It’s hard to admit that you’re growing up. To set aside the mischievous behaviors that once brought you so close to youth. At some point though, certain acts feel a little - wrong. They don’t sit with you the way they used to. 

“Is this something a 29 year old man would do?”. 

That’s the question you ask yourself.

It may seem embarrassing - but it’s this brand of self-questioning that elicits a change in your inner world. Change that’s long overdue, and by now, necessary. And you must heed this calling, unless you desire to be stunted for the rest of your life. 

Having worked in a music venue for half a decade, I’ve acquired a few concert tricks. This insider knowledge, coupled with my always burning propensity to push the envelope, sometimes makes for a dangerous combination. 

It’s really not as bad as it sounds, but, - I jump chairs at concerts. I scavenge for empty seats in the front rows that would normally cost hundreds of dollars - and when I find them, I pluck my tush right on’em. 

The seats aren’t being put to use - no one is there - so why not grab the opportunity? 

In my eyes, those seats are symbolic of something greater than just improved vantage points. Getting to them, is to achieve the impossible. To migrate from the nosebleeds, all the way to the front row. To work my way from the bottom, all the way up to the top in just a matter of minutes. To prove myself, and the friends that I’m at the concert with, that there is always a way to work around the system. That the parameters set to keep us all holed up in a pen, can be brought down, with a little tact and brazen valor. 

But, just because I want to take on Mount Everest, doesn’t mean everyone else has follow me there - no matter how badly I want for them to see that view.

It all came to a sad realization at a Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds concert at Barclay’s Center last month. As a result of my obvious poor planning, me and my two friends were separated by security. What ensued, was a game of musical chairs where we all had to scramble for seats, in completely different parts of the arena, to ensure our place. One friend got so fed up, he left immediately. The other, receded back into the nosebleeds where he watched the rest of the concert all by himself.

As me and my girlfriend though, snuggled our way to the front row - a wave of relief found it’s way to my bones. And almost immediately, a wave of disgust flowing right through the very sensation.

I stood for the next two hours wandering - 

“Is this who I want to be?”

Maybe one day, I can legitimately afford the seats I covet so much. But the irony is, if I’m not playing “musical chairs” in this arena, chances are, I will in the real world. At the end of the day, it’s those who see an opportunity, where there is none to be found by others, that receive a leg up in life. 

But it’s up to you to assess what taking advantage means - how it fits in with your morals. Are you using your advances to enrich the lives of others, or are you just running over everyone for the sake of being a winner?

For now, I’ll pay an extra few dollars to keep my morals centered where they belong. But perhaps - we’re all playing a bit of this game of musical chairs.

(Originally Published 11/30/18)