-thin mint at the climax of a repast of nigh aristocratic defecation? Perfect.

I hope I didn’t mix my metaphors there.

Anyway, upon leaving the restroom, I figured I’d best be getting back to the hallway; they were serving appetizers in honor of Success, and I didn’t want to mooch actual foodstuffs off anyone (besides, I didn’t have a nametag). It was like leaving Avalon, that walk back to the hall; the echoes of the heroes of Success dimmed behind me as reached the tables by the windows. It was totally dark outside now.

And there was a man in my perfect seat.

An awful, awful man. His beady, shifting eyes skittering around toward the street, as if to suck the very souls from the workers below. How awful! How desperate! I certainly didn’t look anything like him, and he was in my beautiful, perfect seat.

It was then, dear friends, that the realization of what was truly happening hit me in the back of the head like a brick.

I had lost my wonderful place…

(wait for it)

…because I’d gotten distracted by Success.

(please refrain from throwing flowers toward the stage)