I’m a little late on the 2011 celebrations because of a writing project I just finished up last night. I’ve been a deep, deep cave, where concerns such as showers and making lunches and mopping are, well, minor. I was bound and determined to finish this latest manuscript by today, and I wrapped it up last night. So happy! Yes, it needs a great deal of work–what rough draft doesn’t?–but the bones of it are there. And better yet, characters I adore.
Moments of transcendent happiness are best admired and appreciated while they’re here. My husband has a habit of saying “touch wood,” which is the British equivalent of “knock on wood.” He does it whenever I stop to appreciate the awesome quality of our lives, as if mentioning it out loud will somehow bring fire and doom down upon us. It reminds me of the characters in Pearl S. Buck’s The Good Earth, who would proclaim that their child was an ugly girl baby so that evil spirits wouldn’t harm their handsome, healthy son.
But I’m much more of the type who needs to stop and smile at life’s good fortunes. I offer thanks. Because believe me, I’m the first one to complain when things go wrong. It’s only fair that I balance out that reflexive negativity with some positive vibes and appreciation for the universe.
A few weeks ago, when Michelle blogged about U2, I mentioned that I’d danced on stage with Bono. Talk about a moment of transcendent happiness! (Are we digging the segue, by the way? Let’s go with it!) My husband and I had gone to see U2 on their Elevation Tour in Lexington, Kentucky in early May 2001. We had expensive seats. But…our seats were so far away! I suppose they would’ve been fine for people who wanted to sit, but I wanted to get sweated on. Sorry. Too much of a fan moment?
We also had tickets for the next show, which was to be held in Indianapolis. I had planned to attend that one with my younger brother. I called him after the Lexington show to say how disappointing the primo tickets had been. And I proposed a radical plan. We would sell those seats and buy, instead, tickets to the general admission section right in front of the stage. We would spend all day in line! Like teenagers!
And wouldn’t you know it? As what generally happens, my optimistic, blundering, naive plan worked out.
We waited in line from about 8am until the doors opened at six. All day, we were surrounded by other insane fans, talking about our favorite songs and generally having a bit of a camp-out party. So much fun! When we finally filed in, we were given special wristbands for getting “inside the heart,” as there was a heart-shaped platform right in front of the stage. Some people were inside, some outside. We were in, and we stood directly in front of where the guitarist, The Edge, would perform.
I could’ve died happily right then.
The show was amazing. After an hour of brain-numbing awesomeness, they started in on “Mysterious Ways,” which is bar-none one of my favorites. (I’m a bellydancer because of that song!) Bono pulled one woman up on stage. She was a heavy-set Latina, and his dancing started out…shall we say…a bit sarcastic. She wasn’t having any of that. She had some serious sexy moves, and soon enough Bono was taking her seriously too.
But see, the show took place on May 10th. Bono’s birthday. He shouted to the crowd, “It’s my birthday, and I need more girls!”
Soon he’d pulled up another two dozen ladies from inside the heart. The Edge looked down and we locked eyes. He nodded for me to come up too. I just about bounded over the guardrail. My arms were shaking so badly that I couldn’t hoist myself up to the stage. Two security guards planted big man hands on my tushie and gave me a shove. I righted myself…and almost knocked over The Edge. I will forever have this image in my mind of him twirling away with the neck of his guitar, grinning, as he launched into the song’s big guitar solo.
I looked back toward the crowd. Just about 25,000 people. Normally I’m a very good dancer–that bellydancing thing–but my rhythm was gone. All I could do was jump and scream. (My admiration for that sexy Latina is great!)
I never did quite make it all the way to Bono. There were too many girls between us. And in hindsight, I should’ve stayed and danced with The Edge. But this is a story I’ll be telling my grandkids one day, when they’ll roll their eyes as if I’m relating stories about Vaudeville shows and music on a Victrola. For me, however, it will remains one of the best, happiest times of my life.
Tell me about one of your transcendently happy moments, one you’ll be telling your grandkids about no matter how hard they roll their eyes. I’ll give away a $15 gift certificate to either Amazon or Barnes & Noble to one random commenter. Now I’m going to enjoy a well-deserved day off!