When I was 21, Alex and I went to the Bon Jovi concert that happened in the Cape Town stadium. I had prepared for it for the month before we went by spending every library study session with Bon Jovi blaring or crooning in my headphones. I can see myself, sitting along the long bench on the first floor of the university library, my laptop on my lap, a pile of books on one side, and my folder of Very Important Notes on the other, as I hammered out a history essay or made some (astounding to me) connection between the way one character spoke and the author’s take on the global economy or something. Alternatively, I was sending out ballroom society emails, finalising the previous evening’s minutes and ensuring we had the booking in place for the week’s ballroom classes.
The Bon Jovi concert happened a week before my twenty-first birthday, and I celebrated it with a big party in my parents’ garden (under a marquee, because Capetonian May could rain about as much as Mancunian July). The theme was Starry Starry Night, and my dear friends came as artists, art works, Doctor Who characters. It’s really weird to think that at that stage, I hadn’t yet become such firm friends with some of my dearest friends.
Drive all night, just to get back home
I’m a cowboy
On the steel horse I ride
And I’m wanted
Dead or alive
This song is quite an anthem of loneliness, of singularity and a journey to places “where the faces are so cold”, or “the people I meet always go their separate ways”. But listening to it, I’m taken back to a time when I was surrounded by loved ones, and I thought I was pretty invincible. Since then, well, I’ve learned that calling yourself invincible is quite a way to have proved to you that you’re actually pretty… vincible? But, the thing is, I’m not a lonely cowboy heading off into the distance on the steel horse I ride. I don’t have the steel horse, for one, and I have an incredible bunch of people surrounding me from afar or from less far, who send me encouraging messages, call me to talk about supper plans (in a different city), send me webcomics, or tell me I’m just the right kind of crazy.
Lightning blog 43.
But, also, I’ve just discovered that he’s released a new song: