A Friday night in a famous bar in a famous city. Load-in is at 6:45pm. You're the 4th one there at 6:30. There is an alley behind the venue lined with garbage dumpsters puddles and rats, like a scene from Gotham. Unload the car, meet up with your bandmates, meet the sound girl, who is awesome. Hannah. Meet the guys in the other band. The other guys in your band have used an app to prepay for parking spots because parking in the city sucks. They can't drive a couple of blocks and find a spot? It's like it's their first time in the city. So you snicker to yourself and go park your car. You have two and a half hours to find a spot. 4 blocks away, you see a spot just behind the yellow line on the curb on the driver's side. Hit the gas and make a crazy u turn at the next intersection so nobody else gets your spot. F R E E. Suckers. Check the sign, and you just found a spot that's a 15 minute standing zone only from 6:00am to 4:00pm on school days. Nobody else noticed that it's past 4:00pm. It's going to be a beautiful night.
The promoter has been pushing and pushing for the band to bring a bigger crowd. It's a little annoying that a promoter's version of promoting is telling you that you should bring more people, but that's the business, I guess. So instead of sound checking and feeling good about the fact that you get to do what you love to do in an hour, you're biting your nails about how many people will show up. But by the time you go on, there's a crowd. The promoter will always want more, but there's a crowd. You play and there's energy in the room...and a smoke machine that makes the drummer disappear at completely random times throughout the set. You play your set. It's what you came to do.
Finish your hour and fifteen and while the other band plays, you have beers with your friends and really enjoy the next part of the evening. The other band is good. Completely different music, but very good musicians putting together very good songs. One by one, you watch your bandmates retire into the evening. Three of them have kids at home, they're the first ones to get heading home. The other one brought a date and they've had fun all evening. They eventually leave as well. You have one more beer with an old friend and bullshit for awhile until the clock strikes 1:15am. Might as well call it a night.
You walk the four blocks and there's...a fucking....parking ticket on your car. A nice end-of-the-night, kick in the pants for your trip home. Apparently, five cars ahead of where you parked and five cars behind where you parked, there's a small parking permit number on the street signs...$100...fuck.
Your wife left at least an hour before you did, so she'll most likely be asleep when you get home. The way you see it, just leave the ticket in the car and it'll be something funny to talk about tomorrow, but if she's awake, she'll be tired and this might make her edgy, so just leave it in the car for tonight.
You walk in, pet the dogs, turn the light on in the kitchen so you can warm up a late night snack and you see...on the counter...your wife's $100 parking ticket from where she parked. Fuck you Chicago.
It's been a hell of a night. And while you might park differently, you would do it all over again, but for now, maybe it's just time for sleep.