“Almost there, almost there, almost there,” I told myself.
Hunched over with cold, I approached the Convention Center in small quick steps. When I first left the apartment, the cream color of my Converse shoes had shone a bright contrast to the rain-spotted sidewalk, but no more. After a 20-minute walk, they too were now sodden with rain. I curled and uncurled my toes in an effort to send them some blood and, hopefully, warmth. “Does that even work?” I asked myself. I had no clue, but it felt better to try something than to just let them go numb with cold.
Walking with my eyes glued to the sidewalk, the hood of my jacket hung low over my face. With only a few inches of visibility, I moved as quickly as possible without bumping into anyone. And, then I saw him. Or, I saw his shoes—they were clean and they were dry!
The man’s blue windbreaker matched the color of the umbrella sheltering him from the raindrops falling more quickly now. Our eyes met, and he cocked his head to the side swiftly, inviting me into the shade. I thanked him profusely, and we exchanged names as I scooted under the umbrella’s shelter.
“Do you know how to get to this room by any chance?” he asked, handing over a ripped piece of paper with a number on it.
“Yeah, I got my name-tag there yesterday. It’s not far from this entrance,” I told him.
“Great, can you show me the way? I’m running so late.”
“Sure, I'll walk you, but we’ve got 30 minutes until the talks start. You’re fine.”
“Except I was supposed to be there 30 minutes ago. I’m the one giving the talk, so...” he said sheepishly.
“Oh snap, you so fancy! What are you speaking about?” I asked, intrigued.
He shrugged. “I founded this company called Rhapsody back in the day. I guess people want to hear about it?”
“Rhapsody, huh? Never heard of it.” I rolled my eyes upward in surprise and laughed. I’d never used Rhapsody myself, but I knew people who'd been big fans. My music-obsessed uncle had used it to his manage his entire music library for years.
We stepped through the Convention Center’s doors, and I looked back out into the rain, to the corner where I'd encountered my new friend and his umbrella just a few minutes before. The event hadn't even started, and I was already meeting people—nice people, successful people, smart people.
"Almost there", I told myself. I wasn't an entrepreneur yet, never mind successful, but I knew right then and there that I was well on my way.
Whew! It feels good to be back. It'd been too long since my last contribution to #100daysofmicrostories, but I'm back on track. Thanks for reading Day 13, a short snippet of my experience at SXSW back in 2012. Time sure does fly...