There was a rain, it was falling all over the city. And someone was selling tickets to it. And there was a line up that stretched for blocks, in the rain, for people to buy tickets.
People were waiting in line, patiently miserable as they were soaked up in the rain, because there was a sign all along the line that said in big, bold letters:
So, in the line, that was in the rain, there was not one umbrella. And people waited for hours, for tickets to the rain.
Joel had been waiting for two and a half hours in the rain, and he was only about ten or fifteen minutes before he could buy his ticket. He was actually going to buy about three or four and go through the line and scalp the tickets for people that did not want to wait as long as he had for tickets to the rain.
He also could not wait to receive his own ticket to the rain. He was dreaming about it for the past month, as he knew most people had been. He knew that the line would be immense and he got up especially early to buy his ticket. But it seemed as if most of the city was thinking the exact same thing that he was. And he had arrived too late, and the line, had already formed a long expansive line, full of soaked sleeping bags, and soaked pillows. Because there was a giant sign that said in big, bold letters:
NO TENTS, NO TARPS
Underneath each sign, there was a warning, in smaller lettering that said:
Any violators will not be sold a ticket.
Conversation in the line was limited, in the downpour, to whispers about how much this was a cold, godawful rain. How they were miserable because of the rain, and how they couldn't wait to get their ticket to it. Usually it would be one person saying this, and then all those in ear shot would nod up and down in agreement.
Joel agreed with them, he was on of the ones that nodded his head up and down in agreement, he was never one of the ones to start a whisper. He was never one of the ones to start anything.
Joel was a small man, in stature, in health, in self-respect. He was small. He had a cough that never went away, and despite being so short, he still had a hunch that made him even smaller. He knew that he should stand tall, but after the forty years of hunching down, he would have to go see a specialist to straighten his back. He couldn't afford a specialist.
He couldn't afford one of those specialists because his self-respect was so small. And in order to keep it small, he would drink a lot of alcohol. He would drink it at bars to spend more money, and he would drink in bars so that people would have the opportunity to put him down. Which was easy, since in every way he was already so low to the ground.
That's why he was two and half hours late that morning for the line. He wanted to get up exactly two and half hours earlier, so that he could be one of the first in line.
If only I hadn't gotten drunk, I could have been here two and half hours earlier, and I wouldn't have had to wait so long in line!
For the entire time that he waited in line, that's all that he could think. That and how much he couldn't wait to get his ticket. He also couldn't wait to buy two or three, to make a couple extra bucks. He needed some money, he had spent too much at the bar last night, and now no longer had enough money to buy cigarettes. His hunch was extravagantly drooping in the rain because of all of this.
A couple of other people had been through the line in the past little bit, scalping tickets to people, for an extra fifty bucks. He figured that when he got his, he would only charge forty. That way people would not only buy them, but other people would hear that he was charging less, and think well of him for doing so.
He could see the booth now. A small table set up on the street, the police officers were guarding the man behind the table. He had a hat on, and a bright white tuxedo on. He was tanned and had a bright white smile that he gave to everyone who was buying tickets from him. He wasn't wet at all, because the table had a tarp over it.
Finally, Joel arrived to the front of the line. The police officers asked him for his identification, and he gave it them. Then they patted him down and searched his bag. They were stern and rude with him. They asked him what he was doing with a lighter, and when he responded by saying that he smoked. They asked him for his cigarettes, and when he didn't have any. They took his lighter from him.
Once Joel was there, the man in the hat and tuxedo extended his hand dramatically to him.
“Good day sir, in fact, great day! Sir. What is your name?” The bright white smile, hurt Joel's eyes as if it he were looking directly at the sun.
“Joel.” He mumbled.
“How many tickets Mister?”
“Three? But they're only one of you!” He eyed him with a sarcastic expression.
“My...sister, and her daughter, didn't want to wait in line.”
“Are they sick?”
“Yes?” He said as if it were a question, it was a long and high pitched tone.
“Well, okay then. Six hundred dollars then Mister.”
“Okay” And he gave the man six hundred dollars.
“What? No tip?” The man burst out laughing. Handing him three envelopes.
“Next!” Exclaimed the man.
Joel was rushed off back into the rain. He was exceedingly happy. He ran to the back of the line, and immediately sold two of his tickets. Those around him thought kind things about the little man that didn't charge as much as he could have.
As Joel was walking in the rain, he had a small skip in his step. He pulled out the envelope and looked at his ticket, it had large bold printing:
ONE TICKET TO ENJOY THE RAIN
And he did.