But I'm Not Afraid Of Bears

Friday, February 4, 2011

But I’m Not Afraid Of Bears

For the past several nights, The Songwriter has been immersed in the new autobiography of Rolling Stone, Keith Richards, a Christmas gift given to him, rather amusingly, by my mother, a woman completely unaware of Mr. Richards’ fairly intemperate lifestyle of which she would most decidedly disapprove. He has been chuckling and sighing, and reading passages out loud for my benefit which in turn has gifted me with the most outlandish mental pictures just before sleep. Images of Mr. Richards, sleepless for days, hurtling over the Atlas mountains in a rental car, dodging missile-laden military vehicles. Visions of bathtubs full of champagne, copious amounts of illegal substances, fist fights, arrests, and overall jaw-dropping mayhem. In other words, descriptions of the type of life I was never meant to live. To thine own self be true, I suppose. Thus, I’m quite happy to confess that I just wasn’t hardwired for wildness.

I was the kid who stood back in observation while others walked on the razor’s edge. I was the one bent over her Bronte book, shaking her head, convinced that a few of her friends had regret in their futures. I suppose I did take my fair share of risks, but they were a bit more singular in nature. For instance, there was the afternoon I jumped off a very high stone wall, utterly certain that I could fly. A broken leg convinced me otherwise. And it’s true that I have no fear of furry animals - large or small, wild or tame - a fact that causes The Songwriter no small amount of consternation as he attempts to drive home the fact that grizzly bears are, indeed, dangerous.

But compare my habits to those of the Keith Richards’ of the world and, most assuredly, mine would land with a thud in the category of the prosaic. For try as I might, I’m unable to imagine Keith listening to a podcast on knitting, thrilled at finally being able to master the perfect decrease. Would Keith look forward to curling up in front of the fire in flannel pajamas to watch Downton Abbey? Would he delight in the sight of a bluebird at his feeder? Would he more often than not prefer a cozy night with a good book to a raucous one on the town? Nope, facts must be faced - Keith Richards and I belong in entirely different subsections of the human race.

But now, before I give the erroneous impression that I am a boring old dullard, let me hasten to say that The Songwriter and I have sat on the front row of a Stones concert, close enough to touch the aforementioned Mr. Richards, and we had an utterly fabulous time. However, there did come a point in the concert when Mick Jagger stripped off his sweaty shirt, pointed straight at me, and threw that soppy thing directly at my head, experience having no doubt taught him that most girls go ape over that particular move.
But me? I ducked.
No, a sweaty shirt is not my idea of a memento.
Not even from a rolling stone. Just read to me about it, okay?