Couple of weeks ago I was spending a quiet evening at home, preparing to do some dishes and tidy up the place, when Mick Jagger suddenly dropped by. I'd never met him before and my first thought was, "Wow, what a cool and unassuming person, how warm and friendly and natural - just an ordinary guy!"
I was thinking this about myself. Mick Jagger , of course, is no ordinary guy; he's probably the most famous male sex symbol in the whole world (not to mention a very effective singer and dancer with a real sharpband that plays terrific music). that his presence would ever grace my humble flat was an idea beyond my wildest - well, there are some fantasies that just aren't safe to fool around with. Yet here he was, his face nearly hidden by dullish stringy hair, his body actually quite shorter than one might expect, coming up the stairs, putting one foot in front of the other as I myself have often done: and here I was, unbelievably maintaining my cool, no groupie shrieks, no fanatic genuflections, shaking his hand with just the right manly firmness to avoid disastrous misinterpretations ("What's this? A zealot's clutch? A fairy's kiss? Some dopey rock industry power shake?"), welcoming him hipple brothers under the sun. Frankly, I think I may have overdone it.
The trouble is, it's not easy these days to know how a man should act . . . particularly in front of a famous male sex symbol like Mick Jagger. Plus I had no warning. My friend Annie just brought him by and rang the doorbell. Naturally the place wass a mess, my hair was a mess, my clothes were ridiculos - some dumd T-shirt and a pair of denims spotted with dishwasher. If Annie had phoned even half an hour before arriving, I could have picked out something to wear that Jagger would have liked. Well, actually, it takes me half an hour just to get my hair really right, but if she had phoned an hour before, or let's say two hours, because, of course, shaving takes a good half-hour for a perfect job, by perfect Imean trimming the sideburns end mustache and following your downstrokes with upstrokes, particularly under the chin, and covering the nicks with this special flesh-colored medicinal application (which may look like makeup but Iassure you is for healling purpose only), so that your face ends up totally smooth to the touch . . . anyway, all I'm saying is, if I'd had two hour's warning I could have straightend up. the funny thing is, Jagger looked like he'd been thrown together in five minutes, but, see, he can get away with that: it probably adds to his sex appeal or something.)
Now that I think about it, trying to act natural and relaxed in front of someone like Mick Jagger is probably the most unnatural thing you could do. Of course! That's what I meant by overdoing it. Like, the first thing that happened, I offered Jagger a beer and he said no thanks but did I have any Coke. So I directed him to the refrigerator and made him fetch his own! I mean, how uncouth can you get? If it had been anyone else, any other "friend of a friend." I would've fetched it myself, used a glass and ice and everything, without even thinking aboutit. But for Jagger? Wait on him hand and foot like some mincing little today? Never. (Then it occured to me - oh God, this is so embarrassing! - that probably what he really wanted was cocaine. Sure, he's the king of rock'n'roll; those guys sprinkle it on their breakfast cerea, don't they?)
Likewise, when Jagger later pulled out a cigarette and asked for a light, Mr. Natural here hands him a pack of matches and makes him light it himself. Now, how many times have i lit the cigarettes of total strangers, a panhandler on the street, say, after giving him the cigarette even - just basic good manners, right?
Another problem was conversation. That was a little trickier because, let's be realistic, what was there for Jagger and me to talk about? The only thing we had in common was the weather and our sex, both extremely boring subjects. I could have told him I'd just seen him perform and it was the greatest rock 'n' roll concert I'd ever witnessed. Which was the absolute truth. But he probably hears that cornball from every simpering groupie he meets.
Actually, he probably doesn't. I suspect what usually happens with most common folk is they act pretty much like I did - try to appear super cool and natural while in fact treating him like piece of s -. He must hate that. See, there's somrthing we could've talked about. I could've tried to understand him. Sure, show a little sympathy for the devil. I could've said, like, "Mick, I want you to know I'm really pleased you're here, but frankly, I haven't the foggiest notion of whatto say to you. I bet that happens a lot doesn't it?" And then he'd say,"Yeah, I hate it," and maybe those big, sexy lips of his would quiver a bit and he'd start unloaning on me all his lonely frustration of being a top rock star and we'd become close pals, and he could phone me any time he felt down, and call on me whenever he was in town, and I'd pour him some coke, either in a glass or on his cereal, and light his cigarettes and . . . wait a minute, I hope Jagger doesn't read this, he might think I was gay or something.
See, this sort of weird thing happened when Mick and Annie got up to leave (an understanable decision after half an hour of my cruel, if not unusual, treatment). Annie remarked, not seriously, "Well, I just wanted you to feel this great man's presence." It evening and I think it broke the ice. annie smiled, leaned over and kissed me goodnight. Jaggeer smiled (he's really a very friendly fellow), I leaned over and suddenly had this strong urge to kiss him goodnight - it seemed like the most natural thing. but naturally I didn't do it because straight men don't kiss each other. Straight women do but not straigth men. They may feel like doing it, they may have good reason for doing it, but they're so afraid of homosexuality, or perhaps their own emotions, that they about a screwed-up sex!
Anyway, instead of kissing Jagger I sort of squeezed his elbow a little - a pathetic gesture but at least I maintained my cool until the end. After they left I sat down and thought about these questions. Finally I shrugged, got up and prepared to clean by dusting off Mick's Coke bottle and centering it on the mantepliece. I'm still looking for an appropriate candle to go with it.