I can barely stand myself.
Yesterday, I relived a childhood dream a thousand times over.
Last night, along 72,000 other revelers, my husband and I managed to stand a mere 3 feet away, center stage, at U2’s 360 concert.
This is significant because in 8th grade, I stayed up to watch U2 perform at Live Aid and dreamt of the day I’d see them up close. I recorded on a hand-held radio U2’s set and bemoaned the religious struggles of Ireland.
That same night I shaped my hair into an unfortunate mullet and spiked my bangs into a blonde/orange mess. My über conservative parents’ reaction to this “new look” could easily fill a chapter in a book. I ripped my jeans and became an expert on all matters concerning Amnesty International.
It was 1985 and I was emboldened by their cause. I viewed the world through the prism of U2 lyrics, and it radicalized me. Boys, empty boys, whose intellect or passions ran paper cup deep were of no interest to me. I reserved my deepest contempt for other genres of music, especially radio pop and burgeoning rap.
Anyway, the disaster that was my hair did not grow out until at least 10th grade. Yet, my admiration of the band never waned. I’ve followed them everywhere, including one backpacking trip in Europe, where I missed them by a day at every stop of their tour.
We stomped with fists in the air through Sunday Bloody Sunday and swayed to the melody of One. I may as well have been that 14-year-old girl again, clutching my Walkman and prized bootlegs, obsessively writing socially conscious poems no one, not even me, could understand.
By glorious fortunate chance, B’s clever maneuverings last night enabled us to stand as close as possible to the hero of my youth. I hoped against all hope that he would reach out and pluck me from the audience.
Alas, that didn’t happen but I swear, that for the briefest of moments, he scanned the faceless crowd and our eyes met.
It was a perfect night.