Wednesday, October 17, 2012

28 Years Later

They were the biggest band in the world. And for a while, I didn't care.

Then suddenly I did.

And I "cared" more than was humanly necessary.

On October 16th, 2012, I finally met the man whose image plastered my bedroom walls (and ceiling), dropped in on my dreams, thrilled my fantasies and much later, peppered my otherwise boozy Twitter feed. John Taylor, bass player for Duran Duran.

Now, I know waiting on line for hours in a book store to meet an aging rock star sounds silly. Haven't I grown up already?

The answer is yes, and sometimes I think maybe even too much.

We forget sometimes before the Internet and YouTube, nostalgia couldn't be instantly gratified. When I was thirteen, before my family even got a cable subscription or owned a VCR, seeing an image or hearing a piece of music still had a fatalistic thrill, because I never knew when it would come on again. I'd wait for hours to hear/see it again, transfixed and shutting out the rest of the world when my patience finally paid off. The first time I saw a Duran Duran video, and caught a glimpse of that cute skinny guy with the square chin and bleached bangs, I felt as though I'd just found something I'd never known I'd lost. Or maybe I lost something I didn't know I had. Either way, something within me changed, and never really changed back after all these years. I had to keep seeing and hearing. When I read more about this person who presented himself, despite his vast fame, style and riches as a highly articulate, artsy, thoughtful and slightly dorky man with a love of F. Scott Fitzgerald (because of him I'd read This Side of Paradise by age 14) and a James Bond obsession, the crush was in full effect. He was different than the others. I liked different. BONUS, I found out we share a birthday! And we're both only children.

Clearly, thousands (possibly millions?) of other people felt the same way I did. Today I even met another fan only two people in front of me on the line who shares the same birthday. Also born in 1971, which means on the very exact day as me. Drat. So much for being different.

So in the midst of a massive world tour with the band, JT somehow found the time to write a book (he's actually an excellent writer, judging by his blog posts.) Part of the book-signing junket would be in my city for one day, in the middle of a busy week. My thirteen year old self would have punched me in the throat with her slave bracelets if I hadn't found a way to go. Wasn't the time I saw him on Lafayette Street a few years back, or the Twitter conversation where he actually Tweeted me back enough of an encounter?

Bitch, please. My only fear was that no matter how early I got there (no thanks to the MTA), I'd be turned away.

Or worse, simultaneously sneeze and puke if I got within a few feet of him. When I heard the excited screams of the crowd (almost entirely women. Guess the gays have better day jobs.), and caught a glimpse of that familiar smiling face, the scarf, the spiky brown hair, walking toward his place at the signing table, this got very real for me. I actually had to steady myself and take a few deep breaths. I began to question if I could keep my cool. Then I got too cold. Then too warm. Shivery sweats at the mere sight of him, knowing he was in the same room? As Kate Winslet would say, "Gather..."

The line snaked through the stacks of books -  past Self Help, past Spirituality, past Nutrition, past Cincuenta Sombras de Grey, Fifty Shades of Grey in Spanish (how many Spanish words are there for "manhood"?) We turned the corner. And there he was...

But I did OK.

I even made him smile once.

I did a lot of smiling too. I'm still smiling.

"Gemini Girl." Sigh.

Hell, maybe there's a reason I've had a little, ahem, extra free time lately. At the age of thirteen, I couldn't have fathomed the kinds of responsibilities I would have (or even, not have) at the age of 41. As this election season has proven, the world is indeed a volatile, scary place (am I just a "binder" to you?) Nothing has turned out the way I thought it would. In some ways, maybe that's a good thing. I like knowing the girl in me still is still kicking around.

Special thanks to Nicole for waiting in line with me and talking me down. And making sure I don't have lipstick on my teeth.

No comments: