A person of interest
You’re a person of interest
Won’t say I’m in love, yeah
But certainly impressed
It had been a long day. I hadn’t even been too interested in most of the bands playing, and in truth, I’d only really been to see the band Music Man was in. I was, to use the technical term, a fan – and he was a friend. The fact that I got to miss a day of school to sit in a theatre and watch rock bands was probably a plus, as well.
The garage crew (who eventually won the contest) were the absolute worst. I may not have been a fan of garage, but my token black friend (who was seriously into the So Solid Crew, et al.) corroborated the fact that they sucked. In fact, most of them sucked, with the exception of Music Man’s band and a couple of more punky girl bands from schools I didn’t know existed.
And then I completely forgot about everything else.
She walked onto the stage already wearing her guitar – although she was also wearing a school tie, which I suppose was some sort of attempt to look as indie as possible. For some reason, and to this day I don’t know exactly why, I was completely transfixed.
I don’t recall the name of the band, nor do I the song they played. I remember liking it, but nothing more than that. I do, however, recall staring from my seat in the raked stalls, completely oblivious to anything Lightsinthesky, Music Man, or my token black friend were saying. Rhythm guitar… she played rhythm guitar. Of course she did. I played rhythm guitar too. I just wasn’t in a band. But then she didn’t know that.
She didn’t know me. But then I could change that.
As luck would have it, she ended up standing two stairs away from me after the bands were all finished playing and the judges were deliberating their wrong decision. So I, courteously I hope, introduced myself.
“I really liked your guitar playing,” I said. It wasn’t entirely a lie; I mean, I enjoyed the performance. Her guitar playing was part of it. I couldn’t quite divine which guitar part it was, but still.
“Oh! Thanks!” she beamed. “I’ll give you a hug for that.”
Oh, look at those beautiful eyes…
And she gave me a hug. I was new to hugs at that point. I’m a seasoned hugger now, but back at 16, any sort of physical contact was a bonus.
That’s so nice. So warm and soft.
And after that I just kind of… stopped. I mean, what was I meant to say then? Perhaps ask her to introduce me to some of her friends in the band? Maybe ask her how long she’s been playing the guitar for? I mean, there was a common interest. I could have even told her that I liked her style… because I did; the tie was a bit incongruous, but maybe that was the point.
And that hair. So long and so shiny. I just want to brush it.
Maybe I could say it. “Hey, I just met you, and I’ve no idea what you’re into apart from rock music, but I’ve got a crush on you, so maybe you might consider going for a…?” What? A drink? Is that a thing people do on dates? I’d never been on a date.
But I didn’t say it. Lightsinthesky pulled me onto the dance floor for a mosh to the metal band that had won the second prize. In all fairness, it was my first mosh. I certainly had something to share at Woodcraft that evening, even if I eventually had to demonstrate how to mosh by throwing myself against the wall.
As things started to dissipate and the harried security guy tried to break up what was threatening to turn into a mass crowd surf, I found myself looking around to see if she was still there. She was – on her own. On the stairs where I’d been talking to her. But the event was definitely coming to a close, and I knew that when it did, she’d walk out of my life, possibly forever.
But then I shook myself. I’d looked at someone, become attracted to her, actually genuinely had a conversation with her and got a hug in an exchange for a compliment. At 16, that was pretty much the furthest I’d gotten with anyone.
“What are you looking at?” asked Music Man, emerging himself from the moshpit. “That girl with the tie?”
“I… yeah. Yeah. She…” I said eloquently, before realising he’d gone. In fact, lots of people were going, and I found myself being chivvied along with them. In fact, if I wanted to go to Woodcraft at all that evening, I’d need to go home.
On the way out into the cool, welcoming air, she looked my way one last time. I gave her a friendly wave, and in return, she gave me a big, bright smile.
What a smile, I thought to myself all the way through the bus ride home, as my heart slowly began to tear itself into a million little pieces.