As I approached the tents set up behind the stage, I saw him standing behind a group of people who had been further ahead of me in line. “There he is,” I screamed in my head, although I tried to walk as nonchalantly as possible since I wasn’t actually authorized to be there.
I’m not quite sure what I expected when it was my turn – some kind of recognition in his eyes maybe? Even though there was no reason why he should recognize me. I was surprised by the paleness of his eyes and he looked a little tired. He didn’t really look at me at all, but past me, most likely to see how much longer the line was. His strenuous schedule must be exhausting and he was probably ready to call it a night and get some rest before heading to Texas the next day (or even later that same night).
I hadn’t prepared what I was going to say to him – really the only plan I had was to give him the printed note in my hand with this blog address on it. I had printed it out right before I headed out the door, “just in case.” I even held it in my hand when he was in the audience for “Human Touch,” just in case that was to be my only chance to give it to him, but he didn’t make it to my row. In retrospect, that was a good thing because the paper would have likely ended up trampled on the grass.
Anyway, as we turned to the camera for our photo, I handed him the folded piece of paper and said, “This is for you.” He looked at it, took it and said “thank you.” I don’t even recall having the photo taken because I was trying to think what else I could say. I almost blurted out “I’ve been a fan for 30 years” after the photo but it seemed like I already lost my moment because Matty was already shooing over the next person and that person had a guitar for RS to sign.
The next day when I found our photo on the radio station website, I was relieved that it turned out so well. It allowed me to read all kinds of positive signs into his body language – leaning inward and not outward, hand on arm and not draped over shoulder, his cheek on my head, a smile (did I compare it to his body language in the other photos on the radio station’s website? Maybe.) And my eyes weren’t closed, so that was a bonus. He didn’t look at all tired in the picture, only really cute.
Although RS says he enjoys meeting his fans, I bet the meet and greets can get tiring, especially if there are people who are not necessarily serious fans but those who just think it would be cool to meet “that Jessie’s Girl guy” or “Dr. Noah Drake.” But I for one am very appreciative that he does them (and I’m sure many other fans would agree…).