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The American Flag And The Lucky Juju Bead (Not A Poem) - Poem by Uriah Hamilton

The American Flag and the Lucky Juju Bead

By Uriah Lee Hamilton

Monday night. No ticket to see the sold-out show of British pop singer Lily Allen at St. Andrew’s in Detroit. I’ve never let this stop me before. Off I go with the mad confidence of Hemingway and the sweet disposition of Jack Kerouac, ready as ever just to enjoy everything and be grateful.
I arrive in the parking lot of St. Andrew’s at 5: 50PM. About fifteen other people in line already including a thirty-five year old guy in a kilt. I have nothing against kilts really, but the chilly breeze was blowing 40 degrees Fahrenheit with snowflakes and rain falling, not strictly apropos for wearing your finest kilt. A homeless man approaches and gives me a small American flag. I tell him I can’t give him anything right now, no single bills until I can find a ticket to buy. I forgot I had a pocketful coins in a plastic bag. The homeless guy promptly reclaims the small American flag from me. My feelings were kind of hurt but I never really get mad at the homeless.
As people showed up, I’d ask, “Have an extra ticket? ” “No, man, I sure don’t.” “Ok, you can have my place in line, I’m ticketless.” At least fifteen more people show up that I have this conversation with, including two people from Dayton, Ohio also without tickets. Drats! Competition!
Then another homeless man on a bike approaches me. He says, “It’s going to be a good show isn’t it? ” I reply, “I don’t know, I can’t get a ticket.” “You don’t have ticket? ” Again I respond, “No, I can’t get a ticket.” He then assures me I’ll get a ticket. “You know, I met Lily today. Pretty little thing, I gave her one of my good luck juju beads.” The homeless guy then showed me two of his fingers. They didn’t appear that much more spectacular than any fingers I’ve seen on other hands. I guess he was holding one of his good luck juju beads, though. This time I remembered the pocketful of change I had. I pulled out the plastic bag and said, “I don’t know what’s in here, but you can have it” (I’m guessing two or three dollars) . He said, “Thanks.” And he then opens those not all that uncommon two fingers and gives me this little juju bead that I put in the pocket that had the plastic bag of change. The homeless guy then disappears as calmly as he appeared, almost like Jesus on the road to Emmaus when he slips away after enlightening the down-hearted disciples about the plan of God with the events that just unfolded. That seemed appropriate for the day after Easter.
As soon as the homeless guy vanishes, three guys show up in line and once again I ask, “Have any tickets? ” One of the three responded, “Just one, man.” I asked, “How much? ” He tells me, “Fifty dollars.” I promptly give him the fifty dollars and a God-blessing and felt all happy. I kind of felt bad for the two people from Dayton but maybe they didn’t have a good luck juju bead. I hope they got tickets somehow, but I don’t know. The time is 6: 30PM and the doors open at 7: 00PM.
An Electronic band from Seattle called Natalie Portman’s Shaved Head opened the show. They were a fun party band with a song or two seeming disco-like. Everyone was having a good time dancing and swaying and talking to friends and people they were romantically involved with. All very cool.
Finally, Lily Allen takes the stage wearing a cool gray hoodie. She eventually sheds the hoodie and has a white T shirt on and is just super cute with a new shorter hair cut. She’s dancing and smiling and singing and everyone in the audience is doing the same. She then introduces a song called “Who’d Have Known” saying it is about the early time in a relationship before you really know each other. As she’s singing the song, she notices a gay couple in front of me all happy with each other and the show and points toward them and smiles friendly and approvingly. A song or two later, the one guy of the couple has a tear on his face from how much he is enjoying the show and Lily notices that as well and says, “You’re crying, are you ok? ” She then reaches out her hand with her lovely pink finger nails and shakes his hand. I think that is the only hand she shook last night. She later throws a towel out into the audience and the same guy gets the towel. Uriah left empty-handed but happy. For the final song in the encore, she sings “Womanizer” by Brittany Spears and everybody is just bopping up and down and digging the coolness of it all. My only disappointment is that she doesn’t sing the song “Knock ‘Em Out”
Form her first album. The song is about a guy hitting on her that won’t take no for an answer and Lily says in her perfectly lovely English accent, “It’s not going to happen, not in a million years.” I know something about success in receiving rejection, but not by such a cool British voice. I would have liked to heard that one. Maybe next time.
On the way out, a pretty blonde kept saying, “This was a sold out show, there is no recession.” I don’t know if that line was motivated from any particular political perspective. I’ll just take it as one more person saying good luck to everyone.

8: 39PM 4-14-2009


Comments about The American Flag And The Lucky Juju Bead (Not A Poem) by Uriah Hamilton

  • Rookie Tai Chi Italy (4/15/2009 6:35:00 PM)

    It sounded like a great night out and Lily is a sweet girl who knows her stuff, like her father. I guess that juju bead gave you just reward Uriah, for being such a generous and kind hearted guy, not to mention incredibly talented. We all get our just deserts in the end, and I enjoyed reading all about yours. Luck is the name of the game and the pretty blonde was not wrong. I carry a special key to keep my luck with me. it will open the right door one day! Smiling at you, Tai (Report) Reply

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