Thursday, April 29, 2010

I Will Begin At The End

As I left NYC yesterday, it was with a heavy heart and tired eyes. I was wishing for a jet plane to get me to my home and my bed at warp speed. But I had a five hour drive with a pit stop first in Connecticut and another in Boston. I was looking forward to my stop in Boston, but wasn't positive that my excitement would win against my exhaustion. You see, I had a ticket to see Natalie Merchant at The Brattle Theatre in Cambridge.

I arrived a few hours early and made a pit stop for some coffee and down time before heading to the theatre. It was just what I needed. Some time to sit, sip coffee, hope on my computer and knit. While in NYC, I had been going, going, going and hadn't slept well for days. I was dead tired and I just needed to tune out.
Around seven, I walked through the rain to hop
in line. I was just about the 15th person there and one of the last people to make it under the awning. We quickly found out that the doors were not going to be opening at
8:00 but 8:30. Did I mention the rain? How about the cold? Oh and the fact that I am an old lady and like to be home on the couch knitting most nights at seven pm! But I have to admit that I enjoyed chatting it up with those around me. Natalie Merchant is rare and obscure enough that it is likely that others who are willing to stand in a rainy line for an hour and a half will be people that you enjoy.

Once inside, I was able to get an amazing seat. Fifth row center. I didn't mention this at the beginning of this post, but Natalie Merchant is it for me. I have been an avid fan of hers since my college boyfriend turned me on to her. Her albums have been the soundtrack to much of my life over the last thirteen years. So to say that I was excited would be an understatement. And she did not let down. Her newest album is a collection of song adapted from poetry. As a result, this wasn't your ordinary concert. It was really more of a lecture interspersed with amazingly beautiful songs. She was funny and sarcastic and lovely all at once. And a little intimidating. She is clearly a woman who has high expectations of herself and those around her which made me love her even more.

But what really matters about this post is that I met her. We were surprised to find out that she would be doing a signing after her performance. Me, tired?? No more!! I bought two albums and got in an exceedingly long line and proceeded to spend the next twenty minutes thinking about what I would say to her. My heart was racing. To say that I was star struck would be an understatement. Do I tell her that I think that she is lovely? Do I just say thank you? Well none of that planning mattered because it was out of my hands. My turn arrived and
I walked up talking about how exhausted she must be. She smiled, asked me if I made my bag and proceeded to tell me how much she loved it. Then she noticed my knitting. All of this occurred while she signed my album and one for aforementioned ex-boyfriend. I blabbed for a moment about Etsy and then it was over. The smile was permanently stitched onto my face. It remained as I walked through the rain. It remained as I took the parking ticket off my windshield. I smiled as I drove home at 12:30 in the morning. I smiled as I got pulled over for speeding on 95N. I smiled as the officer handed me the ticket for said speeding. And I am still smiling 24 hours later.


Melissa said...

Thanks for the Natalie post! I, too, am a long-time adoring fan. Saw her in LA at the Getty. No signing for us. :( But aren't her new songs just SO beautiful?! Glad you enjoyed the show enough to make up for the bummer tickets.

Anonymous said...

Did she play any older songs?

MB by Brigid said...

she did them as an encore. mainly radio favorites. carnival, kind and generous, motherland.