I admit I was anxious about the weekend. But I honestly don’t know why. I didn’t know if there would be any kind of closure, any full circle from where I started. When I met my rock idol, I was a kid, 18 year old. Tickets back then were about $8. I just paid $50 and I don’t even care about any of the other bands.
But I felt I needed to see Iggy one more time.
When we were seeing each other he was in his mid-thirties. I was a teen. Now he’s pushing 70 and I just hit 50. Still, I think his girlfriend is younger than I. But it doesn’t matter. I wasn’t trying to reclaim my spot as his #1 girl, if I ever was such a thing. That isn’t the point.
So, then, WHAT IS THE POINT?
Well, seeing him once more was on my bucket list. He was my first love. Our quasi-romance spanned my move to New York at 18 to our parting when I was 20. We had a few good times. A few bad, too, when I thought the power of my teeny-bop love could hold the attention of a punk rocker with more on his mind than my vanilla adoration. I’ve changed so much since those New York days. I was a clueless, optimistic actress – auditioning by day, stripping by night. Clubbing in all the cool places that have since closed, and stunned by the fact that my idol had chosen ME. I was so connected to him that I often knew by the ring of the phone (the old fashioned land-line) that his voice would be on the other end.
Time marches on. That’s not where I am anymore, nor is it where I would want to be. After thirty years, to have closure on the first important love affair of my life would be good. But what kind of closure could there possibly be?
I got to the venue – really, just a field set up for a carnival with rides, greasy, over-priced food, and three stages blaring distorted music at top decibel level. Suddenly I felt incredibly old. I wiggled my way backstage, if one could call it that. Guess the old girl’s still got it! Jim (Iggy’s real name) arrived in a truck and limped, shirtless, up the stairs to the stage. Yes, he limped. My heart sank. But he still put on, from what I could see from the back, a hell of a show. He sang the old favorite Stooges songs and had forty or so fans come on stage and dance. He thanked people for coming out, and he was sincere. A tear of nostalgia streamed down my cheek as I watched him writhe and strut, lithe and muscular as always. His hair is still shiny; in our days together it was dyed pitch black, now it’s long and dirty blonde.
Back in Brooklyn, in his apartment with the paper umbrellas from drinks at the local Polynesian restaurant stuck in the wall, I used to run my fingers through that silky hair. But last night I realized how far in the past that really was.
Dating someone famous doesn’t make you any better than any other human being. Hell, BEING famous doesn’t make you better. And my longing to be acknowledged by him in some manner was misguided and thirty years too late. I guess my desire was really to affirm that I mattered to him so many years ago. But I already knew that then, in the ways that were true. He did care about me. And that time ended. I doubt I cross his mind or invade his dreams now, nor should I. I wanted to know I had been important to him. What I should have been asking myself is, am I important to me?
The same old tour manager, who would have remembered me, hustled by, escorting Jim’s girlfriend to the waiting van. Her legs were like toothpicks. He hurried back to the stage, and I didn’t call out his name. Nor did I call out when Jim got off stage and into the car. He drove off into the night.
I made my way back to my own little beat-up car, to think my little beat-up thoughts. I, too, drove off into the night.
Forward. Not backward.