Thought I’d republish this story today on Spaight Talk from a 2009 Posterous blog, in honor of that site shutting down today. (Buh-bye, Posterous…it was real. Sort of.) This could also be titled, How Changing My Outlook On Life Enabled Me To Touch Bruce Springsteen’s Ass. Or, if I wanted to get all new-agey on you, I could call it something about the Power of Possibility. It’s real, man. BELIEVE. Case in point…
AH, TO BE 16.
It all goes back to when I was 16, grounded, and my Dad snuck me out of the house against my Mom’s wishes to go to the Springsteen Born In the U.S.A. show at Alpine Valley. I remember standing on the hill in my *super hot* aqua tube top, white shorts and jean jacket, getting chills up my spine listening to the harmonica wail through the acoustic version of No Surrender. (Or maybe it was just my outfit that was giving me chills; it had nothing on the pink cowboy boots, white Coca-Cola brand jeans and yellow tank top that I wore to the Grateful Dead show, but that’s a different story altogether and one that shall never be told…at least not in its entirety. But I digress.)
ASKING, “WHAT IF…?”
Fast forward from 1984 to 2002, several states of residence, a slightly better wardrobe, including, ironically, a better Gap 1968 jean jacket. I’m in my mid-30s and after being called “the gypsy” by my family for a decade or so, have come back home to the Milwaukee area to “settle down.”
It is the post-September-11 Rising Tour, and Bruce is coming to Milwaukee. On a whim, I decide to stop by the Bradley Center ticket office and see if I can get two tickets to pay my Dad back for that long-ago magical night. I figure we’re going to end up in the nosebleeds, if I can get tickets at all, and I don’t care. I just want my Dad to know how much I appreciate what he did.
So, I’m sitting in the lobby waiting for the ticket office to open, and a guy, turns out his name is Bill, comes walking in with a clipboard.
Bill: “You here for Springsteen?”
Me: “Um, yeah.”
Bill: “YOU’RE NUMBER ONE.”
Me: “Um, thanks, but, huh? I don’t even have tickets. What the hell are you talking about?”
Bill tells me that he is a fellow fan organizing the line of fans into the order they will enter the show. Meaning if I can scrounge up two general admission tickets, my Dad and I will be front row, dead center. So, being resourceful, I do. And, we are. And it’s absolutely MIND BLOWING. The heartbreaking City of Ruins is like prayer, and Bruce breathes new life into every person present. The newspaper comes and does a story about how my Dad, an 80-year-old fan, is the first guy in the show, and due payback has been achieved in glorious fashion.
Sometimes, you just have to believe in possibility, even if it is against all odds. Sometimes, good things just happen to good people for putting themselves out there.
What are the odds that I would show up at the last minute like that, and end up front row center? Pretty damn slim. But it happened, and it happened because I took a chance that it might be possible.
OH YEAH…BRUCE’S ASS.
Wait, though. You’re wondering about the ass part, and where that comes in, right?
The Milwaukee epiphany leads me to a Bruce show in Miami, where Bruce does a duet of Because the Night with Bono and where I meet my friend Mike from Boston, who accompanies me to a show in Columbus, Ohio, where we get so close to the stage that I get to hold Bruce’s hand during “Mary’s Place” and, yes, cannot resist the very unlady-like urge to touch his ass, just because it’s right there in front of me.
Life, my friends, is right there in front of you. Are you going to grab it?