Fulfilling Your Dreams
Meet The Band
by Trish Hubschman
It was May 2017. Tickets would go on sale to the public in a few days for the August Styx concert at Jones Beach. People who had the American Express Gold card could buy tickets earlier. Kevin had a Gold card. He was looking at the Styx packages on his computer. I was sitting on the floor playing with our dog.
“Would you pay $400 to meet Styx?” Kevin asked. He wasn’t looking at me.
“Sure, why not?” I replied. Kevin’s head popped up. I burst into laughter. “Hey, you’re always saying I never spend any money on myself. So, let’s do it. It’ll be fun.”
He shrugged, then took out his gold card and set it up. “We still have to find out what the accommodations are for the disabled,” he said. I’m deaf/blind and have a walking problem. I used a wheelchair, especially at the beach theater. Kevin called the ticket place.
“You’ll have to purchase another $400 package if you want to go backstage with your wife,” the lady at the ticket place said.
Kevin’s response came fast. “That’s ridiculous! I wouldn’t be going back to meet the band, but as her caretaker. She can’t do this on her own and she has the right to meet the band.”
The lady was silent for a long time. “I have to speak to my supervisor and see what we can do about this situation. I’ll get back to you.” She called back a few days later. “Someone will meet you at the theater gate,” she explained. “That person will take your wife to meet the band, then deposit her back with you.”
This didn’t sound like the safest game plan, but, since we didn’t want to cancel out, we didn’t have much of a choice.
“I’ll still be able to meet Styx,” I said to Kevin, though a lot of the original excitement had gone out of it.
I tried not to think or talk about the upcoming event. Keeping it low-key kept me from getting nervous. When the day arrived, I had to think about it and as the hours ticked by, my anxiety grew. About two hours before we were to leave for the theater, I took a second anti-anxiety pill, putting my daily dosage at 100 milligrams. I was calmer but doped up. That wasn’t good!
We arrived at the theater early and had to sit in the blazing hot sun for a long time before the lady in charge of the Meet The Band arrived. We both got a backstage pass. I didn’t understand this, but I didn’t question it either.
After that, we were kind of tossed around for the next hour or so. The Meet The Band was supposed to be at five. It kept getting postponed and didn’t happen until six-thirty.
Finally, we were led to a flight of outdoor stairs. “Your wife will have to climb that,” the lady said. “The backstage area has been moved to the second floor.”
I couldn’t believe this was happening. I was in a wheelchair and expected to climb a flight of cement steps?
Kevin put his hand on my shoulder. “You can do this,” he said. “I’ll help you.”
I had tears in my eyes. Those were the same steps I had fallen on a few years earlier and badly bruised my knee. “Is there a rail?” I asked. Kevin put my hand on it, then helped me out of the wheelchair. I faced the wall and gripped the rail with both hands and climbed. I was breathing heavily when I reached the top step. Kevin darted back down the stairs for the chair.
We went inside, but we were still one door away from meeting Styx. It was another ten minutes before Kevin and I and some other people were let through the second door. The five Styx band members were already in the room. I heard laughter. Then suddenly a photographer was snapping pictures very fast. I never saw any of the guys. At one point, the second lead guitarist, James Young, had his hand on my shoulder. I was so doped up I couldn’t turn my head. I lifted my hand to lovingly touch his, thinking it was Kevin. I heard more laughter.
Fifteen minutes later, we were outside again and heading back down the cement steps.
That was the Meet The Band with my faves in rock music. I was ticked off. I wasn’t the only one who was. Kevin told me that there were two women, a mother and daughter, who had paid $800 to meet the band.
At least I have a picture that was taken with them. The concert that night was phenomenal. Styx teamed up with REO Speed wagon. Styx’s lead singer, Tommy Shaw, seemed to intentionally place himself right in front of me onstage. Maybe that was my reimbursement for the poorly organized Meet The Band.
About the Author
Trish is the creator of the Tracy Gayle mystery series, Tidalwave, Stiff Competition and Ratings Game. She also writes short stories, poetry, creative non-fiction and articles. She is a graduate of Long Island University’s Southampton Campus and has a bachelors degree in English-Writing. She lives with her husband, Kevin, and dog, Henry, in Northeast Pennsylvania. Her website is https://www.dldbooks.com/Hubschman/.