Wednesday, February 12, 2014
"Umm, w-what's good? You look stunning tonight, you know.", my deep voice resonated with a slight air of uncertainty.
The flashy performer smiled back at me, laughed, and calmly responded, "Hello there. That's incredibly sweet of you. How... did I know you'd be the one back here, of all people. You were so energetic on the floor earlier."
I put my hand on the back of my head and took my hats off, shaking my head a bit to allow my hair to return to its natural shape. "Well, the way I see it, a show of your caliber deserves no less! You wouldn't believe me if I told you, but it's not easy to get that kind of emotional reaction out of me." I stopped, thinking I was forgetting something. "Oh- I'm Nathan."
She smiled again, and said, "Stefani. Charmed to meet you...but you probably knew that already."
I approached her expecting a handshake or something, but instead I was met with a full-on embrace. Naturally, I hugged her back, and I'm not going to lie, I wish it lasted forever. I pulled up a chair next to her.
"You know, you've probably heard this more times than you can count, but I've actually been a fan of yours for quite some time. Since the start of '09, if I recall. I've had this huge crush on you ever since." We both laughed. "You're the only person out there as strange as I am."
She blushed very slightly, just enough for it to be noticeable. "I...honestly don't get that last part a lot. Haha. That's very cute, though, and so are you." My heart must've skipped a beat.
We began discussing different subjects for the next hour or so. I told her that I was an aspiring writer and director and even though I didn't make music myself, I had a love for the industry. We talked about various art-related things and discussed her different songs and the inspirations behind them. She explained to me how she did 'Brown Eyes' in a single take after a night of drinking and crying, and how 'LoveGame' came from an idea she had as a joke to pick up guys at a bar.
The back-and-forth continued this way, and a little over an hour into it, I decided to bring up 'Paparazzi'. She explained how she wrote the song well before she was ever famous and how she made this story up in her head about an obsessed stalker following a celebrity around. She wanted a 'true' pop song with rock elements still mixed in here and there. I half-jokingly told her that I thought the song was 'sexy' and that I didn't think music was capable of 'turning you on' before I heard it.
I causally decided to bring up the conspiracy, and her face turned from cheerful to what I can only describe as a look of concern and neutrality, like she'd just seen something scary. Some of the color visibly left her visage. Seeing her this disheartened had a similar effect on me. I thought I was about to be told to leave; that I'd fucked everything up by saying the wrong thing at the wrong time, but she continued as normal, telling me that a lot went into the recording of the song, but nothing otherworldly or negative.
She then cleverly changed the subject by pointing out that it was past 2:00 AM and asking if I'd like to get something to eat with her.
"A date?!", I thought to myself. I must've been tripping. Not one to pass up such an offer, I accepted. After all, this would be the only viable way to continue my 'investigation'. She told me she knew a place that stayed open past midnight and we exited the now-completely empty venue. Not even her managers and staff had stayed behind this long.
I lead her to my green Jeep, the only car left in the lot, and had her take the wheel at her request. I'd sobered up by this point, but that didn't change the fact that I was exhausted. My body ached from all the cheering and dancing. Normally, I don't trust anyone with my ride, but this woman had a sense of articulation unlike anyone I'd seen. She turned the radio to the rap station, and I fell asleep partially leaning against her within about 15 minutes.
I proceeded to slip into another very strange dream...