I called George back right away. I could hear a din of people behind him and imagined the fans, old friends, acquaintances and industry folks clamoring for his attention. Despite all that, I was the one he was talking to.
"So what's this other party downtown?" I asked.
"It's at this bar on Bowery," he gave me the address. "If there's a list, I'll make sure your name is on it. I'll be down there with a couple of friends in about half an hour."
DJ Darla and I hopped in a taxi and headed over to the Bowery, where some of her friends met up with us.
Even as I passed the young, semi-hip crowd to get to the bar, I didn't count on George showing up. Still, it was one of those random nights out in the city that seemed sprinkled with fairy dust. It was this energy that drew people to New York, this wondrous feeling that anything could happen, so you better be ready to follow the adventure.
Darla and I found seats at the bar and ordered drinks. About halfway through my cocktail, I felt someone to my left tap my shoulder.
"Hi!" I smiled at George, who somehow snuck past and grabbed the bar stool next to me. "Did you just get here?"
"About ten minutes ago. Indie Film Director is here, so I was watching him outside for a bit, trying to impress these two girls, seeing if he was going to make a spectacle of himself."
George introduced me to a couple of his friends, who promptly left us to chat.
"How was the meet and greet?"
"Lots of people wanting to take pictures, some autographs, though Singer Spencer gets the worst of it. I did get to see some friends who came from out of town to see the show, so that was pretty cool. The rest of the band wanted me to come back to the hotel with them, but I said I had to find that girl from the front row." George smiled and I noticed he had a slight overbite.
A photographer from the concert came over to us. When I talked to her at the show she seemed down to earth, but in front of George Guitarist she was different. She fawned over him, name-dropped, and seemed practically under physical strain in her effort to impress him. I didn't get it, because it looked so obviously phony, and this is a woman who claimed to have had a lot of contact with celebrities. In any event, George was gracious in listening to her, but after a couple of minutes we turned back to each other and continued our conversation.
It's funny, I didn't even think about him in terms of being in this band that was about to make it big. To me he was a guy I saw across the room (or stage) that I found attractive. I just thought it was great that we were getting along so well on a personal level too.
George is not from the country that Foreign Band now resides in, so we talked about travel and living abroad. When he found out that I love to sing, he offered to produce a track for me. He also has separate creative projects that he works on and so do I, so that was another topic of focus for us, along with what inspires us. This was especially fascinating for me, because George is somebody who makes his living doing creative work, and it's not an easy life, but it's akin to the kind of life I want to have someday.
George's friends came around and asked if we wanted to go to another bar, so we all piled into a taxi and were dropped off at some place on the Lower East Side.
At that bar, some Italian guy came over with a bottle of wine and asked us to share it with him. I thought maybe he was a fan of Foreign Band, until he asked George what he did for a living.
I turned towards George with a pseudo-puzzled expression, "Yeah, what do you do again? Are you some kind of musician or something?" I teased.
I guess the group of us had some kind of great energy to us, because strangers kept coming over to us. They didn't know who George was, so it was rather puzzling, but fun, though George and I would quickly turn our focus back to each other.
His friends were good-natured about it. "Hey George," one of them called out, "what the hell happened during your guitar solo? It fell apart."
George nodded toward me, "Ask this one, it's all her fault."
"You better get at least a kiss out of it," his friend replied, "Though I don't know, you'll get a face full of red lipstick."
George just smiled. I reached over to the nearest table, grabbed a cocktail napkin, and wiped off my crimson lipstick. Before I realized what I was doing, I leaned over and kissed George. He kissed back and put his arms around me. The rest of the bar ceased to exist.
It gets a little blurry past this point. We must have closed out the bar, because I didn't get home until after 4:00am. We shared a taxi, which dropped me off first then continued on to his hotel.
George called me the next day and I saw him that night. I'll keep that story to myself.
Since then. we have exchanged a few emails. He asked me to send him a sample of my singing, so that he could produce that song for me. He and Foreign Band are working on their new album and playing more gigs abroad, but they'll be back in America next year.
I have no illusions about having any sort of relationship with George, though I would like to maintain a friendship if possible. I see him more as a muse and mentor. He and the rest of Foreign Band work incredibly hard for every ounce of success they attain, and it has motivated me to get my own life together and turn my focus to artistic pursuits above all else. What could have been a frivolous hookup with a musician turned out to be a rather significant turning point for me. Who knew.