AT&T store Bartonsville PA, September 20th.
It was late, or early, depending on your point of view. The night was dark and cold, about 38 degrees. The orange glow illuminated, what looked like smoke from a cigarette, my every exhalation. On first glance, it looked like a ghost town on the surface of mars, since an orange-yellow hue surrounded the building and each light source. As I scanned the area, I noticed a few vehicles parked out front by the entrance, with engines combusting. These vehicles weren’t moving, I had a hunch they were being used for protection from the outdoors and their heat was cranked.
A few chairs sat outside the entranceway which had hidden cameras and a set of energy efficient fog lights aimed at the clear glass doors. I was overwhelmed with a combination of joy and delirium. I hadn’t slept in 20 hours and I never expected to be fourth on this line. “Gotta love the Poconos,” I thought. After all I had heard about hundreds of people camping out in Lehigh Valley and King of Prussia mall just to not leave empty handed. What was to be hopefully attained by all, was a form of elite enlightenment, of which I now call, E-LIGHTENMENT, which would be granted to a small few, out of hundreds of thousands.
First order of business was to bide my time, and eradicate the possibility of falling asleep unintentionally. I parked the car. I noticed the chairs, so I placed mine third in the queue which started at the glass doors, just to be safe. My first concern, as always after consuming copious amounts of caffeinated coffee, was a toilet. I saw two possibilities: a 24 hour supermarket, or a gas station. I knew the supermarket’s toilets were kept neat and clean at this hour, yet it was a bit farther away then the dingy minuscule mart that had stations for 18 wheelers. Tired and dizzy, I crossed the four-lane highway to avoid the longer haul.
Upon entering the dimly lit gaseteria, I was practically assaulted by the smell of feces that invaded my nostrils in this ambush nasal. I decided to make haste. A blind man would have no problem locating the bathroom in this shithole. I pushed on. I had already taken my life into my own hands once that night by crossing the four lane highway which consequently made me more alert than I expected. The fear or getting run over was intensified by may lack of awareness and sleep. I entered the small room only to be fired upon by the stench of chemical warfare which shot up my nose. I made my contribution.
I arrived back at my Jag, after the battle, overwhelmed with a sense of delirious excitement. I was curious to meet my new set of obsessed friends. I took a walk and a chance and knocked on a window. I was greeted by a happy intellectual voice, loudly welcoming me in a Jamaican accent, into the car to watch a streaming movie on his old 3G. He too was a loner, like me, who’s obsession with technology drove him to madness as well. I got in, it was warm, and the devices audio was playing through the car stereo which created a superb movie watching experience. I knew things would be fine between him and I.
At least halfway into the gory horror movie, I noticed the moon was no longer very high in the sky and a few more vehicles had just pulled up. I was again consumed by excitement. Our conversation over the movie was that of Apps. This man was an App Guru. He had, in my best Dustan Hoffman in Rainman guess, 4 rows of 27 by 4 screen fulls, about 513 Apps, on his phone. We chatted for a while, I learned he was from Trinidad. “What a neat accent to have” I thought to myself. The movie was just too intense for me so I got out to meet some new friends.
I waved politely, it was a girl. Fantastic, and not to hard on eye either. Just what I like, not gorgeous yet not unattractive either. The night kept gettin better. As I introduced myself to everyone in a calm and scary overtired clown kind of way, we all started to chat. I had broken the ice. Thats what I do, break ice. I have always been a kind of social lubricant on my own and enjoy that quality about myself greater each year. It was now getting light out.
The light of day seemed to cut the power pines to all the lights in the parking lot, including the fog lights aimed at the glass doors where our line began. Curiously, I wondered who the genius was who thought everybody in line would be represented by a object they owned. A great idea was this. We all followed suit. We weren’t chained to the queue, and there was no confusion about the order of the line. This type of pecking order is always created within groups; a beginning a middle and an end, without anybody taking charge. This just seems to happen naturally, and beautifully when allowed to.
The sign on the door read, September 20th, we will be opening at 8:00 am, and it there wasn’t much time to left. Eleven people now stood on the line, and many of them smoking at the same time. Disgusting! I was a fool for ever smoking, since it did nothing for me but help destroy capillaries and create more anxiety than I ever admitted. There they were in their button down shirts and fancy name-tags, approaching the entrance with their slick set of keys and box of donuts for nobody but themselves. A person in line shouted the most cliched statement that has ever left a persons lips since the beginning of time, “What none for us?” I chuckled out of sympathy for the shouter, since he was as we all were: overtired, cranky, bored and excited.
8:00 was quickly approaching, the line was growing in an irrational number: e. Then a, man finally came out with an iPad and started taking down the line order and everyone’ s information to hopefully speed the dwindling of the line. He had this look in his eye as if today were going to be a very long day for him and his colleagues. For him it was, for us, it was going to be a day filled with button pushing bliss of the elite variety.
For us it was to be a day that only few would experience. For us it was our day. For us it is a day of triumph that we all had longed for. I suspected that for many of us, triumph was not a part of our everyday routine. But today, this day, we had all won the only war we could win and outsmarted and out foxed the largest amount of opponents any of us could ever dream of. Today we are victorious! Today, is our day. Today is the day that we can walk around the living as an object of envy for a change. Today we held in our hand an item that is far more advanced and sophisticated that anyone else’s in the country. A machine that not only began the birth of the first handheld Ai unit ever made, but aided us in our daily tasks with ease and without human interaction at. A device which unlike any of it’s kind would respond to our touch and read our own unique fingerprint to unlock. This victory will not be forgotten, and can never be taken away from us. It was us with ten minutes that 8:00 came that were filled with joy and memories that would mark us forerunners of the elite, until the end. We had all became E-LIGHTENED.
Thanks to everyone who waited in line with that cold dark day, if you happen to come across this article please shoot me a message.
written by Jeremiah Williams