the velvet underground - i'm waiting for the man
did i remember to mention to you guys what i did last week? FRIDAY, SEP. 22
wake up with several emails alerting me that u2.com is having a contest to meet the band in nyc. 150 people will win and get to meet u2 at the nyc book signing for the u2 by u2
book. friends say "enter! you might win! woot!"
spend weekend crossing fingers and forcing random people i meet to cross their fingers, too. spend time emailing and calling friends to say "if i don't win the contest, i won't wait in the line. i don't wait in lines!
"even though i had met edge very briefly before, and on two occasions stood right next to bono in a crowd of fans, my career u2 stalking has consisted of 20 minutes of waiting for them. total. until last week. because, you see, i don't wait in lines. and famous people don't impress me. yeah. that's right. (stop laughing.)MONDAY, SEP. 25, A.M.
wake up with email from u2.com that says "you didn't win. ha ha." (not in those words - but close.) i begin to wonder if bono and i might have a one-sided love affair. this is the second event in less than a week that he hasn't invited me to.
i thought we had something.
apparently obsessively stalking someone on the internet does not make them your boyfriend. who knew?MONDAY, SEP. 25, NOON
read on message boards that book signing will take place 5 blocks from my office tomorrow. wonder how i will manage to stay away from that. after all, i don't wait in lines!
send emails to friends saying "too bad i don't wait in lines or maybe i might meet u2."MONDAY, SEP. 25, 6 P.M.
leave work and walk a few blocks to book store. find 20 people are already waiting in line. i ask "how many are getting in tomorrow in addition to the 150 u2.com winners?" line
peeps say "oh, at least 100 we think. probably 150. are you waiting?"
i think about it for one second and say "no, there is no way i will wait on this line overnight. i don't wait in lines. good luck."MONDAY, SEP. 25, 7:30 P.M.
fellow u2 nerd yetta calls me and wonders "shouldn't we go wait in the line?"
i am on my way home and thinking, "doesn't yetta know that i don't wait in lines?"MONDAY, SEP. 25, 7:45 P.M.
call yetta back. she says she is going to wait in the line.
i say "i'll meet you there!"MONDAY, SEP. 25, 11:30 P.M.
waiting on line.
we are 99 and 100 on line. many more people join the line after us.
yetta and i make friends with people, including a chicago cop next to us and a cute salesman from nyc. we play cards.
yetta tries to engage me in the "what celebrity do you want to sleep with" game. yetta is mad that i only have one celebrity on my list. the game ends prematurely.
we pass time by watching garbage trucks go by. TUESDAY, SEP. 26, 2:00 A.M.
yetta wants to know why i love bono so much.
i am not good at these games.
i say i can't explain it but it's something he has on the inside and it shines through to the outside.
yetta accepts this answer.TUESDAY SEP. 26, 3:00 A.M.
a dozen young men in line start a fight. one guy takes his shirt off. why do boys do that?
police come. police leave. creeps stay in line. creeps argue with people who want them off the line. creeps plan on selling their books back to one guy in charge who will then sell their books on ebay. they stay in line all night.TUESDAY SEP. 26, 4:00 A.M.
the line of people lying on the sidewalk now winds around a city block. drunk people walking home wonder what is wrong with us. very few are impressed to learn we are waiting for u2. one handsome young man with an irish accent stops near me and screams that "bono has the americans fooled. bono owns half of dublin!"
crowd responds "so?"
a kid near us says to the bono-hater "you have a receding hairline."TUESDAY SEP. 26, 8:00 A.M.
lots of new people show up.
i pull my hood up and try to avoid being seen by co-workers on their way to the office. (because i don't wait in lines.)
some people try to get in front of us in line. it is hard to police the line, especially now that the actual police have arrived and are in charge.TUESDAY, SEP. 26, 9:00 A.M.
nyc's finest, along with several barnes & noble security guards, stomp around the line. they repeatedly ask, "who is #100?"
i repeatedly shout "me! me!"
i have a giant blue #100 written on my hand.
we are told everyone with #100 and under written on their hands will get in.
minutes later a giant barrier is slammed in front of our faces.
pumpkin headed, red haired man yells at us "you are not getting in!"
we protest "but we are in the top 100!"
pumpkin man yells "no you aren't. that's it. go home!"
we moan "but they cut the line. it's not fair."
pumpkin screams in my face "bono makes the rules!"this is what pumpkin looks like
.TUESDAY, SEP. 26, 9:15 A.M.
contemplate killing pumpkin. TUESDAY, SEP. 26, 9:16 A.M.
realize i am losing control of emotions. try not to cry.
yetta talks to lots of people in charge. nobody listens.
we contemplate a hostile takeover, then decide to go to work instead.
yetta works far away. i have a short commute (5 blocks).TUESDAY, SEP. 26, 10 A.M.
feel bad for self. later realize i am being ridiculous, but at the moment, feel like crying and/or killing someone. (pumpkin seems like the best option.)
do only thing one can at such moments. call mom.
tell mom what happened.
mom listens, says nothing.
finally, i say "mom, i'm really upset."
mom says "i can tell."TUESDAY, SEP. 26, 10:15 A.M.
not satisfied, decide to call sister.
say to sister "i waited in line all night. i was #100. they didn't let me in! this is not fair."
sister says "you are a fucking nut."TUESDAY, SEP. 26, 10:25 A.M.
arrive at work late. decide not to tell anyone that i spent the night a few blocks away on a sidewalk. hope nobody smells me or sees dirt on jeans.TUESDAY, SEP. 26, 10:30 A.M.
blurt out to sean, the first co-worker i see that "i slept on the sidewalk and i have a #100 on my hand! i want to see u2! but i didn't get in! and i have dirt on my jeans. and i smell! don't tell anyone, please!"
sean is confused. calls tom over.
i blurt out "tom, i slept outside barnes & noble to meet u2 and i was #100 in line and the cops are so mean and it is not fair."
tom asks "isn't u2 in new orleans?"
sean says "you should have cut the line."
conversation ends. i go and pretend to work.TUESDAY, SEP. 26, 12:30 P.M.
leave office for lunch break. decide to swing by store and see if u2 arrives at 1 p.m. as scheduled. spot bono's security man, john, outside. call john over.
along with other "line waiters" tell john "we waited in line all night. we didn't get in. it's not fair."
john is the first person all day to listen to this sympathetically.
john says, "that doesn't sound right. that sucks."
we overhear a woman at the front door mentioning that the band will come in the back door, and john nods and says to us "back door."TUESDAY, SEP. 26, 1:00 P.M.
run as fast as possible to the back door. other people are already at the back door.
john arrives at back door, rearranges barrier, i end up in front row with a few people deep behind me. there are several dozen people waiting.
john comes back over to where i am standing with others who have overnight numbers written on our hands. john winks at us.
i fall in love with john.TUESDAY, SEP. 26, U2 TIME
bono is first, followed by edge. they are meeting people on the other barrier opposite to us.
edge separates from bono and comes over to us.TUESDAY, SEP. 26, EDGE TIME
edge says little. lots of nods. i ask him to sign a notepad. he does,
i only have a reporter's notebook! nothing official for edge to sign. i waited in line overnight and edge is signing a reporter's notebook! how could I be so unprepared? i blame it all on pumpkin, the bastard.
edge has a very new looking black leather jacket on. his eyes are very green and shiny.
bono is still on the other side.TUESDAY, SEP. 26, ADAM TIME
adam and larry arrive. adam comes over. he has dark aviator glasses and a burgundy leather jacket. he signs his name for me. i say "thanks adam!" he says "oh, it's my pleasure."
a woman next to me says "i think you are great guitar player!"
adam, the bassist (!) says "thank you."TUESDAY, SEP. 26, LARRY TIME
larry is next. larry! larry, who normally doesn't sign. larry who doesn't enjoy meeting people. larry is here. and he is smiling.
larry is not friendly? yeah right.
(and i don't wait in lines.)
larry has dark shades on so i can't see if is his eyes are happy, but his lips are smiling.
he has a black shirt on with the sleeves rolled up.
i can see his forearm muscles. the girl next to me touches his forearm. i just smile at him. he smiles at me and signs my notepad (edge, adam, larry - all in my reporter's notebook at this point).
why can't i speak?
larry says to me "okay there you go, is that alright then?"
um, yeah.TUESDAY, SEP. 26, BONO TIME
here comes bono.
bono arrives next to me and two other girls with blue #s on our hands. he looks at our hands and reads the numbers to himself. "what is this?" he wonders aloud.
he is holding my left hand, looking at the #100 in blue ink written on it.
"100?" he announces "that's a good number."
bono. is. holding. my. hand.
bono likes my number. (i always knew he would.)
the crowd gets unruly. people next to me are shrieking at him and there are people from the street running over and now we are pressed against the barrier. bono's presence has caused pandemonium.
bono is smiling, talking above our heads, having a conversation with everyone. at once.
bono is holding onto my hand.
people are yelling at him about the overnight line. not me. i am silent.
i am just looking at him. he is taller than me.
he is wearing jeans, a t-shirt and the same jacket he wore the night before in new orleans. the one with the brass buttons. his face is pink. everything about him looks softer in person.
his sleeves are too long and one of them is hitting me on the wrist.
suddenly he is not touching my hand anymore.
he is signing things. now he is signing my reporter's notebook. he is right in front of me and i have nothing to say. i do the only thing that makes sense to me at the moment - i grab him.
he is in the middle of signing his name for me and i have grabbed his hand mid-autograph. as a result, his signature says B-O-N-squiggle-squiggle (see?)
he shoots a an eyebrow at me. i let go of the hand. he moves to the next person.
i reach over to touch his sleeve. lots of people are reaching out and touching him. he doesn't mind. he is busy talking. to everyone. he asks if we have read the book. he wants to know how it ends up.
he asks "do we win in the end?"
bono is grinning. everyone laughs. everyone is smiling.
and then he's gone.
i'm glad i waited. bono on his way into barnes & noble. photos courtesy of jcoster
thanks for waiting with me yetta. you will catch them next time. for sure.[mp3]
ash (w/ chris martin) - everybody's happy nowadays