I had to share my story of meeting Amanda Fucking Palmer in Dallas. It's put under a cut because it is ridiculously long and heartfelt.
Meeting Amanda Fucking Palmer.
How do you describe the indescribable without sounding like a rambling idiot? I’ve been thinking about just how to write this for the last two days and two nights. Each time I go over the thoughts aloud or to myself I feel like I am incapable of really capturing the sensations and emotions in words.
It’s incredible, really. The Dallas show at the Granada Theatre was my first Dolls show, my first ‘AFP’ show. I found the experience to be so surreal and phenomenal and aggggghhhh, I could write a book about that show. UMF. Just…UMF.
Before I continue, I have to say this:
GO SEE THEM.
Don’t tell me that you have a final due. Fail it.
Don’t tell me that you have a job. Quit it.
Everything like classes or jobs can be re-done or found again.
Go see them. Fly, drive, take a bus, WALK, empty your bank account and do it. I don’t care if it means that you have to live in a cardboard box in the middle of winter, the memory of the show will keep you warm.
Here are the tour dates in case you don’t know: -> http://www.amandapalmer.net/afp/upcoming-shows/
GO. SEE. THEM.
IT REALLY IS THE REVOLUTION OF YOUR FUCKING LIFE.
(ALSO SEE GIRL IN A COMA. THEY WILL ROCK YOUR FUCKING WORLD)
Where was I? Oh yes, meeting AMANDA FUCKING PALMER. I have been an AFP/DOLLS fan for years and years now. I have never had the chance to see them live before now. I live in Arizona, and for some reason the Dolls or just AFP herself never, ever, ever go to Arizona.
They will go to Nevada, California, Texas, but Arizona is untouched. AGH. So I drove to Dallas. It was the easiest decision in the world, really. It was utterly worth it.
As a huge Dolls/AFP fan, I’ve seen her everywhere. I’m not trying to show off when I say this but I have all the DVD’s. Some signed. All the albums, a few shirts, a button, posters, some signed things thanks to the awesome fucking webcast auctions and pre-ordering. But seeing her on a screen and SEEING her are two separate things.
When I first saw her in person, on that stage, I was hit with an overwhelming sense of ‘She’s real. She’s REAL’ Of course I knew that she was real, that she really exists but…something about seeing her in the flesh solidified it for me. Like all this time part of my mind believed I was delusional and playing tricks on myself.
It’s real. She’s real, and she’s the most beautiful thing I have ever seen.
God I’m shocked I didn’t just die on the spot.
It’s the same face as the one on the screen, singing the same songs I’ve seen sung with the same passion and it’s all undeniably AFP but at the same time it’s something different, something better, it’s the same but it’s not.
Haha, see? I become a rambling idiot trying to describe it.
Anyway, when it comes to meeting Amanda Fucking Palmer, well…it’s something I’ve imagined a million times. I feel I could talk to her for hours, share things with her that I wouldn’t share with anyone else simply because they wouldn’t GET IT and she WOULD.
I wanted to tell her everything. I wanted to tell her that I could SWEAR she reached into my soul and pulled the lyrics of “Ampersand” out. I wanted to tell her that she knows me better then anyone without even knowing me. I really wanted to tell her that I was the second place winner of the belly pageant for “Most colorful belly” (LOVELOVELOVE AND BADLY DRAWN RAINBOWS :D )
I wanted to apologize for taking a few pictures during the show; I was worried that my camera was too bright.
I wanted to tell her that I’m happy I didn’t record the show and that I only took maybe 10 pictures because I remembered how she said during a webcast that she didn’t like it when people recorded her because it felt like she was performing to the camera instead of the person. She was completely right. While taking a picture I felt as though I was just looking at her through a screen again, and that’s not what I came to do.
Millions of questions and requests and everything swirled through my head. Before I left my house I looked through all my things to see what I wanted her to sign. I brought my Dolls CD’s and my WKAP CD and I put it all neatly in a zip bag and fully intended to ask her to sign them and maybe my WKAP jacket and Dresden Dolls shirt that I wore to the show.
After the show people completely clamored to leave. A man who I had been talking to, hugging and hell even flirting with during the show (it’s a dolls show, flirting is required) said that he wanted to stay behind to talk to her, but he didn’t.
Amanda didn’t come out right away, and I’m not sure if people just didn’t care about meeting her or if they honestly believed she wasn’t going to come out, but they all just…LEFT.
Of course a good chunk stayed behind, and while I was waiting I stayed in the girl’s bathroom, taking a load off of my feet and chatting with the hot chicks.
(btw, everyone at the Dolls show was hot. Seriously. Boys or Girls, I’d go either way. UMF.)
I honestly don’t understand how anyone could leave without meeting her. Really, did they actually believe that she wouldn’t come out to meet her fans? One person I met there said, “I don’t think she’s coming out. You should head back to your hotel” And just a bit dejected, I considered it for a moment before saying “No. Something doesn’t feel right. She’s coming.”
And after a little while of waiting in the girl’s bathroom, I opened the door and checked for her in the lobby…and there she was.
Now I had been relatively close to the stage, second row, right in the middle, right the way she was facing (YESSSS) but this was different. Now she was 5 feet in front of me.
I waited at the side of the line, solely because there were too many people and to get behind them all would’ve been a pain. I fully intended to wait until the very last to get my turn. I didn’t mind waiting. I was in awe. Just watching her (as creepy as that sounds) was enough for me.
And just watching her, I understood. I’ve read all the blogs, heard her talk about connection, about how she loves her fans and keeps in touch with them…But seeing it makes her words seem completely modest.
While I watched and waited there was a lovely young lady talking to her, I couldn’t hear but at once she lifted her skirt a bit and showed Amanda a pair of tattoo’s right above her knee. One of which was AFP’s signature, the other was something I couldn’t quite recognize from my distance.
Amanda immediately went down on her knees, her fingertips brushing lightly over the tattoo’s her face and eyes shining, glowing. She seemed as though she was lost in a mixture of awe, bliss, and love. After a moment she stood and hugged the girl, kissed her cheek, smiled at her and brushed her fingers along her cheek.
I understood then that Amanda feels the same way we do. She was awed and humbled. I could tell, she felt she could talk to us for hours, too. Like she wanted to hold us all to her bosom, shrink us and put is in her pocket to have with her always.
To us, she’s the most amazing thing in the world. To her? We are the most precious. I honestly believe that.
The amount of love she showed and felt for the fans was overwhelming, and it wasn’t even my turn yet.
I happily let people cut in front of me. I just wanted to watch her for a little while; I wanted time to understand what I was feeling, or try to. I like to pride myself on being mature, maybe even wise. But in her presence I felt for the first time in a long time, like a child.
And when I say child, I mean like a 4 year old, standing behind a counter at mommy’s skirt, struggling to stand on her tippy toes to see what’s going on.
I felt for the first time that I was being my true self, just standing there quietly and watching, and I was worried. I was scared that the person I am inside was some terrible beast, and I’d do something cruel or stupid or rude to make her look at me like I was a bad person. Maybe it’s ridiculous, but it’s how I felt, and I had not fully been able to slap that fear out of myself before it was my turn.
I told the girl in front of me to please, go ahead. But she insisted. And suddenly Amanda Fucking Palmer was there, right in front of me and making eye contact. I’m so proud of myself for not squealing, and not freezing.
I held my ziplog bag with her albums in my hand and I said to her “Amanda, I have all these for you to sign but…I don’t need you to sign them.”
I’m pretty sure those were my words, it (and this line is SO cliché but) it all happened so fucking fast.
This was something I had been planning the second I saw that the dolls were touring again. I am 18 years old, a baby in comparison to Amanda, and I’m not referring to the number age, more like the mental age. If I’m a 30 year old mentally, she’s 90 and kicking my ass in the wisdom department.
But anyway, in my 18 years of life never have I been kissed on the lips. Hell, never on the cheek. Never been asked out, never been considered attractive to anyone who wasn’t in their 30’s and an ex-convicts (…Seriously. That’s happened to me more then once. They’re the only men who are interested in me…-SOB-)
I wanted my first kiss to be from Amanda Fucking Palmer. That way I could never regret it. That way my first kiss wouldn’t have been given to some asshole who’d leave me, or cheat on me, or anything stupid like that.
I wanted to explain it to her in a way a little more dignified then that. But instead I just said;
”I’ve never been kissed on the lips before…” She nearly laughed, smiled, and had this look of ‘Ah ha! It’s one of THOSE requests’
I felt myself flush, I couldn’t stop smiling, my embarrassment was through the roof and to make matters just damn right amazing she put her hands on my cheeks and said “Never ever?”
And she kissed me full on the lips.
It wasn’t just a peck. Oh no, this was a full out kiss. And me in my virgin bumbling had no idea what to do. After a second I couldn’t help but smile against her lips and she pulled away.
I’m not sure how the hug began, but I hugged her tightly and if I think hard enough I can recall what I said. “Now I can never regret it. Thank you so much, you have no idea how much this means to me. I’m so happy I finally got to meet you.”
It feels so surreal. It happened so fast. Suddenly all the hours of rehearsed words and imagining of conversations went straight out the door and I blurted those words out without thinking, like they were the most natural thing in the world.
The hug ended, she smiled at me this humbled and happy smile and put her hand on my cheek saying. “You’re beautiful”
It was like with that one hug she reached into my heart and just KNEW about all of my self esteem issues, about all the years I spent trying to be a tough girl and pretend that each rejection and each dirty look I got didn’t bother me.
A logical side of me says that she most likely deduced that by seeing an overweight girl who looks about 20 say she’d never been kissed.
And then I left. I had $100 bucks to buy merch, both Girl in A Coma and Dolls merch…but I didn’t. It’s not that I don’t want to support both groups, they’re both amazing. But I felt that was the right time to leave. Like my business at Granada had been concluded.
I never told her the million things I wanted to. I never even told her my name.
To everyone reading this. Please. Please go see them. Go talk to them. Hug, kiss. Love. Do it, do it do it do it. I want you all to experience that incredible joy. It feels like it’ll burst out of your chest at any moment. (Just think that scene from ALIEN, except instead of a creepy tentacle thing bursting out, it’s love, and joy, and little plastic penises. :D )
I’m so happy I could die.
Amanda, if you’re reading this? Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I love you. I really do. If I can, and I will try my fucking best, I will see your show again.
Also, good god PLEASE come to Arizona. D:
My lips are still burning.