Not long ago, I met a writer I really admire. She spoke at a small-town meet-the-author event, which gave me the opportunity to go up and talk to her. I pretended I wasn’t fan-girling out like crazy, and tried to treat her like a real human being who just happened to have written some books I love. I don’t think I succeeded all that well, especially when I thrust a book in her face to sign and told her how ardently I admired her.
Not sure what I expected her to say to that. It’s hardly a normal start to a conversation, or the beginning of the beautiful friendship for which I was so subtly angling.
But it was better than the time I met Bono.
Yes, Bono. International mega-star Bono from U2. That Bono.
Actually, I met the whole band, but such was my infatuation with Bono that the others faded into the background. Even Larry, and he’s pretty hot.
It was 1993 and U2 brought their Zoo TV tour to Sydney. A friend of mine was tipped off about a reception being held for the band by the NSW premier, in the since-demolished State Office Block. The boys would be pulling up at the front door that evening, and hardly anyone knew.
I raced up the few blocks to the venue, sweating in the summer heat and also with feverish excitement. I’d grabbed the enormous, heavy camera I used at work, which happened to be filled with slow, black and white film. It was just me, my friend and a handful of other lucky stalkers/fans.
Before long, two limos pulled up literally right in front of me. Larry and Adam emerged from the first one, Bono and The Edge stepped from the second.
Bono was about a metre away from me – a gaping, speechless girl with a massive camera and trembling hands.
“Hello there,” he said.
“H-h-h-i-i-i,” I croaked.
And that was it. I tried to take a photo as he walked away but my hands shook so much that the pictures came out a grey blur.
I’ve kicked myself ever since. In the choice between lost opportunity and exuberant enthusiasm, I pick the latter. And bugger the embarrassment, to both of us.