Jann Arden, one of my most very favorite musicians came to town, and I took Caitlyn to see her in-store performance at our downtown Borders. Caitlyn loved the parts where everyone clapped.
After the performance, I stood in line with a CD to get it autographed. I've never done this before. I'm, oddly, hesitant to actually go and meet these various (and variously) famous people, authors and musicians and even the occasional actor who are somehow important to me. I want to believe that the famousness doesn't matter, that they are just regular people with the good fortune to do something really well. And the next thought is always, why would any of them want to meet me?
So, I got to the front of the line and introduced myself. Caitlyn is in a shy phase when it comes to meeting new people, and she buried her face in my shoulder, occasionally peeking out at Jann. I apologized for not having anything significant to say; Jann told me that it was all about getting out and meeting fans and how "heavy" it was to meet someone who had one of her (Jann's) lyrics tattooed on her arm (not me, someone else ahead of me in line). She signed my CD, complemented me on Caitlyn, and recommended that I not start her on "my depressing music" until she was older. We both told the other to have a great afternoon, then Caitlyn and I headed down the stairs.
Driving home tonight, new CD in the stereo, it came to me, what I could (should?) have said (is it still the Spirit of the Staircase if it visits in some other location?). I've been listening to and resonating with Jann's music ever since Insensitive was on the radio (some eleven or twelve years, now, I think). If her songs reflect her personality, then Jann and I have been dear, close friends for all that time, the kind who never call and never write but who somehow just seem to know when you need an impromptu visit and a cup of tea.