Twenty Seven thousand fans are packed into Red Rock, one of the best music venues in the world. The arena is carved from a mountain of giant red rocks. The sold out crowd is watching Ben Folds rock out on the piano.
I emerge from a backstage hallway right next to the front of the stage. A security guard stops me, but lets me pass when I point to my badge. "Working", it says. I'm not working.
In front of the whole crowd, I walk across the stage. Ben Folds lifts one of his hands from the piano, locks eyes, and waves at me. A little startled, I wave back.
This isn't a significant event. He doesn't know me - he was just curiously staring at my hat from the table next to mine during dinner. John Mayer was on the other side of my table.
Still, I think back to the only other time I've given Ben Folds a second thought. He did a stunt with a group called "Improv Everywhere". I slumped in my couch and watched the video. It was amusing, and I thought it would be the last time I thought of Ben Folds.
It's that connection that fascinates me. If I were to consider likely future events with this musician in the video, I'd never think that he'd wave to me in front of 27,000 fans. Why would I ever think that? Maybe I could fathom going to one of his shows, but eating at the neighboring table in the tour's cafeteria? Being personally recognized
What about when I first read about pickup artists and dismissed it as "stupid". How could I have ever predicted that I'd live with them and steal the best one's girlfriend? In high school I heard about the tunnels under UT. Later I was on the news for breaking into them. In high school I played blackjack for the first time at project graduation. Years later I was a professional gambler. McDonalds used to be my daily haunt. Now I'm a vegan. The list goes on...
When situations like this come up, I always pause my brain and think about them. I try to consider other crazy things that might happen that I would never guess. That's a game that can't be won, of course, since the whole point is that these things can't be predicted.
What I love about these amazing insignificant events are that they constantly illustrate the unpredictable and exciting nature of life. I get excited trying to imagine the possibilities that I can't imagine. Although any given day may seem routine or ordinary, that's no guarantee that tomorrow won't be extraordinary.
This is the second most interesting blog online. Love your posts. It really is amazing how life unfolds. For instance, I moved to LA, and ran into a guy I met at a party at my house over 3 years ago. He's now a really good friend.
When Stan Lee came to UT Austin, everyone was trying to get tickets. Except for me. Stan Lee, for those who are too cool to know, is famous for creating Spiderman, The Hulk, and other comic book characters. I've never once read a comic book, and despite being one, I have no particular affinity for superheroes. The night that Stan was to talk, one of my friends came over. He had somehow gotten ahold of several VIP tickets to the appearance. VIP tickets were up front.
The year before Ben Stein had come and gave a very interesting speech. Afterwards I went up and got him to sign a one dollar bill. In retrospect, I wish I had a Doubly Deuce at the time. I figured that I would temporarily suspend my gangsta lifestyle and see what this nerd comic book crap was all about.
[I know this seems like it will be a boring story. It won't be, so stop whining and read to the end. Then leave a comment and tell me I was right.]
It was a few years ago, and I walked into the dining hall and sat with my friends. Pretty routine day. I was a freshman, and my first year was winding down. I was one month into my new frat and life was good.
My friend, a class senator in student government, had a piece of paper laying on the table. I picked it up and read the big title "Run for Student Government", and I immediately joked that I was dropping everything to run for President. I was just joking of course; I had seen a bunch of other Baylor freshmen run for various positions earlier in the year during freshmen elections, and I had no interest in running.
But then my friend said bluntly, "No seriously you should totally do it. The current president is an idiot, and the senators don't like him. We need someone smart." (Note I think pretty highly of the other guy, these aren't my words) That got me thinking that it would be cool to put up a bunch of posters with my name on them around campus. See, I realized nobody gave a shit about it, and every campaign I had seen didn't take advantage of that fact.