I was sitting very close to the sound engineer in the background of the club. I guess I was enjoying the dark, underground club atmosphere on some level, even though I'm not generally a fan of it. I had been invited to Maggie Szabo's video release party in the Hotel Cafe in Hollywood and when they started screening her video, I slowly made my way through the crowd. Fifteen " Excuse me" later, I caught a good spot near the bar, where I could look at the audience, as they were watching Maggie's video.
I had seen her video many times before, so it gave me a chance to focus my attention on their faces: 75% of the crowd loved her video, 10% were oblivious and kept staring at their i-phone, 5% frowned, hating it, another 10% had a completely neutral expression, and one person kept staring back at me. The ones that loved her video, were enjoying it in completely different ways: Some nodded along with the music, others just had a satisfying smile on their face. Some of the girls even looked a little jealous, but in a positive well-wishing way. They were all completely different human beings of varying ages, with different hobbies, different jobs...
After the concert I went outside and took a stroll around the corner to Hollywood Boulevard.
"Nice coat. You from New York City? You have that look."
I turned around to see where the voice was coming from: A middle-aged black woman stood in front of a parking meter, looking in her purse for coins. She smiled at me.
"Never mind me", she said. "I'm crazy. Just like this city and everyone in it."
I smiled back at her and said: "I'm crazy too. I'm from Germany ... but God... I miss New York City. I was there last year. It was amazing"
"I know what you mean, boy" , she said. "It's like a different planet around here... but I guess we should be grateful just for being, wherever we are. Take care, kid."
"You too", I said. I was mesmerized.