A funny thing happened to me in the last moments of the old year and first moments of the new one. It also happened to my friend Adria, the only person I know whose Baduizt fervor might exceed--yes, exceed, my own. I'd dreamt for years of going to see Badu with Adria. I knew that no matter how zealous and ridiculous I became at the high holy day service of Badu, Adria would be no less zealous and ridiculous.
So when Adria told me Erykah would be at the Fox Theater in my very own city on New Year's Eve--just in time for me to be sufficiently spine functional to stay out all night doing something fun, which I'd not done in a couple years-- you can imagine my delight. A plan quickly hatched, involving we two and five other coreligionists, one of whom worked near the Fox and kindly offered to buy everyone's tickets at the box office, so we wouldn't have to pay online purchase fees.
As the Eve approached I felt nervous. I never really know how my spine will behave. It's more like I guesstimate the odds. In the week before, I was able to predict a 25% maximum likelihood that a spinal disaster would ensue, and decided I couldn't say fairer than that. I dishonestly texted my mom that I was doing great and was quite sure the show wouldn't be a problem.
I took precautions. I planned to arrive late, and miss The Coup, who were opening. I declined a pre-party invite from the coreligionist who'd bought the tix. Adria stopped by for a pre-pre-party at my house, and made me a shirt with iron-on Badu lyrics, to match the one she'd made for herself. Her back said, You don't have to believe everything you think/We've been programmed, and my chest had the next line: Wake up/We miss you. We were gloriously nerdy in our shirts.
We smoked a few puffs before Adria took off. We'd meet at the Fox. I spent the next hour stressing about parking downtown on New Year's, about spine, about which shoes would be least aesthetically and ergonomically offensive. But I made it, happily sacrificed $15 for a few hours in a $5/day lot, and headed toward Broadway in my coat and leggings and boots. I'd hardly been downtown the last couple years, and here I was amid the hip New Year's crowd, cold air in my face, hair flying. I was feeling myself. I called Adria, but the connection sucked. I figured I'd find her there. She called back, however, because she had to tell me something rather dire.
The tickets. They were gone.