by Heather M
The concert was now over and everyone was piling out. One band member stood on the stage playing the beginning and ending part of "1984" on a flute. I slowly imagined pictures to it as I hid behind a curtain in the back corner of the stadium. To snap me back to reality, the main doors slammed and a twisting sound told me they were locking. I thought I should do what I had been planning to do before the band left as well.
It was the last concert of the Serious Moonlight Tour of David Bowie; I had flown up to Phoenix just for the occasion, and now I peeked from behind my shelter of disguise. In fact, it just in time to see Bowie walk out on stage, coat off, top button undone, and cigarette lighter in hand. From his pant's pocket he drew a package of Marlboro cigarettes and lit up. He began to talk with the band: congratulating Carlos Alomar on his guitar playing, and thanking the sax players.
I thought to myself, 'It's now or never.' I quietly stepped out and made my way through the rows of seats. I saw gum wrappers, butts, and balloons everywhere. It had been one heck of a night! I approached the stage. " Yeah," said Bowie with his cigarette in his mouth and picking up a guitar. " I'm glad this tour is over. I haven't had a decent night sleep since this darn thing began. The food sucks, the sleeping arrangement is filthy, and I can never get a good cup of coffee in the morning. What ever happened to the days when we could get a descent cup of coffee and a nice ciggy in the morning?"
Tell me about it," said the drummer from his playing scene. He too lit up. I figured it must have been their way of letting off steam." This place smells to high heaven!" he then picked up his sticks and started tapping away. Bowie smiled, swung the guitar strap on, and began picking. The tune was familiar to me, it was the song called, 'The Man Who Sold The World,' an old Bowie favorite.
I stopped and wondered. What was I about to do? Who was I about to say somethng to? A sudden fear rose in me and I began to turn around. I barely had my back towards the lighting when suddenly I heard David yell,
" Hey! Hey you! What are you doing here?" he stopped playing, set down his guitar, and walked to the edge of the stage. He swung his feet over the edge and sat there looking at me with cigarette in mouth and eyes staring. I stopped in frozen terror. Was he mad? I looked him straight in the face.
" Well?" " I-I...Well, I-I just wanted to meet you," I finally blurted out. I knew that I probably looked extremely stupid.
" So? Why are you shaking?" I hadn't realized it, but I was. I put my hands together and tried to control myself. I took in a deep breath and sighed: I felt really stupid. He looked at me, looked away for a moment nodding as if he understood, and put his cigarette out.
"Come here, I can't see you in those shadows." I walked down the aisle and stood two rows away from him. "If you wanted to see me why didn't you just show up at the door of the press conference tomorrow?"
"I didn't know there was one," I said sheepishly. Silence resumed, as if neither of us really knew how to react to the situation. He looked at my face, then ran down my entire outfit, and smiled. His eyes then wandered back to my face: I was wearing brown eye-liner that made a slight curve at the edge of my eyes, I had mascara on, with honey-brown eye shadow with a slight touch of pink. My blush was a light pinkish color and it made my eyes stand out more than normal. Then they wandered to my shirt and pants: my shirt was a light, navy blue color that had pea-green and white flowers on it, my pants were blue jeans that had several holes in the legs. His eyes eventually landed on my hair which was done up in a loose bun with some of the lose sides hanging down.
"Come closer, I still can't make you out very well." I stepped to the next row. "Closer," he then said making a gesture with his finger. Now I was only a few steps away from him. I could not believe how handsome he was in person, the lighting made it possible to see all features and despite the bleached blonde hair he looked very distinguished. Nothing was said.
"Look, if you want me to go I will," I then said not sure what he was thinking.
"Go? Why should you? You went to all the trouble of hiding, and scampering up enough guts to come here why should I make you leave?" as he said that he stood up to his full height and looked down at my uplifted face. I swallowed hard; his 5ft.10" figure looked huge.
"Well, I had heard you talking to the band and all your comments sounded, well, negative. It sounded like (to quote yourself) everything 'sucks.'" I stopped and he began to laugh. I murmured something under my breath,
"What was that?"
"Well, it's just that my friend would totally flip if she knew I was doing this." again he laughed and I couldn't help, but smile. Over the next fifteen minutes Bowie tried to make me more relaxed and encouraged me to be myself. He took my hand, pulled me up on stage, and introduced me to the band members. I was in heaven! The band members didn't seem to mind at all that I had sneaked in, and Bowie was rather humored about the situation.
"Believe it or not I've done such things myself before. I can't remember anyone who wouldn't have tried to sneak into a Little Richard concert. He was my idol during my teenage years, him and Harry Nelson. Even today I love their music. Tell me, what people do you go in for?" he then asked picking up his guitar again.
"Oh, I don't know," I replied touching a nearby saxophone. I like a lot of people from your era. You know people like Queen, Arrow Smith, and John Lennon."
"Now there's a man with talent," he exclaimed happily. "I like his stuff, and even Beatles' material is good. How much of my material do you know?"
"I have no idea. I've been a member of your mass of followers for so long I don't remember. I have everything from 'Space Oddity', to your latest album, 'Let's Dance.' It's hard to say which one's I have memorized and which ones I don't." and we both smiled.
"Did you know the song that we were playing just a few minutes ago? You know, the one that went," and he played the beginning part on his guitar. " You know?" " I do! That's 'The Man Who Sold the World.' I love that song! Would you play it again, all the way through please?" he nodded and sang away. Even the band members joined in with him, and Carlos Alomar joined in heavily whenever the guitar chorus came. It was such a delight. Eventually, one by one, the band members left the stage, complaining that it was too late to do anything else that night.
Carlos, Bowie, and I were soon the only ones left and like when we had first met Bowie plopped down on the edge of the stage. We actually talked quite a lot and I found it very easy to do at that. He asked me questions about my friends and family, and I, in turn, would describe them and kind of compare them with some things from his life. "Sounds like, you get along pretty good with your family then, right?" he asked removing the same package of Marlboro from his pocket. " Yeah, I do," I replied and eyed the package discontentedly.
"What? Do you want one?" he asked seeing that and offering one. I refused, but with no thanks. "Don't smoke then, eh? Would it bother you if I lit up?"
"No, I have friends who smoke and it doesn't bother me too much. Just don't let it sit out for too long or I'll feel sick."
"Oh, alright." and with that an orange flame flickered in front of his face. After that I commented that I got along with my mother pretty well too, and under his breath he said, " If only I had such a relationship." a long silence passed. I titled my head curiously.
"What'd you mean?" I asked gathering up my knees to my chest.
"Well, let's put it this way: I can't even remember my mother, Peggy Jones' birthday at all." and he wiped a small tear away from his eye. "And my father, John Jones died back in the seventies." again he wiped his eyes.
"I'm sorry to have brought of the subject, I-"
"No, no, no!" he said cutting in and arranging himself in a Turkish style of sitting.
"I was the one who asked you the questions, and I knew that something like this would probably happen, but I ignored it. I wanted to find out how a normal, teenage girl lived during these times."
"Well, I'm not exactly the best Guinea pig really. I live quite differently then most girls do. I'm pretty different and so is my family. We're religious, but we don't have pictures of a European Jesus on our wall. We go to church, pray, are thankful, and so on. I fear God, unlike most people who seem only to fear their true selves. You know what I mean?"
"Yes, I do. Perhaps I'm sort of guilty of that: you know Ziggy Stardust was just a mask. I was afraid to show my real self and drop all the masks, and so I'd act like I was somebody or something else. It seemed the only way." and he bent his head in slight shame.
"Oh, I think you've grown pretty much out of that! I mean, it's true that even today you haven't dropped all the coverings, but you do appear to be more human. I mean that in a good way, of course." and I patted his leg. He almost immediately looked up at me, switched his sitting position so he was on his knees, and then, with only the slightest hesitant, kissed my cheek. What a rush I felt with the feeling of his lips on my skin. I felt my cheeks turn bright red and warm.
When I saw his face again, I asked, " What was that for?" and I tilted my head back from his.
"Just because. You treated me like a human being; not like those reporters who crowd up against you, ask thousands of questions at once, and bug the crud out of you; not like those obsessed fans who can't keep their hands off of you or can't stop screaming. You acted like yourself and therefore made me act like myself." There he stopped and leaned back away from me.
I thought about the situation, understood what he meant, but wondered: why me? Why was I chosen, out of the thousands of fans, to bring out this introvert's true feelings? I fell back on my elbows and thought. Both of us soon came back to Earth and laughed at how serious the other one looked. I hugged Bowie out of kindness, and begged him to, when I was gone, remember me always. He smiled, said he would, and to my amazement clasped my hand in his.
"What are you two doing?" asked Carlos curiously coming up. " Nothing, my dear fellow," said Bowie looking up at him. "We were just having a good natured conversation." and we both stood up. I glanced up at the clock to see that it was almost five o'clock in the morning!
"Golly! We've been up talking the entire night!" I exclaimed and slipping my hand out from Bowie's. "I have to get back to my hotel, get my luggage, and catch my flight."
Bowie's happiness faded from his eyes. "You have to leave this morning, do you?"
"I'm afraid I do, Bowie. I only flew up here from Tucson just for your concert. I'm sorry, but I have a special someone waiting for me back home," I then said soothingly for he seemed very disappointed. I reached up and caressed his cheek.
"Oh, I understand. I too have a 'special someone' waiting for me, it's just that; there was something in the air tonight, and we were so relaxed with one another that it seemed as if we had known each other since the day we were born." he paused as if he heard something. I listened and I heard the front door unlock. I backed up to the edge of the stage.
"I really must go. By the time I get to my hotel it'll be six and my flight is at seven." I jumped off the side. I planned to leave and not look back, but Bowie stopped me.
"Wait!" he called. He looked around him, picked something up off the floor by a saxophone, and came up to me. "Here, I want you to have this."
I looked and he held out the same bow tie he had worn during the show.
"Oh, I couldn't."
He rolled his eyes, sighed, and picked up my hand. He put it in my palm, and closed my fingers around it.
"I want you to have it," he repeated more sternly.
I smiled, hugged him while planting a kiss on his cheek, and left. I felt the urge to turn around for one last look, but I knew that I would cry if I did. I sneaked out the doors and made my way back to the hotel.