I was climbing the stairs to some sketchy venue I'd never even heard of before. I was tired and my feet hurt; I'd never heard of the band I was covering here. It was sometime after dark on Saturday night (I'd lost track of the time) and I was out doing my social media stuff again, running from venue to venue in fifteen minute intervals.
A middle-aged woman with large (huge!) bangs and a jean jacket was coming down the steps, slowly and clumsily. She noticed me as she passed by and suddenly grabbed at me, and it took a few seconds before I realized that she was going for my media badge. She hooked it successfully and jerked me forward by it, like I was a dog on a leash.
"OOhhh! Girlie!" She was dizzy and out of it. She squinted at the picture on the front of the laminated plastic rectangle. "What's this? Are you a famous person?"
I pulled away, trying to keep my balance on the rickety wooden staircase. There were two men with her and they hadn't been paying attention to me until she said this.
"What?!" One shouted, leaning down the stairs to look at me. "She's famous? Who are you, girl? Are you in the Juno thing? What's your name?"
I glanced despairingly at the doorway beyond the trio. They seemed harmless, but I was just not in the mood. I needed to get in, take my pictures, get out. I contemplated just heading back to the car where Barclay was waiting with McDonald's coffees and Hershey's chocolate since he couldn't actually get into the venues with me without paying. "I'm no one," I said.
The third guy must have been the designated driver. He smiled at me and nudged the guy closest to him to move out of my way. He glanced down at my badge too. "Guys. She's a photographer or something. Media."
"PAPARAZZI!" howled the first girl excitedly. "TAKE MY PICTURE, PAPARAZZI!"
But I was already through the door, praying they'd be gone by the time I came back out. I had three more venues after this, and then I was supposed to meet Karlie and head to the Hey Ocean! show at the Owl. And then I could go to bed. Bed. Bed bed bed, I said to myself. Bed soon. The word 'soon' here meant something like five hours. But sometimes you have to tell your subconscious little white lies to make it through.
The Gala had actually run fairly smoothly.
(For you non-Canadians reading this who aren't so familiar with the whole Juno thing, I should've explained this all sooner: it's Canada's biggest awards ceremony, which is actually divided into two parts: a private Gala on the Saturday, and a broadcasted awards ceremony on the Sunday, which is kind of similar to the Grammy Awards.)
My job for the Gala was to facilitate interviews with the Juno winners as they came backstage after their big wins. Running microphones to media and looking after tech stuff and all that. It was fine, but it was exhausting. No bathroom breaks, no sit down breaks, no water breaks or supper breaks. By the time my shift was over at 10 pm, I was late for my next shift with GGL, I was exhausted, and I was hungry out of my brains. Whiny, too, because I was tired of being shushed and yelled at and glared at for asking questions or making honest mistakes when I was seriously trying my hardest.
Hasn't anyone around here ever heard of a smile? SMILE AT ME! You're in PR! Don't you know what the P and the R in PR stands for? The only person who's smiled at me all night was Tom Cochrane.
I guess I'm oversensitive when I'm hungry.
I'd gone home to change into warmer clothes for the venue-runs and found Barclay fast asleep on the couch with a book on his chest. I'd picked it up and set it on the coffee table before curling up in the crook of his elbow to eat my "supper". He woke up and asked how my night had been. I said, "I want to die."
He said, "Oh," and gave me a hug. That was nice.
And now here I was in this weird venue watching roadies set up for the next show and trying not to fall asleep on my feet and waiting for the rowdy group outside the door to dissipate so I could run back out to the car without having my badge yanked.
Thankfully, Big Bangs and the Gang were gone by the time I left. We finished up the venue runs, I dropped Barclay off back at home, and took off for the last show of the night. Hey Ocean! is always, always a good show, and I felt myself relaxing a little bit.
Karlie and I stood outside for a bit after the show was over. I told her about my Michael Buble encounter and how much I hated the media centre and we took selfies in the window. And then all of a sudden I was flat on the ground and there was a strange weight on me and someone was yelling, "HEY! HEY! GET OUT OF HERE!" and someone else was crouched in front of me saying, "Are you ok? Are you ok?"
I wasn't actually sure. I was confused.
The man crouched in front of me was wearing a baseball cap. Or he might have actually been bald. I can't remember. He reached out a hand to help me up, grabbing for my right hand. I winced and held it back in. "Well that hurt," I said. Because it had. "But what was it?"
He grabbed my other hand and helped me to my feet. He looked angry. He nodded to the right and shook his head. "These two guys were hugging and they fell on you," he said.
"They were hugging? And they fell on me while they were hugging? They fell on me?"
"Yeah. They're gone now. They ran off." Clearly no one else saw the hilarity of this. Later, when I had to explain what had happened to two doctors and an x-ray tech, no one even cracked a smile (broken bone joke). What is it with people and not smiling?
Karlie was standing there holding my phone, which had skittered across the sidewalk when I fell. She nodded seriously. "They were big guys," she said. "You landed on that."
There was a thin piece of metal in the ground sticking up right where I'd fallen. Lovely.
Anyway. It was sometime early in the morning when I got home and crawled into bed. My arm was black and swollen and my leg was too. I woke Barclay up and showed him.
"Two guys were hugging and they fell on me," I told him.
He didn't think it was very funny either.