Wednesday, December 01, 2010

My good luck charm

I always keep a concert ticket in my wallet of the last BEST concert I have ever been to. Even though I go to over 20 concerts a year, the one in my pocket usually stays there for years at a time. I seldom ever take out this ticket and look at it, but just knowing it’s there always helps me to smile whenever I really need it. In order to be the concert ticket in my wallet a certain number of criteria need to be met to even be considered. Most of them are utterly impossible to define and would sound ridiculous if ever attempted to be explained by mere words. But some of them are pretty basic and are ideas that everybody can understand.

I remember when I started this tradition. I was 13 years old and Tyler and I had gone to see the Beastie Boys perform during their Hello Nasty tour! It was BADASS! Loud music, raucous behavior, hearing and vocal loss, all around awesomeness and being able to share this with my best friend made this the best thing ever. I was going through a lot of drama with my personal life (getting ready for life in jail was just one of many issues I was going through) at the moment and this was something that needed to be remembered.

So I put the ticket in my pocket to remind myself that at this moment I was happy and NOTHING could take that away from me. And over the next few years it really did help get me through a lot of bullshit. That Beastie Boys ticket sat in my wallet for 4 years. It became a sort of good luck charm for me and it eventually just became my Dumbo feather, where it would probably be impossible for me to “fly” without it.

This is something that I DON’T talk about. But I have been thinking a lot about lately. I think it was January of 2002. I was spending a lot of time with this guy I’d met at summer camp the previous summer. He was my “secret friend” and it worked out well because he lived in Chicago and I lived in NYC so there really wasn’t much overlap between he and I where our friends or social life in general were concerned. My secret buddy had flown down to LA to be with me for the week. I rented a hotel in LA proper far away from anybody that might have known me and we spent the week where for the first time in my entire life I really felt like I had connected both sexually and emotionally with another person.

It all culminated with a call from my agent and a couple of tickets to a very small Jack Johnson concert. He was on tour opening for Ben Harper and decided to do a couple of small shows on his own. This was his first. I had spent the previous summer around the campfire with my guitar singing Jack songs to my secret friend and we were both really excited to see Jack sing them himself. I think it was during, Posters, that my secret friend let his fingers curl into mine. A couple of tears fell down my cheek because it was right then that I knew the path I was heading down and there was no turning back. I was scared, elated, terrified, and so fucking excited!

After the show I dropped my secret friend at the airport, I put the concert ticket in my wallet, and I never spoke to him again. That’s where this ticket stayed for 8 years as a symbol of what I had to be hopeful for one day when I would be ready for it. For my birthday Tyler got me 4 tickets to Weezer’s memories tour, which of course meant one night playing the Blue album and the second night playing Pinkerton! Those two albums literally defined who I am as a person! I seriously don’t know how else to put it. I know every song from both of those albums by heart, and this was pretty much the most perfect concert experience of my quarter of a century on this planet.

I had my boyfriend, and my two best friends with me. We spent both nights screaming out the lyrics to each of the songs on both nights; laughing, reminiscing, and just experiencing all of this together. This was sooo special to me for so many reasons. The music, the company and more than that just knowing that I have finally made it. When the concerts were over, without hesitation, I took out my wallet yanked out my Jack ticket, still reeking of all that bittersweet nonsense, and replaced it with pure joy. I was so happy, I couldn’t stop smiling for days. Even writing this now I am smiling all over again. I really have accomplished something in my life, and I really am happy with how all of this unfolded. Today is a great day to be me!