Brian came out of the City Mart rolling his eyes and handing me a sucker.
"What's the sucker for?" I asked, not too concerned with the explanation seeing as I'd already unwrapped the candy and was tasting its sweet artificiality. Green apple; always a favorite.
"The guy said I had to buy something in order to use the ATM."
I just laughed. The Middle Eastern man who runs the little store in our apartment complex was always making you buy more. "I'm sorry, but you cannot use your card for something so small," he had told me once, "you need to spend at least five dollars." I recalled how I had absentmindedly grabbed some Christmas candy just to make him happy. Gee, Christmas candy and we were well into March at the time.
"But at least you got us some cash," I said and Brian nodded. "Let's hurry or we'll be late. I'm not even sure where we are going."
Brian unlocked the car doors, and we were bombarded by the overwhelming heat of the vehicle's interior. The first blast from the AC wasn't any help either, but eventually it cooled down and we were heading through downtown.
"So do they know you are coming? How come they couldn't get you in for free?" Brian asked, as he squinted at the post-it note with my scribbled directions to the concert venue.
"No, they don't know," I said. "It's not like a meeting or something special. I signed up for the He Is We fan letter thing and I get emails every once in a while. I saw they were playing in Salt Lake City and since neither of us had to work, I figured we could check it out. Maybe say, 'Hi, I made your music video' afterwards."
"Ah, I see. Cool. Maybe they'll give you a free t-shirt or something."
"Probably. Jeremy gave me free stuff all the time because I made videos for him... I think this is it, by the way."
"Down that dirty alley?" Brian asked with a frown. Clearly this was not his idea of a safe neighborhood. I wasn't sure I thought so either, but what the heck. Sometimes the coolest places are those little-known hole-in-the-wall types.
"The sign said 'Kilby Court.' Let's park somewhere and check it out, okay?"
So we parked a few blocks down, and as we headed back towards the random alley we had seen we began to notice other young people heading that direction. Many had He Is We t-shirts on and held tickets in their hand.
Brian looked worried, "Jack, were you supposed to have bought tickets in advance?"
Crap! Was I? "Um... I hope not. That's a long line, huh?"
And so we waited in a line that seemed to be heading towards a green-painted fence which appeared to lead to nothing more than somebody's backyard. A dry-erase board hanging from a nail in the fence boasted the next bands to come through, and visible just through the gate was a ticket booth.
"Brian, everybody's got tickets," I said pointing to people's hands. "Now you've got me worried. Do you think they'll let us buy them at the door?"
"Do you want to just go?"
I could tell he wanted to. "No. Let's just see... Can we buy tickets here?"
"You sure can," said the ticket guy, "just ten bucks a piece."
Relief set over me. Brian had withdrawn exactly $20 so we were just fine. "Oh, awesome."
But Brian didn't look so relieved. "Um... we only have $17..."
"What? Why do we only have..." and suddenly the green apple sucker in my mouth triggered something in my brain. "The Indian man!" I said aloud, causing several people to raise their eyebrows at me.
Brian looked like he was about to cry. "I'm sorry, honey. He said I had to buy something so I grabbed those suckers and went to pay with my card, but he said that I'd have to spend at least five dollars to use a card, and I didn't want to buy anything really, so I just paid him with the cash I withdrew. I didn't know the tickets would be ten whole dollars!"
So that was how Brian and I almost saw He Is We perform in Salt Lake City last week. Oh well. I'm still the guy who made their music video, and that's pretty cool, right?