I would like to tell you–because I can–that as I write this I am sitting at the cafe on the top floor of the Tate Modern in London: overlooking the Thames river, a decaf espresso and three quarters of an apricot danish. For all of my frustrations with life these days, there are occasional moments that remind me how much I am extraordinarily blessed. This is one of them. I hope you have one like it soon.
Anyhow. So I will get off of the whole “rule” preoccupation soon, I promise. But first, allow me to report one aberration. It took place on the flight here from New York, and frankly was the one good thing American Airlines managed to do for me in the whole ordeal. (Actually the trip was totally painless, but good grief is their service unpleasant! If I could afford to boycott them I would.)
We all know the rule that whoever it is you spot while boarding a plane that looks somewhat interesting or attractive, you will not be sitting next to them. You will be sitting next to a young Orthodox mother or a priest. It is a law of life.
Of course, I’m here to tell you that such laws do get broken, and that by some miracle S and I were in fact seated next to not one but two interesting and somewhat attractive guys our age on the flight. They were together as well, and turned out to be members of a band about to begin a European tour. (For some reason they immediately reminded me of the guys from MGMT; they weren’t, but ended up not being all that different–physically or musically.)
This is all to explain how it is that, the other night, S and I wound up schlepping via commuter train to some remote corner of up-and-coming (emphasis on coming) hipster London to see a rock show featuring three Brooklyn bands. We may as well have been vacationing in Bushwick.
Nothing happened with those guys–frankly they weren’t that cute, and by now have ridden off in a van to play whatever Brooklyn bar there is in Leeds. But it was a fun adventure. And, I must admit, they were cuter because they were in a band.
Before going out for the night, my 18-year old British cousin–who has gamely, and unwittingly, taken us on as roommates for the week–asked teasingly whether we were going to be groupies.
“No,” I dismissed him. “I’m over that.”
He had a quick retort (as those charming Brits tend to do): “You never get over being a groupie.”
Okay. So it’s true: I’ve had my moments. That college summer during which I may or may not have been any more boy crazy than I am now, my girlfriends and I felt pretty fancy about ourselves, going to shows and after-parties and hanging out with guys who fancied themselves kings of the local rock scene. I’m not exactly embarrassed about how naively enchanted we were, but…well, maybe kinda. I at least like to think that I’m over such adventures.
Largely, I am. But I have to admit that the appeal of men who play in rock bands is not, and will probably never be, lost on me. It’s one of those cliches that proves annoyingly true: there is something singularly sexy about a guy on stage with a guitar. All those teenage boys who start playing music because they want to get laid–really not such a bad plan.
At this point you are probably expecting me to deliver some insight into why it is that an otherwise nerdy kid from Long Island is rendered instantly attractive when he puts on a bandana and starts bouncing around behind a microphone and a set of keyboards (true story). I have nothing. Rock and roll is sexy: it’s like science and airplanes and the gray color of English sky–it just is.
Worse things have happened.