A week after our wedding, Kenny and I went down to Portsmouth to see Michael Franti and Spearhead, whom I have loved since the 9th grade (that's 1996, people. 13 years of love). I befriended another hooper in the crowd and she whispered her intentions to me, "We are getting up on stage before the end of the night!" Some girls just manage to get up on stage. Or backstage. I've never been one of those girls, but there have been times that I've latched on to those girls at just the right moment. (See also: freshman year of college, in Philly at the Free Mumia rally, wherein I manage to hang out in Wavy Gravy's hotel room because I followed some friendly girl up there. Yeah, Wavy Gravy totally let us order room service for breakfast, and showed us his photo album. I remember his pajamas were a little bit on the see through side.) This lady was totally going to make it happen, I could see it in her eyes.
Well, despite the Spearhead show being sold out in Asheville, we arrived at the amphitheater in Portsmouth to see it literally half empty. Sad! But it made for fantastic hooping. I could be really close to the stage and still have enough room to show off and dance and have fun. After skipping after Michael as fast as I could on his several impromptu runs around the audience, rain sprinkling on all of our faces and the band playing their instruments scattered among us, I had the thought, this is enough. I don't need to get up on stage, because this is fun enough just as it is. Kenny and I had run 4 miles that morning for the first time (and still the only time, for me, pretty much) and I had on my big Vietnam boots and a strapless dress, and my arms were wet from the rain and the sweat. But then, only then, did the chance come to get up on stage (with the kiddies!) and hoop next to my brave new friend. I was using a hoop I'd never touched before that very second, as I had just sold the one I'd brought to some friendly drunk lady who kept lending it out and then asking me to help her find it again. Anyway, the chance came, I grabbed the nearest hoop I could find, and hauled my sweaty self up on stage. Here is how it all went down from there. (You can't really see me until about 2 minutes in.)
I have to say, again, that I was pretty slippery. That hoop wasn't getting much traction on my skin. And, hello, nervous! I forgot all my tricks. At one point I dropped the hoop and at another I accidentally launched it at the bouncers off stage. It was exciting to be up there, but all I could think about was not wanting to block the band. I thought we were maybe too far forward on the stage, and that we should really be behind the band. But the vainest part of me would like you to know that I'm really proud of the definition in my upper back! I had no idea you could see my shoulder blades until I watched this.
After the show, we scored backstage passes to go meet & greet with the band. Michael Franti said he remembered me from the last time I saw them, at the Orange Peel in Asheville several years ago, and I'll just believe him because that would be a dream come true. We did share a bottle of water, after all... And I had just finished reading Stranger in a Strange Land and i remember thinking, "oh, god, we're water brothers now! This is awesome!" Anyway... I'm glad Kenny was there this time, and that we got to chit chat with Michael Franti. An awesome mini-honeymoon. Next week we're going to LA for the first time, for a whole week. Hooray!