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Star Make-Lover
By Cecily Knobler

I am not a star-fucker.

I consider myself a star-make-lover and if you'll allow me, I'd like the chance to explain. Actually, I think the best term for me, according to my friend Andy, is TALENT WHORE. Yes, I am unabashedly attracted to genius, which in my book is better than being into say, felons or mimes, like my friend Sheryl. Never have I pursued a man because of his success status and have even turned down some A-listers. For example, once in Mexico, Russell Crowe asked me to watch him pee and I respectfully declined. He then told me I'd rue the day, and truth be told, he was right. Point being, I did not watch the Gladiator urinate nor did I go back to his hotel with him. Okay, part of it was because I'd forgotten to shave my legs and I figured he wouldn't look too kindly on that.

Another reservation was that I didn't figure Mr. Crowe to be a "spooner" and having come off a bad break-up, I was really just looking to cuddle. Bottom line, there was no sex with the master OR the commander. Now I only mention this because I want you to understand my position on the difference between being a "back stage stalker dweller" and simply falling for the man behind the curtain.

It all started a few years ago. Let me set the scene. I'm at Amoeba Records with my friend Dave, growling because it's too crowded and smells like a mixture of patchouli and broken dreams. As I pick up the newest Flaming Lips record, I see from the corner of my eye, a well-known local musician whom I am not only a fan of, I've also had a crush on for quite some time, (let's call him Max). Eye contact, smile, look away, ya know the usual. Dave, who is one aisle over sees this exchange and knowing who this guy is, winks at me. I shoot him a warning "Keep your mouth shut" glance but it's too late.

"Cec", he yells, looking at Max to make sure he's listening. "Here's that Michael Bolton CD you were looking for. Look, he cut his hair!"

"Ha ha ha, you moron. I was picking up this new Wilco album."

"You were not," he insists. "Dude, you told me you had three CDs to get. John Tesh's Christmas album, Mariah Carey's "Rainbow" and Michael Friggin Bolton."

"Dude, please stop."

Max looks disappointed and walks into the import section. I follow him and say, loudly, "I wonder where the new Interpol import is." He briefly looks up and smiles as I continue, "I just LOVE listening to my indie-rock, all alone, naked in my apartment on 4500 Spaulding Street, wherein I keep a spare key above the door."

It seems I've now confused Max. He picks up a handful of guitar picks and heads for the checkout. Meanwhile, Dave continues to hold up various CDs, while screaming, "Look! Finally, we found the best of Jefferson Starship. Oh, but you only have a cassette player, right? Let's see if we can't find it on tape."

"Shut the fuck up," I say, as Max quickly leaves the building.

Side note: I've always been a bit of a music snob. For example, in the fifth grade, I ended a friendship with Missy Dosher because she insisted that Oates was the more talented of the Hall and Oates duo. I wasn't especially a fan of either, I had told her, but at least Darryl Hall had collaborated with geniuses such as Elvis Costello. She'd looked at me, her Texas green eyes sparkling with such earnest resolve and said, "I don't know who this Elvis whatever guy is, but Oates sure does have a sexy mustache!" I remember having that inexplicable feeling that one gets when they fear danger, but aren't sure why. I slowly grabbed my Mork and Mindy lunchbox and said in a low raspy voice, "Missy, you are dead to me."

Okay, so flash forward from Amoeba to six months ago. I'm at a local hep cat pub where enormously talented singer/songwriter types play their bittersweet ballads in that way that you think they're singing JUST TO YOU. You know how rock stars do that; they look out into the audience and they're really just seeing a blinding white light but they move their eyes around and get all soulful and you think, "Bono means me. He says he can't live with or without ME!" And then, normally you get upset because you start to wonder, "Why does Bono say he can't live WITH me? He doesn't even KNOW me. Whatever, he probably supports the IRA or something."

But Max does NOT support the IRA. And as I watch him take the stage, his black guitar strung for perfect pitch, his wide-set green eyes slowing my oxygen intake, I realize that he CAN live without me and this is crushing. Even more bitter than sweet, he sings about his tendency to "fall for it every time," meaning that he's been tricked into love. I think to myself, "You're preaching to the choir, buddy."

So Max finishes singing just to me. I wipe my eyes, pay my tab and as I'm walking out with my friend Jen, there he is, standing by the door of the pub. I walk by and say "great show." He grabs my arm and says, "Could I please get your phone number?" Oh. My. Can't breathe. Nor can I remember my phone number but Jen quickly writes it down and hands it to him. Sweet Jesus, he WAS singing to me.

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