I was glad to be out of that hotel and on the streets of San Francisco to find some breakfast. We were very close to the Little Italy area…or is it Russian Hill? They’re close to each other, I think, but whichever it is was one of my favorites from two years ago. It’s still perfection and felt so European.
I found a branch of my favorite bakery, La Boulange, and was thrilled that they weren’t closed. Starbucks bought the company and is going to shut them down for some fiscal reason. Nonsense! Nothing is better than their ratatouille tart. They insist on calling it a vegetable tart, but it’s ratatouille piled on top of puff pastry. Absolutely divine stuff.
We checked out and made our way to the train station for the two hour ride to Santa Clara. This was on a rather nice train, and it wasn’t difficult at all to get tickets or a seat. And it was an absolute breeze to catch an Uber to the hotel in this new town where we would be staying for two nights. We weren’t exactly thrilled at first since it’s literally in the middle of nothing, but there was a microwave, a laundromat, and all the high-speed Internet you could use, so we were living. It’s amazing to me how much the Internet has changed my life. I’m probably in the last generation to be born without it being so important. We didn’t have an Internet connection until I was in kindergarten, and even then, it was dialup. I can’t remember when we finally got high-speed Internet. When I lived in Paris, I didn’t even have a smart phone. I had an iPod Touch, but I wasn’t using it like I use my iPhone now. My golden iPhone 6 Plus is attached to my body as a physical extension at this point. Many people belabor and bully the modern world’s instantaneous connection — and I must say there are some valid points to be made on their side — but think how marvelous it is to have your questions instantly answered! You could see a tree or a message in a foreign language and learn what cultivar that tree was or what that letter said. Before, you’d have to dig through books and dictionaries and maybe never get the result you want. There’s nothing wrong with using books, of course, and I have a stout home library, but I could never return to a world without Internet. That being said, Jessica and I were thrilled to have a solid wifi connection which we used for quite some time catching up on Tumblr. (Reader: do not, and I must insist, do not get Tumblr. It will ruin your life. You’ll be on it all damn day.)
Finally it was time to get ready to go down the road to the concert — you could literally see the stadium from the parking lot. I put on an outfit in my best imitation of Harry Styles, shot enough hairspray onto my head to shoot another hole into the ozone layer, and we were off to the stadium to see ONE DIRECTION. After stalking Harry all through Hollywood and unexpectedly failing, (it truly was a shock), it was reassuring to know that we were surely going to see him in a few hours.
Jessica was quickly entering a strange mood, her concert mood, that mood she develops when something is about to happen. She has very little chill on a normal day, so on a day when she was about to see somebody she is completely obsessed with, her mental faculties took a quick dive. She was irritable and uncommunicative and refused some silly flyer from a fangirl at the gate. They were handing out pictures of the boys with angel wings that said something about how much they had saved them. I have never related to a boyband the way that many of the fans do. I mean I adore One Direction, and I worship them and my Tumblr (which you should not get) is mainly pictures of Harry at every angle, but I don’t feel like they’ve helped me emotionally. I just really enjoy their faces and their voices and the songs they make. I mean, if anybody has saved anything, Harry Styles has saved me from a fashion rut. He really inspires me artistically. That’s why I look like I do and why certain things happened later that day that you wouldn’t believe if there weren’t witnesses.
It took a considerable amount of walking to find our gates and then find the entrance to the field. We weren’t peasants anymore. The first concert we attended was one of the last intimate One Direction tours before they began touring in stadiums. That was a great delight. I regularly wonder what ever happened to the girl, Vanessa, we met there who had successfully stalked the drummer of Five Seconds of Summer to his hotel room and then forced herself upon him. Some fans have serious devotion and terrifying abilities. I envy them. But, there will be no more bleacher seats for us. We are made for the floor, to be as close as possible to the boys as we possibly can. This was our biggest triumph. We were literally one section away from the catwalk. Jessica quite nearly fainted.
I was thrilled, too, and not only because I had two baskets of garlic fries to eat — it was because I could see Rainbow Bondage Bear with my very own eyes!
For those of you not in the One Direction world, that sentence will mean nothing to you, but if you are aware of Rainbow Direction or the enormous number of people who are in the Larry Stylinson fandom, you will easily understand the delight that took my body over. (By the way, if you’ve never looked up Larry Stylinson, begin now; it’s the greatest love story of our generation. Also: DON’T because it will take over your effing life.)
We were sat by ourselves for quite a spell, but then people finally began filling in the seats, and Jessica and I took our rightful thrones as the queens of our section. People understood and accepted our authority without complaint. And good for them, too, because we would have shut those bitches down immediately. I was somewhat distraught though by another gentleman who outdid me, and I must give him credit for his triumph. He carried a rainbow flag that was embroidered with LARRY on top of it. The entire stadium squealed. I quickly snapped a picture and it’s had hundreds of likes and reblogs on my Tumblr. I’m very proud.
A young girl sat next to me and I immediately christened her Matinka. This is not her name, of course, but I feel that it suited her better than Ashley. Ashley wasn’t even her real name, her real name was Vicharra. She certainly should have gone by that. Ashley is not exciting. Vicharra is the name of somebody who has a thrilling life. She was her for Louis, which Jessica and I approved of, and decided that we should be her mentors. She laughed at all of our jokes and was a delight. She had two phones, both connected to different twitter accounts and plugged into external chargers. She runs a fan account, but…don’t tell Matinka that I said so…it’s not very good. Very juvenile and without a real theme. I mean, Louis is all right and all, but do you want to see a blurry picture of him every four seconds? No. If it were Harry, that’d be a different story because Harry Styles is an actual angel that descended from another planet to bless us with his grace and charm.
Promptly, which I appreciated, at seven o’clock, Icona Pop emerged. I had always been under the misconception that Icona Pop is one lady. Turns out there are two and neither of them are named Icona Pop. Stunned by this shocking development, I had to sit down for a moment, but it certainly didn’t take me long to recuperate. I was living for them. Jessica and I were literally the only dancers in our section for quite some time, and I was sorely disappointed in everybody around me.
WHY WERE THEY NOT PARTAKING OF THE DANCE? I assume they were intimidated by our moves, which I can understand. We were fabulously flailing our limbs and hair and LIVING. The girls of Icona Pop were perfection and we were immediately obsessed with a song that involved clapping, snapping, and geese drinking wine. I put it on my Spotify at once and have been listening to it on the regular. Treat yourself, reader:
Finally, they preformed that song that everybody knows, “I LOVE IT,” and that got everybody to their feet, but that didn’t eradicate their prior crimes. How dare they not dance for these lovely ladies? I would hate to be the opener in a concert. What misery! Nobody is there for you and nobody is dancing or singing along. Truly mortifying. I lived for them, though. They were perfection, and now I’m a big fan.
Now, I dressed up like Harry Styles for a reason. It’s my proudest achievement. I got a lot of looks, but not a lot of reaction. Until I went to the restroom. People at concerts are volatile. They’re mentally unstable. Nobody is really fully in charge of their senses. The entire stadium randomly erupts in screams for reasons that nobody can figure out. It’s absolutely electric and it’s an environment that I really love. So, you can imagine my relief and joy when, as I passed by, screams erupted and people started yelling, “HARRY!” at me. I was in my element, reader. It was bliss. Being a celebrity would be the greatest thing in all the world. But my happiness quickly dissipated, and I said, “Shit!” to myself. Nobody would ever believe me. Jessica hadn’t witnessed my moment of glory and people already think I’m pompous enough to have made it up. Crushed, I made my way back after buying a disgusting Diet Pepsi (why not Coke????) and waited for the boys.
It felt like ages and ages, but eventually the lights went down and the entire stadium erupted in a roar that surely could have been heard in Paris. It was deafening, and it was madness, and I loved it. Then they came out.
Like visions, they appeared: Liam looking very nice in his denim top, Niall in his striped tshirt, Louis in his sheer vest that had the sleeves removed, and…Harry…I nearly collapsed. He was too beautiful.
His hair was flowing gloriously in the light California breeze, his grey t-shirt perfectly accentuating every gorgeous inch of his body. And his feet…oh reader…he was wearing golden boots. I DIED. I literally passed out. This is a ghost dictating from Hell. I wanted those boots with the passion of a thousand fiery suns. They were glorious, like him. They put a closeup of his shoes on the big screen and the entirety of the stadium lost their collective shit. I know I did.
The concert began, and though it went on for two hours, it felt as if it dashed by in two seconds. The songs were beautiful and I sang them all. I was crushed when “Stole My Heart” wasn’t played, but it doesn’t appear that they have ever sang that song live. One time in Japan, my sources are telling me, but that doesn’t make any sense. It’s the greatest thing they have ever recorded.
Beyond sounding fantastic, they all looked great, and I had a delightful time studying Harry’s every move from my excellent vantage point. We will need seats right next to the stage next time. It’s an addiction, reader. You can be addicted to the thrill of One Direction. I am. I’m far from ashamed.
And then they were gone and I wept for more. I wanted to follow them around the world and dance at every single show. I wanted them to sing for the rest of my life. I never wanted to return to reality, but little did I know that reality wasn’t going to sink in until later that night.
I literally danced out of the stadium and onto the streets of Santa Clara, and, as ever, we were starved to death, so Jessica and I made our way to a gas station that had a very Californian spread of fresh sandwiches and organic juices and locally sourced chocolate. I love California. It’s my favorite state. It’s just so far removed from the rest of the country — it’s like a world all of its own, and one that just makes sense to me. When I move, it’ll most surely be here.
We grabbed our bags and made our way back to the hotel. As we crossed the street, a voice screamed through the night, “HARRY!” I turned around. WHERE WAS HE? WAS HE REALLY HERE? WERE WE FINALLY GOING TO GET AN ICONIC SELFIE THAT I WOULD CAPTION, “#TWINS,” AND THEN DIE OF HAPPINESS? But, Harry was nowhere to be seen. They were yelling at ME. Jessica died. I beamed. There was a witness this time. Basking in my triumph, we walked under the overpass, and a car slowly drove past with a girl sticking her head out the window. Through choked sobs (and I’m being absolutely serious), she cried, “HARRY??? IS IT YOU????” I couldn’t help but give her a delighted laugh as a response. I wonder what she thought?
As we sat in the hotel, a strange feeling of remorse came over me. I felt bad for those people that had mistaken me for Harry. Surely I had given them the thrill of their lives, but it wasn’t authentic. And I felt bad for laughing at them. I wasn’t mocking them, of course, it was my natural reaction to a ridiculous situation, but what did they think of it? As a Harry Styles lookalike, it dawned on me that I have a terrible responsibility, a burden to bear on my broad shoulders. I must learn to react like him to keep their dreams alive. This is my cross to carry. Keep me in your thoughts.