Dear Jessica

April 8, 2011

I am in love with you.  And since i don’t really know anything about you personally, i guess i am more in love with your music.  In love with your artistic adroitness at expressing the aching emotions of my past with your hauntingly sultry, heart-breaking voice and piercing stare.

The first time i saw you, it was at a concert for the black keys.  You were their opener, playing an outdoor venue on cleveland’s west bank.  The sky looked like a painting that day—colored in deep purples and pinks and glowing yellows and oranges.  As much as i enjoyed hearing the bks, they didn’t leave as memorable an impression and i left craving more of your “languid drawl“.

I’m not one of those crazy fans who follows you around to all your shows.  That’s just not feasible.  Nor have i ever spoken with you, though i imagine i would feel considerably intimidated by your incredible talent, uniqueness and beauty—rare for someone so young—even though i am 10+ years older than you.  I am smitten with your mastery of music, the way you stare into the crowd, seducing us into your dark dream.

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Every year, during the month of March, i get the privilege of working for the Cleveland International Film Festival.  This will be my 10th year as a ticket sales staffer.  I love working the festival and look forward to it every year.  We like to refer to it as camp.  We are reunited with old friends we only get to see once a year and meet new ones who we then look forward to seeing the next year. Once the festival is over, we slip back into our lives, exhausted and smelling like the The Tower City food court.

As a staffer, the festival is like heaven and hell combined.  I always have a great time.  And by Day 11, i never want to see the inside of Tower City again.  Here are some of my thoughts Day 1 vs. Day 11:

Day 1: Yeah, Opening Night!
Day 11: Yeah, Closing Night!

Day 1: These stools remind me to have good posture.
Day 11:  Would someone please get me a frickin’ chair with a back?!!

Day 1: It’s so great having a job where i get to interact with other people.
Day 11: Don’t talk to me!

Day 1: I can’t wait to catch up with everyone.
Day 11: How many times are you going to tell me the same story?  I haven’t seen you for a year and this is all you’ve got?

Day 1: I’m going to bring healthy meals with me to work so i don’t have to spend money and eat gross Tower City food court meals.
Day 11: I’m going to need to detox my body from all those Tower City food court meals i ate.

Day 1: Oooh, Yay, FREE popcorn!
Day 11:  That popcorn smell makes me want to vomit.

Day 1: I can’t wait to check out some eye candy!
Day 11: Why are all the hot guys gay?

Day 1: [Energetically] I love working for the Film Festival!
Day 11: [Exhausted and somewhat delirious]  I had a great time working for the Film Festival.