I’m in a band.
And, without any false ego here, I think we’re pretty damned good.
Everyone who is in a band has some sort of “famous” fantasy – mine goes like this:
We finish our set and get offstage. A woman comes walking over telling me she really likes the music and that we made her night. Then she motions over to her table where she and a few friends are having drinks. She invites me over and I hang out for an hour. Then I go home alone. No phone number or anything.
I know this is not the most exciting rock and roll fantasy.
I try to keep my fantasies in the general realm of possibility, and I was never the “I’m gonna be so awesome girls throw themselves at me!” kind of dude. I mean, I don’t even one pair of stained leather pants.
Plus, I’m kind of freaked out by one-night stands. I mean, I’m 35, for chrissakes. Gross.
Interestingly enough, this low-bar fantasy has yet to be realized. Not because I’m not in a good band or that I’m unapproachable, but that it’s just not how regular people interact.
When’s the last time you saw a play and went over to the lead and said, “Hey, Hamlet, when you get your waistcoat and fake beard off, come next door to the Stilted Whiskey and let us buy you a gimlet!” You’ve never done that.
I guess I’m just lonely sometimes. It’s probably the reason I publish this blog online and not simply keep it in a journal, like a normal, non-needy person.
So, I can’t tell you how excited I was to receive an email from a Chicago fan that wanted to take ME out for a drink!
I happen to live by the most famous jazz bar in the city, The Green Mill.
She wanted to meet me, and suggested we hang out for a drink.
Now, a lot of you might be thinking this sounds like a date. But that never occurred to me. She didn’t seem to be flirting or suggesting anything romantic. We had never even spoken. Also she didn’t seem to be unstable or stalker-ish, but what the hell do I know? My subscription to Roofies and Chloroform Monthly ran out last June.
So, I walked the 77 steps from my condo to the bar (I actually counted). Then I remembered that this bar allows NO talking whatsoever. In fact, they don’t even like whispering. Jazz is serious business.
But I didn’t care. We could sit in silence, and I’d be fine with it. Somebody wants to hang out with me because of my writing!
We met, and it was awkward, not because first meetings are like that – but because we couldn’t really talk much. After two drinks, I suggested we go to a nearby bar for one more.
Now, you may be thinking that this is really sounding like a date. It wasn’t. Plus, I cleared it in advance with the woman I’m dating. I mean, I’m not a total asshole. I just wanted to meet a fan who wanted to meet me.
And Ashley (the fan), said something that really resonated with me. She said, “In a weird way, I feel like I know you already. I mean, I don’t know you, of course, but because you write about your life, I sort of do know about you.”
Quite honestly, that was the best compliment she could have paid me. Not that I need everybody to be so enamored with my life that they want to get to know me, but that she felt connected in some way.
Now, it may not be a “real” connection, but it’s something that’s important to me.
This is what I love about you guys. You, being the person reading this right now. You.
The reason I write this is to connect and be heard. Maybe it’s massive insecurity, or dysfunctional, but it helps me feel less alone.
Now, I don’t think I’ll be meeting any more readers on a one-on-one basis going forward. It’s a little odd and uncomfortable, and when it’s a woman and a man, there can be some safety issues, and it’s not always appropriate or smart.
That being said, I’m coming to Atlanta for New Years, we are throwing a small ThoughtsFromParis reader party. Contact me for details.
It was a perfectly fine evening, and I’m grateful that one of you reached out to me. Now, leave me alone. I have shit to do.