Thursday, February 21, 2008

If I should love again

If I should love again
If I find someone new
it would be make believe
for in my heart it would be you

Everyone goes through the adolescent obsession phase. Little girls get hooked on horses or unicorns and then around adolescence they find something to build their entire world around. For me, suprisingly, it wasn't Barry. I found another group, harder edged, louder to obsess over. Buy EVERY record. Find EVERY article in print on them - yes, even debasing yourself to buying one of those silly teen rags, just don't let anyone see you do it!

Rag? What rag? How did those pages of glossy photos get on my wall? An elf put them there, it wasn't me! Oy vey....... I was 12, I didn't know any better. Mom and Dad were born clueless and their copy of "How to Deal With a Teenager" was missing this chapter.

And my first serious crush. I'm trying to block out the memory of the intensity of the emotion. It's just too embarrassing. I carried that torch for far too many years. But oh, it was such fun! The first concert as a teen, even with Dad chaperoning in NYC, it was great!
There has to be a segue here because between the middle of high school and the end of college, music took a hiatus. This isn't "flowing" like good writing but it's hard to put it in order.

Not that I didn't enjoy music, it was just SO busy! A college sweetheart (we almost got married, but it was a good thing we didn't), clubs and stuff, some music related like the pep band (where I finally got to play the drums!) and an occasional concert. (Anyone remember Til Tuesday? I do - and I loved them! Best show was at MIT.... and my first Billy Joel concert in Worcester!) I had all of my records (yes, they were still records) with me but when you're writing a paper for a grad-level course as a junior, applying for internships and a senior project, sitting and listening isn't going to happen. And that other thing - Oh yeah - CLASSES!! College would have been a 4-year vacation if it wasn't for that!

A lot of great Barry material got missed in that time period. I'm just now catching up with 1989's Barry Manilow (for the love of pete, dude, can we please have a non-self-titled record to make it easier on us? j/k) Even though I was ensconced behind ivy-covered walls I was not living under a rock and I should NOT have missed this one. Absolutely the best since Even Now. Really amazing lyrics and since I'm an 80s kid, that style grabs me as well. The same insightful and intelligent lyrics that sent the butterflies a-fluttering years earlier. A number of songs play a big part in future story chapters. I wonder if Barry is a computer nut - with the new technology that became available in the 80s his creative juices must have been dripping with all of the possibilities in making sound that were still being explored.
Back to my old obsession..........................
I rediscovered that line of thought first when I got settled in The Real World after college.

A few months after settling into my new home and job I flip the car radio to my favorite heavy rock station and the adolescent in me sang HALLELUJAH! "The Crush" was in town, doing a solo concert as a charity benefit. The best (read: shortest) dress came out of the closet. I get to the venue and I was the second person in line. (What? Someone's more dedicated than I am? Impossible!) And there he is, playing and singing right up close. How did I stand still? (I don't think I did.) It was surreal - after nosebleed concert seats and videos and still photos - he's..... HERE!

My new friend from the line dragged me to where he was obviously hanging out after his set was over. You know there are times when you don't care if you look stupid. This was one of them.

I asked for a hug. (Who does this?? A complete stranger asking for intimacy? What was I thinking?)

I got it. (He didn't even flutter an eyelash or hesitate. Next thing I know there are arms around my waist and my back is rubbed. I guess he's used to those requests.)

I didn't sleep that night! (You wouldn't have either!)

The Internet and America OnLine boom came a few short years after graduation. And wouldn't you know, there were newsgroups and bulletin boards on that band. That adolescent rush came back with a vengance. Concerts with friends (unchaperoned!) talking with other fans all over the US. Back in the day, that didn't happen - my obsession was my own and there were few if any to share it with.

Not only that but the door was wider open than I thought. Not just fans of the band. Employees....... Family members.........

Then one day - after an awful day at work that would keep the script writers at Lipstick Jungle busy for weeks - I came home and logged on out of sheer boredom and the first several emails in my box were from my old crush. A response, and some followups to a post I put on a message board about how I met him.

He remembered......every detail.......down to the dress I was wearing.......!

The awful work day was a distant memory. My crush had become my friend.

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