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I was looking forward to meeting my lawyer’s assistant, Joanna, who had graciously offered to have me pick up the large packet of copyright papers from her home, instead of making another grueling trek into the city. It would save me at least an hour of the long ride. Joanna seemed to have an exuberant personality on the phone. She was also was amazingly efficient and I was already grateful for the efforts she had made to expedite the processing of those papers. I worked for a music publishing company that was a client of the law firm where Joanna worked. Many years ago, however, I had been in a metal band. We’d had some moderate success, but not enough for the label to keep financing our music. Joanna was familiar with Blow Out, my band. In one of our many conversations on the phone, we had laughed about the transformation of the drummer, Doug. He had famously racked up an impressive rap sheet of drunk and disorderlies but was now a genteel farmer, as he had gone out and purchased a fancy winery for his post-drumming career. Joanna had expressed an interest in sampling his product. When I reached the address she had given me, I popped open the trunk and took out the bottle of Riesling I had promised her once.Though I had spoken with Joanna many times, we had never actually met in person before. When she answered the door, I was taken aback by her appearance. The woman standing before me wore a silver, sequined slip dress that looked to be uncomfortably small by a large margin. She wore a heavy slathering of foundation and electric blue eyeliner that contrasted with a pearly green eyeshadow. But it was her hair that intrigued me the most. It was curly blonde, teased to great proportion, and seemed to be an exact replica of the style I had favored when I fronted my band. A hint of Aqua Net hung in the air around her. (Do they still even make that?) Oh well, I thought, perhaps she had a formal event to attend later on that evening.“JOEY!” she screamed with great enthusiasm, as she extended her chubby arms out to hug me. I was more of a Joseph than a Joey but I didn’t say anything. She noticed the wine bottle.“OH. MY. GAWD! Belverton Winery! You remembered! That’s so sweet of you. Thank you so much. This will be perfect. Let’s have some now.” And she ushered me into her living room.“I have a long drive ahead of me,” I noted.“Oh, come on, you can’t just run away after we finally meet again. I made us some dinner.” She was almost giddy.“Dinner?” Dinner had never been mentioned. Had there been a miscommunication? I didn’t want to give the wrong impression. “I know, I was just going to make a few snacks but I kind of overdid it, as per usual.”“Joanna, I think there’s been a mistake. I really thought I was only coming over here to pick up a few papers...”  She wasn’t fazed in the least. “You’ve got a tough drive ahead, a long weekend with a dementia patient, I just figured you could use a nice meal. Come on, we’ll just relax for a little while, rekindle, and well, who knows?”I was genuinely confused. Did she use the word ‘rekindle’?“I know you absolutely remember, don’t try to be coy,” she said. I think I would have remembered a woman who styled her hair in the exact same manner I had during my younger years.“You must have done way more drugs than I thought!” she laughed, as she poured two glasses of Doug’s signature vintage. Actually, it was more of a cackle.“I used to drink a lot, but never drugs,” I pointed out.For a moment she looked displeased. “I know I look a little older, a little bigger, but I’m still me, Joanna. I’m Joanna, THE Joanna. ‘My bewitching, midnight star…?’”Could she really be implying…?“…The song, My Midnight Star, I KNOW it’s about me.”This had to be a set up. A prank of some kind. I even chuckled, nervously.My Midnight Star had been a minor hit for Blow Out. It was supposed to be about a woman so intoxicatingly beautiful it was best to stay away. The name Joanna WAS mentioned in one part, now that I thought about it. I hardly remembered that lyric. I didn't write that particular song, our bassist had. We rarely played it because it required a saxophone and our incompetent management company often forgot to hire one for our gigs. But the women in our audiences loved it because it was slower, a ballad. I, personally, didn’t like it. Everyone knows ballads killed the hair bands of the 80’s.“My muse, my love, my loneliness, You lived alone within my heart…We were never here together, Yet we were never far apart….”(What can I say, there was a reason they pulled the plug on us.)“’OHHHHHH JOANNA! MY SOUL CAN TAKE NO MORE!’” she gave it her all, with heart. Then she became very serious. “I was always there, front and center at every show I could make it to. I saw you; you saw me. You looked me in they eye. I’ll never forget it. Whenever you sang that song, you sang it to ME. No one else. Just to me.”So much ran through my mind. My best instincts told me to get out of there, and fast. But I still needed my papers and, also, there was a part of me felt that I owed Joanna a few minutes, for all she had helped me with over the years.I think I managed a half-smile. “My envelope?”“Do you still have all my panties, Joey?” She gave me a sly look as she kind of cornered me on the couch. “I must have thrown at least 30 your way. I’m sure you still have them, don’t you?”My mind raced. I felt paralyzed. I’m not embarrassed to admit I was a little scared. You hear crazy things about deranged groupies. We’d never been successful enough to have known what that really was about. Sure, we had lots of women hanging around, but we liked and encouraged it. We’d never had anyone we thought was out of control. But now I was starting to understand.“Look, I understand we could never be together,” she looked me in the eye. “‘The stars have other plans…’ I get it. But it doesn’t mean we can’t, you know, Play Along the Fringes.”Play Along the Fringes was another one of our songs. For heaven’s sake, would we be making our way through the entire Blow Out catalog?“Joanna, look, I really should be going. My mother, she has Alzheimer’s, and I’m supposed to…”She cut me off again by belting out anther song. “Mama, you know I don’t want to gooooo…. I don’t want to leave you, leave you all alonnnneeee…”Apparently, we were going to try out the whole catalog. I had no idea our B-list musical ensemble had garnered such a loyal base. Were there others? Probably not or we’d still be playing.I tried to back away, inching my way along the couch, trying to remember how the locks on the front door had been engaged.She kept singing various song lyrics, my song lyrics, literally spitting out my own words right back at me. It was a bit surreal.“Joey,” she said finally, in a non-lyrical voice which had a new, different tone. “I really need to thank you. Seriously, what you’ve given me, how can a woman ever repay a man for that? Immortality, I have immortality. Thousands of years from now people will be singing that song, that song about ME. I just thought, maybe, well, meeting you one on one, now after all these years, it would be like it was then. I’m not really feeling it though? Are you?”I was too confused to answer. Where was this going? The sudden about-face was almost more disturbing. Maybe she had sensed my awkwardness. She was quite an enigma.“I think we’ve both changed, too much,” she continued. “The world just knocked us around and threw us away.” I was sure these were more of my lyrics but I wasn’t truly thinking straight.She got up and retrieved a large manilla envelope from a desk drawer. She came over and handed it to me with a waning smile.“I’m sorry, Joey. This date might not have have been such a good idea. I think maybe I wanted the old Joey, my Joey, the one who sang those beautiful songs. They got to you. I mean, look at you, you cut your hair, you’re wearing respectable clothing. They say you should never meet your heroes. I say they should never revisit them, right? Oh Joey, what we had was magical, spectacular. I’ll never forget those days, the look you gave me as you sang out those songs…”She leaned over and gave me a kiss. It was a soulful, passionate kiss, one that I have to say, moved me. Then she, more or less, pushed me out the door.I got into my car, stunned by the whole experience. As I drove away, she blew me a kiss, giving me a sorrowful smile as she waved me good-bye.For the next three hours as I drove up to spend what would be a draining weekend with my ailing parent, I couldn’t stop thinking about what had transpired. The Joanna experience had certainly been disconcerting but, with the danger gone, it now seemed oddly nostalgic. I had to say, I was starting to feel very flattered that our music had made such an impact on someone. It had been a long time since I had thought about those days of women throwing undergarments and traveling the country with better known, more popular musical acts. Sure, I was purposely blocking out the sleep issues, financial disputes, fighting with each other and our managers, giving those draining interviews for snide disc jockeys, the substance abuses and excesses, and being poorly compared to the mainline acts we were opening for, but other than that it had been fantastic.There’s no more powerful experience than performing on stage to a crowd of adoring fans. Most of them came to see the other band but it really didn’t matter. And Joanna had proven that there were people in the audience who liked US, who had come to see US. They knew our songs; they bought our t-shirts. There were still people who knew our terrible lyrics, even after all these years. We were more than “just a glorified cover band” as that rag, a long time ago, proclaimed us to be.Bless you, Joanna, for bringing that all back to me. Thank you for remembering us in the best light, for remembering our lyrics, for believing people would be singing them thousands of years into the future.Yes, Joanna, our love would have been dangerous, but I can see now and truly believe, that you must certainly be my midnight star.,flirt for free Cold Brook,