Monday, November 28, 2016

Meeting Bruce: The Day I Never Thought Would Happen

Never in my life did I anticipate that I would shake hands, pose for a picture and be greeted by name by Bruce Springsteen. But that's exactly what happened today thanks to his appearance at Books-a-Million in Chicago.

Bruce: Hi, there
Me: Hi, I'm Steve. Nice to meet you
*Pose for picture*
Me: We played "Happy" as our first dance at our wedding
Bruce: Ah, thank you Steve

I waited in line just over 3 1/2 hours for that fleeting exchange. It was well worth it. Many waited longer than me, and in the cold.

In classic Legends of Springsteen fashion, he showed up 30 minutes earlier than advertised and got right to work shaking hands and giving hugs to his fans.

It was a very civilized group, many who had traveled from out of state (Indiana, Michigan and beyond) and embarked in the wee hours of the morning, I heard 4 a.m. departures referenced a few times.

The feeling itself was surreal. I felt compelled to go buy gum before I got to the store. I was envious of the families there together, hopeful that one day my children would be old enough and interested enough to experience something similar with me.

I kept my guard up that at any moment something might go wrong. Perhaps I was tricked by a scam ticket? What if my cell phone suddenly malfunctions? What if I accidentally step out of line or engage in any other general buffoonery? In the end, it was over before I knew it. I stood speechless with my signed book in hand and my photo on my phone, trying to process what had transpired.

It may have been over in the blink of an eye, but I wish every fan could be lucky enough to receive this experience.

And it only happened because of my wife. If she hadn't told me, I wouldn't have known about it. If she hadn't encouraged me, I wouldn't have gone.