“Jive sucks.” HushCoolCat stared at the words in her Hillroy notebook, crossed them out and wrote instead, “JIVE REALLY SUCKS!” She threw her pen down on the table and picked up her Fan Pack box.
David Archuleta’s angelic face stared at her from the top of the memory box. A memory box? The only memory this would ever twig was the gazillion bucks in postage and handling she’d paid for the express delivery of her Deluxe CD (which she’d already downloaded from iTunes) and special friendship bracelet. A friendship bracelet — like she was 6.
HushCoolCat was young but not that young. She’d never been into boy bands or putting posters in her locker or teen magazines — even when she was a teen. She loved music — good music. Music that made her feel something, spoke to her, reminded her she wasn’t alone, made her dance around the room like a nutcase or cry herself to sleep from the sheer beauty of it.
David’s music did that. So why did his website send her emails about “daydreams” and hold contests for “fan fiction.”
She knew why. For his super young fans. The ones who looked up to him — or wanted to marry him — and could sure learn a lot from him.
She slipped the bracelet around her wrist and smiled. “The Other Side of Down” — maybe she’d wear it ironically … like her “Nietsche is Peachy” T-shirt.
Hush grabbed her paper again — if they wanted to hear from fans, fine. They’d hear from her. She’d let them know David has fans of all shapes and sizes and colours, all ages and walks of life — students, doctors, mail carriers — she knew because she’d met them. Online and at shows. So many amazing shows.
At first, this fan life seemed crazy, even to her. Obsessing over a singer, any singer was totally out of character. She’d never even asked for an autograph before — never gone further than downtown for any concert.
She had her favourite bands but never paid attention to their album sales or cared if they were on the radio or not. The coolest bands were never on the radio anyway — they made real music not middle-of-the-road formula fluff. So why care now? Why care so much? Why him? Why me, she wondered? It was like she had no choice — like this path had chosen her.
She pulled the CD out of the memory box and looked at the song titles: “Complain” — no, I can’t complain, she smiled, the song drifting through her head, “‘Cause I don’t always get everything I wanted, doesn’t turn out just the way I thought it all should be … Baby, I can’t complain.”
Then snippets of other songs ran on a loop:
“I might get tossed around but I’m always bouncin’ back.”
“Paint it over if your world is grey.”
“Things are gonna get better” — yes they are, she said aloud, thinking back to the amazing Angels video she’d just watched, the one that filled her with love and pure light.
“You find it, you hold it, you feel its grace …” It is a good place.
She set down the CD. Was that why all this was happening? Because David’s going to need us?
Because his label’s left him high and dry promotion-wise, as have the radio stations who fill their promotional concerts with his fans and then don’t play his music? Because the road ahead may be a long, bumpy one and we can help with refuelling and battery recharging?
She shook her head, chuckling at her desperate attempt to rationalize countless hours spent stalking his Twitter feed.
But it is true that we’re not going anywhere, she reminded herself. And neither is David. And surely he’ll gain an even bigger following over time — maybe not overnight like that kid with the hair, but slowly and steadily. Between his own genius talent and work ethic and the support of his fan base, he’ll continue to create the music he loves, the music he was born to make.
Hush picked up the pen, crumpled the page she’d scribbled on, and pulled out a fresh one.
“Dear David,” she began, “We love you.” It felt good to see it spelled out like that on paper. “We believe in you and are behind you every step of the way. You make this world a brighter place, a better place. Thank you for the joy you bring to each and every one of your fans — including me. Thank you for having the courage to be yourself — always. For being true to you. True to us. … you’d better make room on that backpack for a lot more bracelets because we’re not going anywhere. That’s not fiction, David. That’s a fact.”