I got a call around 7:30 at work from Kilby. "Did you get my Yahoo! message?"
"No, What's up?"
"You have to go to Harvard Square tonight," he answered
"Why?" I asked.
""Bruce Campbell is signing autographs tonight at Wordsworth and they're showing Evil Dead 2 at the Brattle. He's Introducing it."
I had completely forgotten about this, having been told a week ago about the event, as well as being told it was sold out. I asked Eric if he though i would be able to bring my copy of the book, or whether i'd have to buy one. He didn't know, but offered to buy the copy i already had from me. I asked where he found the information, and he gave me a URL (doesn't it seem like that should read "an URL" ?). I thanked him, after he told me the signing started at 10, then got back to work.
That being done, i took a moment to read more about the book signing. That was when i noticed that he was signing from 5:30-9:45. It was 8:30. Frantically, i rushed out of the office in hopes of cating a number one bus (what was i thinking?).When i got to the doors on boylston, i noticed i was pouring. Well, it just wouldn't do for me to meet the man of my dreams looking like a drowned rat, so i turned around and headed back, thinking. Could i take the orange line to the red and get there in time? Unlikely. I pulled out my cell and scanned my numbers. Why don't i know anyone that lives in Harvard Square? I called Drew, but he couldn't get there any faster from Teele Sq than i could from the Pru. I called my author friend in central, but he wasn't home. I called Jessica, but she had just come from there and was exhausted. Then it hit me: I could call the bookstore, pay for a copy over the phone, and have them get it signed for me. Anything for a buck, right? So i called, and asked what time the signing was.
"Well, he's over at the church right now," a confused-sounding girl said, "But he's coming back at 10. There are some people milling around here waiting for him." I breathed a sigh of relief, thanked her, and hung up the phone. So, at last, another milestone. I reflected that this year, i collected almost all the autographs i ever really wanted, with the exception of Kevin Smith, which can be easily gotten for a price on his website. They Might Be Giants, Space Ghost, and now... now i was on my way to meet the man i have had a crush on longer than any other, the man who is, to me, the paragon of men among men, the most handsome, dashing, sexy, witty, rugged man alive: My Bruce. My heart pounded in anticipation as i walked to Back Bay station, walking through the pain of the blisters on my heels (ah, the price of beauty). I entered the station and presented the man at the booth with a crisp 20, a yuppie food stamp straight out of the dispenser. "Go on through. I can't change that. Go ahead," he said, gesturing toward the turnstile. A stroke of luck! Small, perhaps insignificant, but hopeful.
I walked tenuously on sore heels down the stairs and took my place at the platform. I watched the evening crowd wander in, and wondered from whence they came. A woman came down the stairs, dressed in a fuschia blouse and a pink, purple, yellow, green and orange retro print skirt. I notice that the skirt was very short, and when she passed me, i couldn't see it showing beneath her jacket. I also noticed her, well, we used to call them "knee high fuck-me boots," only hers were painful to look at. They had a 4 inche heel (which made her about 5'4" tall), which was at least an inch wide from left to right, but only about a quarter inch front to back. They looked as if they would snap under her ponderous weight. She wore a black leather jacket and carried a dressy messenger bag, a $5 casually hanging out of a pocket. I wondered who this woman was, why she was dressed like a cross between a hooker and a fruit salad, why anyone would wear such unstable looking boots. I couldn't hear her conversation with her female friend, but i thought about her situation while i waited for a train. Was the working? Where could someone work dressed like that? did she realize that she was 10 pounds of sausage in a five pound miniskirt?
The train pulled up, and i got on and took a seat. I always read the ads on the train, i find them rather amusing, and enjoy the variety. One was from the MA Dental Association, hailing the joys of mouthgards. I was pleased to see that the community college "take one" card had all been taken. I tried to figure out what language the birth control options poster was in. I tried not to look at anyone on the train. When we got to downtown crossing, i got to the door and did something i've never done: i looked into the crack between the train and the platform. For a split second, i imagined myself catching my toe and falling flat on my face in front of all those people, and it caught me off guard. I stumbled out of the train, into the pushy people crowding the doors, and down the hall to the red line. A few flights of painful stairs later, i was sitting on a bench, reading more signs. Two trains passed in the other direction before mine came, and when it did, there were several surly looking gangstas sprawled out across several seats each, so i stood. After they all got out at park, i took a seat, and the entire train filled up, every seat. The guy across from me had a t-shirt that read "End Racism. Kill Everyone", and his friend had one which read, in rhinestones "smart girl." I gotta get me one of those.
I got out of the train, hobbled up the steps, and stepped out into the not-quite-pouring rain. I walked as quickly as i could, climbed the stairs, and joined the back of the queue. Shortly, a man came out (who looked a lot like Banky in Mallrats) and told us the deal... buy a book, get a ticket, get signed when we callyour number. I bought my copy and then saw that they were still 300 away from calling my ticket. So, i retired to the veranda (read:front stairwell) to smoke a clove.
Ahh, cloves. Nothing levels me like a clove. The sweet paper, the strong, fragrant smoke, it transports me away from my extremes. As i lit up, I noticed a few teens nearby, and one was smoking the same thing as me. They were telling their friend, who had come to the signing, that he could catch a cab, and how he might go about doing so. I told him my number was just as high as his, and that i'd keep him company after they left. Now that i think about it, i don't think i saw him again after i finished my clove.
Then i decided to wait inside. The crowd was think with chubby sci-fi nerds, thin, pale goths, and everything in between, as well as whatever lies on the outside. While standing in the theater secion, i struck up a nice conversation with a woman who's a therapist at Mt Auburn Hospital. We talked about ages, and doing fun and different things, and being normal, and families. She was a really nice woman, and i wish i had gotten her name, if only to take therapy with her. While we talked, my autograph collection sparked the interest of a young man with a ring in his lip, which was obviously done by a friend. He was impressed with me collection, and we discussed space ghost. Then my friend, the therapist, heard her number called and she went to line up. All this time, ever half hour or so, Bruce would make a prank phone call to a friend of a signee. He was always "George Abernathy". To one guy, he tried to sell biological warfare insurance. To another woman, he claimed he was a friend of the man whose cell he had been given, and that he had a flat and the guy owed him $20, etc. He is such a wonderful ham!
After i read anough out of every book in that section (near midnight), i retuired to a chair near the window and played backgammon on my handheld. Let me just say, for the record, that the game cheats. A lot.
Around 12:15, my number was called, and i got in line. I had my eyemodule ready for pictures. A girl in a Quidditch jersey wrote my name on a post it, and adhered it to the inside of my book, and a few moments later, i found myself next in line. I snapped a few shots, and asked the woman he had arrived with (i assume his publicist) if she could take my picture with him as he signed. I walked up, more nervous than i had ever been at a high school dance or first date. Here i was, about to mee the man i had idolized since 1989! He flashed his patented grin and said "Hi, I'm Bruce." I mumbled something, and then told him it was my birthday, and asked if he would write "Happy Birthday" in my book. I told him i was turning 30, and he said (and wrote) "It's all downhill from there." We chatted a bit, i asked him what he was doing when he was 30, he said he's 43 now, so he guessed he had just finished evil dead 2. He rested his elbow on my shoulder as the pictures were snapped, and i don't think i ever smiled so much. He was fascinated by my camera so i showed it to him, and he fiddled with it a bit. Then he shook my hand and wished me a happy birthday once more.
I walked out of the store, looking at the photos i had. I lit my last clove, and was hollered at from across the street with three atempts. The first was "Got a light?", the second was "I've got some good weed" and lastly "Can i call you some time?" Even i know better than to approach this guy in the middle of the night with noone around.
I began the painful walk up mass ave with a new spring in my step, not dreading the walk, but hoping it mught settle me down for sleep. But then i saw a number one bus! The driver had gotten out to wait for stragglers and smoke a cigarette, and he asked me for a light. I gave him one, and he told me to feel free to smoke the rest and not put it out, as he was obviously in no hurrry. When i finished, i climbed onto the bus and sat happily in a seat, glad to be off my feet. The bus pulled out, and before i knew it we were crossing the bridge over the Charles. I started to reflect; were all the wierd and wonderful things that have happened to me this year some sort of last hurrah? could i really make good on my promise to die happy? was there something in the cards soon? Before i could think of an answer, we got to mt stop. I crossed the street, and passed a man standing outside in front of the pizza place. Just standing. He said hello, and i said hi back, and he asked how i was doing.
"Great" I replied. "It's my birthday!"