Thirsten and I are backstage waiting to see our favorite band. It is a Saturday night in Toronto, August 21, 1998. I am 26 and Thirsten is 24.
I am sitting on a battered and worn burgundy sofa that has cigarette burns and cuts in corduroy material. It reeks of cigarettes and beer. I am drinking a vodka cooler with a straw that has traces of my red lipstick that is called Groupie. Thirsten is reading a magazine sitting on an antique trunk directly across from me. We are waiting for the lead singer and guitar player of Dark Angel so that I can interview him.
Thirsten looks up from his reading, across the spacious room towards me, and I feel him understand the excitement that brews under my heavily eye lined blue eyes. He knows I am anxious to see Damien Malice. I have waited six years to interview the man I look up to. This is the man that has inspired countless songs and pieces of fiction.
My name is Rose Marie and I was born and raised in Nova Scotia. My place of birth is different from my conception. I was given up for adoption by my biological mother who was very head strong and stifled, living in a city without a lot of chances to improve her life.
My story begins where I believe it should start. The time I moved out of the small town I grew up in to embark on a mission to become a famous singer. Along the way I realized music was not about fame, but about connection and inspiration, and so I begin with the interview of my idol who helped me switch musical genres. Instead of my previous obsession with pop music, I became enthralled and determined to learn every little thing I could about heavy metal, and the lead singer and guitar player of the band, Dark Angel.
Thirsten and I are both writers. We met at a music event where 5 heavy metal bands graced the stage in Toronto. I work for an independent magazine called Scram and Thirsten is an intern at a corporate newspaper. Both of us have had backstage passes to shows and are now waiting in a room that is bare except for a fridge, sofa, some music equipment and odd boxes that lay scattered across the floor.
I have shoulder length blonde hair. Tonight I am wearing a short sleeved, white, fake fur jacket with a tiny tank top underneath. My breasts are free from a bra and my top is gold and sheer. My skirt is short and black and I am wearing knee high boots with a platform heel.
Thirsten is my best friend. He is quiet and sometimes shy, with a book worm upbringing. His parents are both teachers and his father left his family when he was 11. Through the struggles of living with a lone guardian, Thirsten learned the ways of survival dealing with poverty and alcoholism. Though his siblings had not embarked on a career in writing, they grew to be strong and resilient like their mother.
I notice Thirsten becoming aware of a faint noise in the hallway. He takes his ear phone out of his right ear and shuffles uncomfortably to stand up and place his audio material in his back jeans pocket. Both hands are placed in his front pockets to hide nervous gestures. Despite being quite soft spoken, he is very intelligent and also looks like a musician. He has short, dark brown, almost black hair that contrasts and emphasizes light green hazel eyes. Thirsten is a heart breaker and we make perfect companions at music events and concerts. Women and men are always after him and we use each other kindly to keep onlookers at bay when we go out together.
The arrival of the front man for Dark Angel is announced by boots sounding on concrete floor. Long, brown hair moves just a little as he strolls in. His hair looks surprisingly great with his short full beard. Thirsten and I are both filled by his presence as he enters the room.
Damien approaches me first. Though Thirsten is standing, it is me Damien walks up to. I look up at him as he stands above me, all six feet in length, with a frame that resembles a man that has worked in the country. Damien looks down at me with navy blue eyes and I see a slight smile spread across his face. His hand reaches down gracing my arm with calloused fingers. He lingers for a moment, a finger traveling down the inside of my arm, lightly and softly, causing tingles on the right side of my head and slight tremors inside my body. Recognition lights up in his eyes. I cannot help but look down in response, shy and childlike, to hide my face in the inner softness of my arm where he just touched me. When I look up again, I am smiling and my eyes are misting in tears.