My friend then saw a certain friend of his walking towards us and introduced him to me. He turned out to be a famous musician whose music I like a lot. He looked somewhat different in person. Incidentally, we’d talked about his music in passing before the show started. This was a front-row-seat moment for me. I really would have appreciated it if my friend had given me the option to just stand back and observe the guy without getting involved.
It was too late for that, so I got off to saying how I love his music. The guy was surprisingly humble and out of habit, my friend still introduces me to people as a pianist so this guy wasn’t spared that detail, which I regretted because he now wanted to know more about my playing and I was tongue-tied and still star-struck about being in his presence. My friend even had to speak on my behalf about my being a pianist and then I was forced to sober up and navigate this conversation on some “we’re musicians” sort of vibe but in reality, I’d rather have been in the back seat where I could just really enjoy the fascination of watching the full-sized live experience of this guy’s real-life behaviour. Do you understand my dilemma?
Anyway, the experience had that awkwardness, similar to that of having a door handle tied to my head and I could only navigate the guy through the keyhole so, at any given time, I could only see his mouth when he spoke and then move my head about frantically to keep up with the rest of his body language; but what’s worse was that I also had to actually SPEAK to the guy and I couldn’t quite be my groupie self because he was being too normal with me.
The guy went on to further destroy this encounter by asking to come sit with us and act all guy-next-door *throwing my hands up in the air*
He went on to now rave about the performing friend and I have to pause and point out that I usually sleep waaayyy before the after-eleven-pm that it then was, so I had to wrestle with my heavy eyelids in the middle of all of that.
The show ended and we all got to say our goodbyes and I left begrudgingly.
I only got to think about why I was unsettled about that experience when the movie screen became as a celebrity that I needed to watch from an appropriate distance through the keyhole and not come too close; which went on to remind me of how sports people need a coach who advises them from an appropriate distance on how to do what they do better than the coach. This, in turn, reminded me of the value of the people in our lives, whose advice (from an appropriate distance) helps us navigate our difficulties even though they, themselves, may not know how to do what we do half as well as we do it.
So maybe it’s true that everyone we meet and every experience we go through comes to teach us something or another and maybe what we need is to distance ourselves (emotionally) from the person/experience before we can take in lesson that they came to deliver. Maybe our hardships are really just a front-row experience and the solution is right under our nose. Maybe the secret way out of the horror movie starts with moving away from the screen?