beautiful, in six parts

1. the tweet

A hint dropped, by a musician we love. English singer/songwriter we saw at Coachella last year and whose scream-along populist ballads get me through housework. He's doing a secret show tonight, just like Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist! Somewhere in Hollywood. Piece of cake - train ride away. We set him to mobile notifications and track the game until one of his followers cracks it: Madame Siam, a speakeasy near Vine. Perfect. You nap; I'll paint my nails dark blue. Yes, let's definitely get there early. Bet bigger fans than us will be around the block.

2. the scramble

Went for a run and now I'm running late. Goddamn it, why can I never manage my time? Can't decide what to wear. You zip me into a long sleeve dress - it's cold but I don't want to mess with a jacket. Nope. Too hot, too constrictive. Cropped tank and jeans? Good god no. Whose clothes are these? Where is that girl? I haven't seen her in ages. Fuck it. T-shirt, jeans, bomber, sneaks. It's Frank Turner, FFS. You sing and fix yourself a drink, in a fantastic mood that levels me out. I toss my own back and it's time go, now, we've got to get moving. Running to the subway. Running back to the apartment; I forgot something. Running to the subway again. No trains to NoHo from here tonight? What the ever loving fuck? What are the chances? We hop a bus to the next station. On the way over, I fill you in on my web adventures the night before. My new obsession: slaughterhouses, factory farms, meat packing, Temple Grandin. Captive bolt stunners, livestock behavior, restraints, bloodspotting, the whole nine. I tell you some of what I've learned, the good and the bad. Back out on the street, running again, a text comes. Holy shit. Kerry and Ross have won a trip to Japan?!

3. the wait

Bigger fans indeed have beat us there; we won't be getting a spot up front, that's for certain. Blame the Metro, but really we should have known. A solid hour's wait, in the cold. But our mood is fantastic, bubbly and giggly. The way you hold me, and kiss my cheek if I look at you too long and smile. Where did this come from? So nice. This. So easy. Your affection, the playfulness. I am so lucky. We read tweets and watch videos. We text Kerry back, joke with our neighbors in line, and cuddle in the cold. You offer to go grab us pizza. I'd rather wait, hungry as I am. It's all lovely though. Such a great space we're in. Hi. I missed you. 

4. the show

I make a beeline for the stage while you get drinks. I can't get too close, but I don't begrudge those in front of me; they know every single word to every single song. True fans, they have my respect. We end up against a bit of brick wall, not more than five feet back. You've got something to lean against, and now so do I. Depending on whether I know the lyrics, whether I can belt them out along with the others, I jump and dance and fist pump - or I melt back into you. Hearing you at my cheek, watching this performer we both love. This is a really, really good night for us. Frank's brilliant, of course. The music matched by his jokes and stories, the way he flirts with the crowd like an old flame he'll never get over. He loves us. We love him. We are all of us drunk. He is a poet. And I tell him this, afterward, in his ear while you sneak a picture though I told you not to take one. Poor guy is wasted and exhausted, only a few hours off a plane. But I had to meet him. Don't know when I'll ever get the chance again. "You're my favorite poet" I say, and draw back a bit to see him smile. "And my favorite discovery of the past few years. You inspire the writer in me and I hope to someday see you across the pond, too." Holy shit I got it all out without stumbling. Thank you, vodka. He is grateful. Says it means a lot. Or something. Not sure; I was still pretty nervous. He's thinner than I'd thought. Taller, too. Let's go get pizza, baby. 

5. the pizza

We go to my favorite place, even though it's already late and you have such an early morning. Two huge slices of cheese that we eat on the steps of the El Capitan, as is our tradition. Tim Allen's star at your feet, Roger Ebert's at mine. People watching. You can't beat Hollywood people watching. Post-mortem on the show. You're embarrassed by what you said to him ("Great show, man") because you think it was lame. But it was sweet and perfect. Something magical about seeing him hug you thanks, this stranger who's nevertheless meant so much to me, and you. Two of my favorite musicians. We should have taken a photo, we agree. Together, with him sandwiched in between. A Frankwich. Next time. Maybe across the pond, even. Crust isn't very good tonight. Let's go. But I'm still hungry? Ghiradelli? Yes! But once inside I change my mind. We skedaddle with our free squares of chocolate and head to the station. You are wiped out, poor thing. Way too long a day for you, with way too little sleep.

6. the train

I'm in the most comfortable plastic seat in the world, sinking sleepily into your shoulder. Selfies, in between yawns. You're so damn beautiful. So was tonight.