My BFF: Michael Stipe

Occasionally I forget that I am in love with Michael Stipe, lead singer of R.E.M.  I have been since I was a junior in high school and my brother introduced me to the album Murmur.  I listened to the song A Perfect Circle so often that I made a special tape with it at the beginning.  And the end.  And in between.  I found that it spoke to me, although to this day I have no idea what Stipe is singing or what any of it means.  I still love this song, though.  It’s our song.  I will be sure to tell him once he knows of my existence.

I had a slight obsession my freshman year of college.  I wasn’t dating and I wasn’t meeting anyone who treated me the way I wanted to be treated. (i.e. actually asking me out on a regular basis, and not abusing my gigantic crush…  I had three gigantic crushes that year.  I still remember them vividly.  One is a great story I should tell one day except that I worry about people’s comments that were actually living with me at that time.  The word “unstable” may be used.)

So I decided to fall for a stranger who lived on the other side of the country.  If he didn’t reciprocate my feelings, at least there was a good excuse.  The guy in my anthropology class could ask me out anytime and wasn’t.  Stipe would if he could but he couldn’t so it was ok.  I actually had a map with the route from my dorm room to Athens, Georgia, Stipe’s hometown.  To this day, when people say they are going to Athens, I think: Georgia?

Stipe understood me.  Although in the nineties Stipe was known for singing unintelligibly, I knew he was singing to me.  Except for the song Orange Crush, which I believe is about Agent Orange in Vietnam.  Even with my highly imaginative background, I couldn’t tie that into our love affair.

So I had all of his albums and I had the VHS tape of one of their concerts which I watched until it broke.  I could do the dances he did to each of his songs.  I even found him attractive with his dreadlock Mohawk.  (I am a very forgiving person.)

I saw Natalie Merchant in concert during this time.  It was the closest I got.  They were/are good friends and there were always rumors they were dating until he told Time he was in a relationship with a man in 2001.  (Denial is good.)

I FINALLY got to see the band in Jones Beach in New York about six years ago.  Our friends got tickets from some guy they met at a gas station and we were as far away as humanly possible from my ex-boy toy.  My friend, Desiree, did try to tell Michael I was there by yelling at the top of her voice that I loved him while I giggled like a schoolgirl.  I think the only reason he didn’t hear her was the fact he had ear plugs in.  The 3,000 people between us were being pretty quiet.

So I would like to be friends with him and talk about old times that he will have no memory of.  I don’t see him knitting, barbequing and I think he is a vegetarian.  I’m not sure what we would do, but I envision a hammock and geckos.  Maybe we would take an English class together at the University of Georgia and then discuss it over coffee and hot chocolate afterwards.  While I pat his baldhead.

Photo credit: R_Decatur_H (cc) Flickr

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2 responses to “My BFF: Michael Stipe

  1. I would think Orange Crush would be the easiest. You have orange hair! Yeah, it was about Vietnam, but it could have easily been about his crush on the orange chick in UT.
    Or, do you have a brother orange hair? Looking back now, that may have been more accurate.

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