My friend Tom and I stood outside of the Queen’s Theatre in the West End of London. Tom and I had met on the street in Toronto in 2008. Him and his friends complimented my outfit. No one had ever complimented me before. Especially my clothes. They worked at a really trendy store and were heading to the same show I was going to. Ladytron. They were playing a free show on the Waterfront.
I went to England a couple years later, and Tom and I met up. I stayed at his house for about a week. He worked at another really cool store in London. One time, Bon Jovi’s wife came in and asked for 50 leather jackets. She said “My husband is a big rock star.” I hated Bon Jovi’s wife ever since.
My sister really wanted me to meet Nick Jonas so she could live vicariously through me. She loved the Jonas Brothers. She took me to one of their shows in Toronto once. It was really weird. I felt bad, like she was genuinely having a good time and I put a damper on her enjoyment. I should have danced more.
Nick Jonas was in London because he was playing Marius in Les Misérables. All these teenage girls were hanging about, waiting to catch a glimpse of the youngest Jonas, clutching their cameras so hard their hands were white.
I told a young English girl from Leeds that my little sister in Canada really wanted to meet Nick Jonas and that I was only there for that. I asked if when he came by, after this girl shook his hand or dick or whatever, if she could give me some room to get a picture with him.
This would NEVER happen in any other country but England, because they’re so goddamned polite. “Yes, of course!” the girl replied. The hell?”
When Jonas came out, he wasn’t a trembling little goon. He was a man.
While Tom and I waited, a PhD student studying at University College London, but originally from upstate New York, was conducting a survey. He was doing research. He only told us because we talked with him for a while. He said the survey questions were quite personal, and that we didn’t have to do the survey if we didn’t want to. It asked us about sexually transmitted infections and unprotected sex for the most part. It made me uncomfortable, but it also put my mind in the gutter.
Then I met Nick Jonas.
All the screaming little girls were reaching out and clawing the air. I was behind the two Leeds girls.
“Mr. Jonas?” I said. He immediately turned towards me. My loins ached, I was hot for Nick Jonas. What was happening?
I lost my charisma, and I lost my cool. Tom was standing with me, watching.
“I-is it okay if I get a picture with you for my sister in Canada?”
Jonas, like a modern day James Dean, says to Leeds girls, “Can you let her through?”
His intonation and speech delivery was smooth. It wasn’t rushed, it wasn’t slow.
I finally understood his appeal. But it was different from the goofy persona he constructed for his virginal fans.
Tom took a picture of Jonas and I on his flip phone, and I was so excited. I tried to maintain my cool because it’s not very en vogue to be losing your marbles over a teenage icon. I was 20. I was supposed to be hip and into bands like Hot Chip and The Smiths.
I said “Let’s go” to Tom. I was shaking. I was in some kind of mode that is passed down from our ape ancestors. Spotting your prospective mate mode?
“Can I see the picture?” I said to Tom.
Tom brought up the picture.
“I look like shit. Why do I look like shit in this picture?” I said.
“Your face looks really round.”
Tom was right, I was in an awkward position and Jonas had his angelic face beside mine. I looked like a heathen. A fallible mortal beside an Olympian god.
Tom and I went to this place called Punk in Soho that night. I lost Tom, and some Russians were pouring Belvedere in my mouth in the VIP area. I don’t know.
I left, because drinks are never free and I didn’t want to get skullfucked behind a dumpster by these idiots.
I ended up at Tom’s the next day at 6AM. The final destination had been a a suburb of London at 5AM after falling asleep on a double decker, and a kind Congolese man drove me back to Tom’s while he delivered papers. We spoke French and listened to Congolese music.
I walked up the steps of Tom’s house in Stratford, a borough in East London.
“What happened?” he asked. I filled him in.
“I lost my phone,” he said.
“So you lost the picture of me and Nick Jonas?!”
“Yeah. But we can go back today. He’ll be there.”
We went back to the Queen’s Theatre. Nick Jonas was there, but the kind Leeds girls weren’t there to ease my path through the crowd to the metal gate. The gate of heaven that led me to His Holiness.
For all you know, I could have made this entire story up. And someone has a flip phone with a picture of a girl with a round face and Nick Jonas on it.