Life in the Slow Lane

Life in the Slow Lane

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

There is so much I could post about. Usually I am frantically shuffling through my brain to try to find something glamorous or even slightly interesting in my boring day to day life to relay to you. However there has been a fairly decent amount of mildly interesting stuff going on. Not glamorous but not heinously dull either.

I could rant about the absolutely appalling customer service situation I recently found myself in but things are not quite resolved and I can feel a story of high drama possibly in the making so I’ll save that for when things pan out-either in a fizzle or in a bang. Only time will tell.

I could also tell you all about my parents celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary last Friday. It was also my mom’s birthday and my sister-in-law and I cooked a Mexican themed dinner for the family. It worked out pretty good. Since my dad is still not able to get around on his healing-but-still-not-strong broken hip we are planning a fabulous summer garden party in 2008. I can guarantee there will be some outrageous photos from that. We are doing a theme and that is all I am going to tell you about it now.

What I am going to post about today is about actually experiencing huge moment in my life that I have pictured happening over a million times in my brain but like most epic life experiences didn’t exactly turn out like I hoped. Not extra bad or extra good but just different.

At the end of October I went to see my boyfriend, Henry Rollins, at one of his spoken word performances. I don’t think I’ve missed one of these in over 10 years. I’ve been a big fan of his for a long time and I have consistently found spooky and odd little coincidences in many of his shows.

I risk sounding like a psychopathic stalker but there have been so many similarities in rant topics, words and phrases and even books read or music listened to between us it is always interesting to go to his show and see what ‘thing’ we happen to have in common this year. For instance he’ll talk about some obscure band he recently hung out with and I will have just heard that same band out of the blue the week before. Stuff like that. Stuff that ultimately means nothing but that I stubbornly and intentionally misconstrue to mean that we are wildly compatible.


Anyway, I have always wanted to meet him. I tell people I just want to shake his hand but in my sad, lonely, fantasy dreamscape what I really want to happen is to shake his hand and for him to gaze into my eyes and find me captivating, fascinating, infinitely intelligent and an all ‘round gorgeous gal (all this occurs to him in the split second our hands touch, mind you). We then fall into scintillating conversation where he finds my witty remarks and quirky outlook precious and endearing. I dazzle him with my insights and ironic life observances and we enter an exciting, fulfilling relationship where the fact he is tortured, on the road constantly, an aging rock icon and a US citizen and that I have no real job, constant panic attacks, a jiggly bum and freakishly scarred boobies only enhances our eerie sexual and intellectual connection.

TOTALLY deluded, I know but I never claimed to be logical. Or sane.

So here is what happened. In one of his newsletters or on his radio show he mentioned he would be very happy to meet with fans and sign autographs outside his tour bus at each venue. This announcement spun me into conflicting emotions-a desire to meet him and loathing the thought of anybody possibly mistaking me for a groupie. I decided to see how things looked after the show and decide then if I would be willing to debase myself to lurk around a rock-star’s bus to fulfill my dreams.

I waited outside the venue where his bus was conveniently parked with my sis-in-law for a few minutes freezing our asses off seeing if he would come out. Pretty soon a small crowd began to gather which consisted of a few very young street-punky looking teenage girls who were loudly talking about whether they would make it to the last bus running to their suburb. Then some young guys with posters, CDs and books to be signed started trickling over and my 38 year old fogey self bailed out and decided to leave. I was simply embarrassed to be there.

I walked to my parked car and found myself having to drive past the venue to get onto the main thoroughfare to get home and lo’ there he was, in the middle of a small crowd, in all his glory. AND lo’ there was a parking spot (the only one in this very busy area) which I quickly turned in to thinking, It is FATE! The universe really does work. I got out, fluffed my hair, gummed off any possible lipstick on my teeth and joined the group.

And I was obviously and very clearly the oldest one there. By a lot.

I also don’t ever think about getting an autograph so I had nothing for him to sign either.

After waiting for a few minutes I tapped him on the shoulder and stuck out my hand which he shook.

Me: Thank you for coming.
Him: Thank you for having me.

He looked at me in such a way I suddenly realized that he was possibly thinking I might be affiliated with the theatre and maybe was going to hand him a cheque or paperwork or something.

My mouth got very dry and with a grimace of excruciating shyness I blurted out something about how I enjoyed his radio show. He was very kind and talked about that for a few sentences and then somebody else tapped him on the shoulder and he turned away.

I walked to my car and drove home hardly believing it all happened.

He is much slighter than I thought he’d be. I am taller than he is. His hand was small in mine. I didn’t dazzle him. I didn’t stand out in any way. Our souls didn’t meld in a cosmic explosion of perfection. I’ll never cross his mind again.

It was still pretty cool.


alan said...

Something about "all idols having clay feet" comes to mind...was it Kipling I think...?

But yours aren't clay as far as I know!


Susie said...

This is so wonderfully written, and I'm so PROUD of you for going up to him, OHMYGOSH!
And you sure do dazzle me :)

KULA said...

They're always shorter than they look on TV. Weird! Glad you got to shake his hand :)

Circe said...

Why is reality never as wonderful as our fantasies? *sigh* Still, I'm thrilled you got to meet him and exchange pleasantries.

Oh yeah, and I wouldn't wash that hand if I were you! :)

here today, gone tomorrow said...

Of course, it was cool! I'm very, very proud of you. I'd have done the same thing. (Don't even imagine what I'd do if it was Viggo...) And from everything I've read on his web site, he enjoys meeting and talking to his fans. I hope you do it again. And I bet if you write to him, he'll respond...he mentioned during his show that he does write back to people.

Ern said...

What a great story! Very well told. And I bet he is remembering you. As the one person there who probably really appreciated his talents, who also happened to be heart-stoppingly gorgeous.

lawyerchik said...

Good for you, Kranki! You had a dream, you made it happen, and you enjoyed the moment. That was awesome!!

Squirl said...

You are so cool and brave. I think you should write to him, too. Go for it.

Anonymous said...

great story!

i am proud of you for having the guts to go up and talk to him!!!

rock on with your bad self!


JP said...

You did a good thing!! If you didnt' you would have always wondered & regretted it for a lon time. And besides, you just never know.

Anonymous said...

This story reminds me of a similar experience I had as a child, meeting Madeleine L'Engle, the author of A Wrinkle in Time. I adored her, so I jumped at the opportunity to go with a friend to a speech she was giving, just to hear her talk and get to be in the presence of such a wonderful and generous mind. I was maybe 12 or 13. After her speech, which was good but had nothing to do with A Wrinkle in Time or Meg Murray and Charles Wallace (she was a well-known Episcopalian and her speech had something to do with that), my friend and I nervously approached her. She was very polite and signed my friend's book, shook my hand. I may have gushed a bit. I was in awe, but I left feeling strangely disappointed. She wasn't like what I thought she would be. She was extremely tall, for one thing. Embarrassed by the worshipful children. And older than the picture on her book covers. Then a few weeks later I was reading one of her books in which a character meets his favorite writer, and is strangely disappointed. He wasn't like what he thought he would be at all. Nothing like what was on the page. It is jarring to have your image of someone so rudely replaced by reality. Yet it is a fond memory, and I cherish now that she has so recently died.

HAR said...

Your post made me smile. Knowing how often you write about your boyfriend, I wish that I was in that car when you decided to pull over.
I think you handled the situation perfectly. What does one say to a famous person one runs across in a parking lot after a show?
If it had been me, I may not have had the courage to get out of the car.

east village idiot said...

I love this post. Don't downplay it. Encounters like that are a thrill. And it isn't weird that you both share a common "collective consciousness" with each other. that's what art is all about.

the next time you meet - you'll have much more to say because he'll be coming to shake your hand.

Robin said...

good for you! and that one moment can lead to another fantasy...about the next time you meet.

trust me on this. i spend most of my time in a fantasy world.

operagal said...

um, I pretty much felt the same way when I interviewed Tom Hampson.
Instead of a handshake, he actually posed for photos and I thought I was going to pass out.
My SO is kind enough to refer to him as "that handsome guy" and not wierd out about my crush.
Opera Gal

angela marie said...

What?!? You didn't reach over, tweak his nipples and give him a slobbery kiss?

C'mon. You have ALOT to learn about stalker tendencies.