fictional: (Cowboy)
I just got back from Aerosmith at Jones Beach. With freaking ZZ Top as the opener. Yeah, it was a little time slip there.

When I was 13 -- almost exactly 15 years ago -- I'd just fallen in love with my first rock band. Oh yeah, I'd listened to Queen before that, but Freddie had just died then... Aerosmith was my first, living, OMG WANT band.

Embarrassing? Perhaps, but I'm not embarrassed. There's something pure and spectacular about first love, true love.

Anyway, so that summer, [ profile] magnetgirl and I went to our first rock show. We had orchestra tickets, and her parents drove us there... and we were totally blown away. That venue is the most gorgeous I've ever been to, still, and tonight, fifteen years later, it was still magical -- with the thunderstorms, and the lightning (oh, the lightning! when ZZtop invoked Jimi Hendrix, as they sang Foxy Lady, and the lightning arced and sparked in spiderwebs across the sky as if in response at the beginning and end of the song, as if Jimi was up there, playing along!) and the glorious sunset that seemed as if it were off of some alien twin sunned world, and the light sparkling on the water, and the spots in gleaming beams all the way down to the stage...

So there we were again, the two of us. (Plus boys. The last time I was at an Aerosmith concert, I thought I would never, ever have anyone like me. like-like me. You know.) Anyway, I think they knew we were there.

They didn't sing a single song post 1993. Not one. And they played every song off Toys in the Attic. It was like going back in time to 1975 -- there was even a vworp-vworpy TARDIS sound, and suitable psychedelic imagery. (And although Steven Tyler's voice is now wrecked beyond repair, you could kind of imagine he was just really strung out on drugs!) And omg, I never realized it before, but the Toxic Twins must have imprinted hard on my burgeoning sexuality, (or my burgeoning sexuality picked them for a reason!) because jeez, they're really kinda gay. I mean, there's an OTP in there for sure. Watching this band with slash goggles firmly affixed is a whole new experience. (Ahhhh! Did I really start out in bandom??? Oh no. Say it ain't so!!)

ANYWAY, MOVING ON. They looked like they were having a great time tonight, and could've cared less about all the girls going, "but what happened to 'I don't wanna miss a thing!'" Nope, instead we're going to play things from Rocks and Get Your Wings. And you can fucking suck it! A little surreal to have them dedicating songs to their kids, and um, grandkids who I think were there (go see Grandpa shake his silver lamé ass!), but...I wouldn't have missed it for the world.

My very last Aerosmith concert, and it was...

fictional: (full face)
If you know me in person, you know I am mostly on time for things. Not always, not every day, but I spend a lot of time on street corners, waiting for people to meet me.

The sad part about this is, of course, that it's made me think of myself as the Person Who Shows Up. (Corollary is, naturally, When Other People Don't.)

Perhaps you know the feeling? You're waiting by a predetermined location. It's cold. You eye the crowd, picking out a jacket color that looks familiar, or a certain way of walking. There they are, you think excitedly, this is them! But they come closer, resolve into focus and out of expectation and you realize it's not the person you're waiting for at all, wrong hat, wrong height, wrong face, wrong, wrong, wrong.

And then you wait some more, and do it again. Lather, rinse, repeat.

If I changed this around a little bit, tweaked the metaphor, it could be a description of my entire childhood and adolescence. Longing, waiting, expecting, and the inevitable rush of disappointment. Over and over and over: waiting to be met, perfected, chosen.

Never happened.

That's true. It never did.

Because the trouble is, of course, while you're waiting, you have tunnel vision. You miss a lot of stuff. In the background, over there. While I was waiting to become cool, to become a musical prodigy, to have some stupid boy fall in love with me -- things were happening. Ordinary things. I was being chosen, and not only did I not know it at the time, if I had, I probably wouldn't have cared.

In an elevator, I was about a year and a half old, a toddler, and going down to the laundry room with my mother. The woman who lived in the apartment above us was in the elevator too. Somehow, and I don't know why or how, she met my eyes -- and she must have fallen in love. That's what she says, anyway. Flash forward a little more than a decade, and she's taking me with her on a trip to Tennessee, and a little place called Highlander.

It's there that I meet Rosa Parks, who tells me that she thinks I'm stubborn & tenacious. And that means I'll do great things. It got her places, after all. I don't really care; I'm much more concerned about not getting that solo in chorus.

A few years later, I'm in high school. We're singing with Pete Seeger in some concert in Central Park. Sweet Honey in the Rock is there too, and out of the chorus rehearsal, Bernice Johnson Reagon picks me out of the line - (I'm in front because I am short.) She calls my name, says in that deep, rolling voice of hers: "How are you doing? Remember you used to sing for us in that apartment in DC? We talk about you all the time... Don't you waste your promise, child."

I didn't really care about that either; just an old lady I can barely remember from when I was a kid, nattering on. Not important. Much more concerned with an argument I'm having with my friends, and how lonely I feel all the time. No one sees me, I think. A few weeks after this, I perform a social experiment: I stop speaking except when absolutely necessary for three weeks, to see if anyone notices. No one seems to, and I feel humiliated. And vindicated in my humiliation.

There's so many of these encounters, I can't even tell you.

I met someone in an elevator -- not that I remember it, I've just been told -- and they fell in love. That had nothing to do with me, I was just a toddler. It was just grace. Luck. And because of it, I was a child who was known to so much of the civil rights movement -- heroes, REAL heroes -- and I didn't notice or care.

Today I heard that Odetta died.

I don't know what to say except that I wish I had appreciated being chosen to be a child in the presence of greatness like that.
fictional: (the look)
the video store was out of all the delightfully depressing movies that i thought i might inflict upon us this evening. so i settled for Shakespeare in Love, and the Matrix on dvd. d. wants to test his "new" DVD player (housewarming present, courtesy of kittie i think) and flat screen tv (just bought yesterday!)

i got Shakespeare in Love on video simply because he also still has the VCR that we bought together in san diego. and i remember the night that we got it. it was probably about ten pm. and i really wanted to watch a movie. (probably it was one of those evenings in that apartment where the silence was too deafening for us to even try and break it with words.) and i told him i wanted him to buy me a vcr. right that second. and he did. from (ahh, weren't those the days) and it was delivered to our door, in twenty minutes, along with two movies.

the vcr will probably break at some point, and then i'm going to take it from him, and stuff it in a closet somewhere as a reminder of those halcyon dot-com days. and more importantly, so that i remember that even the most desperate nights can sometimes be saved.

and now, off to movie night...


fictional: (Default)

August 2009

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