Don't Rely on Rock Stars

Rock stars. I’d never met any until March of 2000. A lot of people will never meet one. The feeling you get when you’re in their presence is intangible. They seem so large and all-powerful. Your knees feel weak and you shake inside. You search for the right line, the line that will get you past the red tape. If you’ve found that line, that secret password, you’re in. You’re the one in ten thousand. Are you lucky? Maybe.

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I’ve been waiting for his call day and night. I haven’t gone out with my friends in three weeks. I think they’re finally beginning to wonder. I didn’t tell them what happened, I didn’t think they’d believe me. I barely believe me! The only one who knows about all this is my best friend, but she doesn’t even live near here. Her name is Mariah. She’s the only one who I can really trust. I called her as soon as I got home that night. She was so excited for me, we were both anticipated his call. He had to call, especially after what happened. We were so sure of it. But he never did. I know that the normal crazy Hanson fan would be happy just to get half as close as I did, and yeah, I was ecstatic. However the feeling has worn off. It’s turned into a strange kind of quest to find meaning and a purpose in what happened to me. I feel alone. I wish I could just drive out to see Mariah and cry my eyes out. I want her to hold and comfort me. She’d call me Crazy Car Carma to make me laugh and make green tea to ease my soar throat like how she used to when we lived next door to eachother.

Ever since Hanson has been ‘Hanson’, I’ve been a huge fan. Unfortunately, my parents were unwilling to realize my craze and intense feelings as something real for the three Tulsa boys and they made it nearly impossible for me to ever see them. I tried to see them in concert or meet them, trust me, I did. Only this year, at the ripe age of 16 did I get past their trap. I wrote my own dismissal note from school, forging daddy’s Hancock. I told no one of my plan besides my friend Joe. Joe is a freshman in college and he came to pick me up from school at 12:30 to take me to the train station. I changed out of my school clothes in the car. I slipped on tight black pants and black leather boots. I wore a shiny red tank top that allowed me to pop out the top. I wanted to look good, it was my first time ever seeing Hanson and I wanted to be noticed. I felt prepared to use all the sex appeal I had, to get into the mtv taping and maybe more, who knew it would work so well. As soon as I got to the TRL studio in NYC I called Joe from my cell phone to let him know I made it and to keep his mouth shut if my parents questioned him. I saw a line of girls, ironically, all dressed in red, lined up by the 1515 MTV studios. There was a heavy man dressed in all black checking their names off on a list. I looked to the outside mob and to the line and decided to take my chances with the heavy man and the line. Within a few minutes the heavy man came to me to ask my name. “Carmelle Ryan.” I tried to say as confidently as possible.

“You’re not on my list here, Carmelle,” Heavy man replied, double checking his list. Damn...what to do? I had to get in!

“Really? Well....” I tilted my head slightly and licked the top of my upper lip, “I do fit in, I’m in red too, you see.” I opened my jacket to reveal my red, promiscuous top. I’m really not promiscuos at all, but I was getting used to the act.

“That’s true, but honey, I can’t let you up, you’re not on my list,” Heavy man seemed to be pleading with me... I sensed him softening up a bit.

“Oh, I, I, but, I’ve just come so far, and I’ve,” I look down to the ground trying to force a tear, “I’ve never seen them before. Couldn’t you help me?” I look up gently at him with big eyes beseeching for him to soften up completely to me and give in. He gave a sigh, and told me he’d be right back. He walked up to the front of the line. He talked with his other two male coworkers, or whatever you may call them. I felt their eyes upon me as I tried my hardest to keep a convincing look on my face. I had to meet Hanson! It had been so long that I’d loved them. I was sick of just dreaming about meeting them, I wanted to be with them, to really meet them. Besides, my parents were going to kill me when I got home so I wanted this to be worth it. I saw heavy man elbow his friend and they laughed for about a second before heavy man came walking back to where I stood.

“Listen,” He said, “I can’t get you up for the taping, I don’t want to get in trouble, only a certain number of girls can be in that room, my boss is going to be counting.”

“Oh,” I let my lips fall with my eyes. I was so disappointed. It really looked like they were going to let me come up. I didn’t want to be in the crowd! Hanson, and my dream, Taylor Hanson, would never know I existed. That was really all I wanted, Taylor. Of course, so did every other girl.. I began to lose my confidence. They all wanted Hanson. They all wanted Taylor. As hard as I tried to be sexy and convince these men that I was different, that I’d never seen Hanson before, they wouldn’t care. I’m nothing but a pathetic, angelical, virgin sixteen year old who was clueless as to how the world worked or how to get what I wanted. So close, but I must have screwed up somewhere?

“But,” he started. But??? There’s a but!! My sulky lack of confidence momentarily vanished as I lit up in hope. I looked directly into his eyes, searching for the words that were to come. “Come with me, I’ll let you have a minute before taping, ok?”

“Really!” My face beamed, “Thank you!” Oh wow. This was worth it!! Was I going to meet them? Well at least I’d be able to say I got into the studio! I followed him into the building and up the stairs, around the corner and into the studio. He told me to wait there for a minute and he went into a side room. I was tempted to go up to the window to see all the Hanson fans outside, or to touch the floating TVs, but I dared not move. I stood still, anticipating the return of that dear heavy man!

He walked out of the room and motioned for me to come over to where he was standing. He opened the door for me, and there they were.... I saw them, and I knew my eyes lit up brighter than the sun. “Hanson, this is Carmelle,” Heavy man smiled as he shut the door leaving me with Hanson! I froze, I didn’t know what to say, it came so quickly, this was better than being in a studio full of girls and Hanson, I was in a room with only Hanson!!

“Hey Carmelle,” Isaac said which awoke me from my state of frozeness.

“Hey,” Zac repeated and got up to shake my hand.

Then Taylor looked up, “hi.” He said.

“Wow, hey, I kinda can’t believe I’m up here with you guys,” I couldn’t think of much to say, “It’s nice to meet you.” I shook all of their hands and when I got to Taylor he told me to sit next to him. WOW. I wanted to call Mariah at that moment just to tell her how gorgeous Taylor looked. Then I thought, hey, why not? “Mind if I make a quick call?” I asked. They told me to go ahead. I gave Mariah a buzz, she wasn’t home, but I left a message on her machine. “Hey Mariah, I wish you were home, because I’m sitting next to Hanson right now and they wanted to say hi to you” Then the guys all said their “HEY MARIAHS!” and Zac even gave a little tune of “Mariah she's on fire” before I hung up.

“So where are you from?” Isaac asked.

“Princeton,” I replied.

“Oh yeah? I thought about going there,” He replied.

“Sure you did Ike!” Zac mocked. Isaac gave him a nasty look.

“Oh, you go to college now?” I asked.

“Well, I audited a few classes up in Boston at a small catholic school.”

“That’s good,” was my brilliant response, “So I heard that you have John Popper and Johnny Lang on your new cd?”

“Yeah, yeah, it was really cool, we gave them a call and they both really wanted to help out. They’re both cool guys,” Zac told me.

“Yeah, it must be great being able to meet so many people who have probably been some of your inspirations,” I began to get really interested.

“Definitely. We love going to concerts and seeing what's up with other music groups!” Isaac said.

“We’ve met a lot of really cool groups,” Taylor finally spoke, “Grateful Dead, Fastball, Aerosmith....”

“I love Aerosmith,” I interrupted.

“Yeah, they’re amazing!” Isaac broke in.

“I’m part of their fan club, they sent me this pin...I take it everywhere with me for good luck.” I reach into my purse to find it, but I can’t seem to, “I know it’s in here...” I’m getting a little nervous now so I spilled my bag contents onto my lap, “Here it is.” I handed it to Taylor.

“That’s pretty cool, I guess it is good luck, I mean, I don’t know how you managed to get up here.” Taylor said, I wondered if he meant something else by that...

“I don’t know...must have been luck, I guess,” I replied.

Taylor looked me up and down in a way that made me really nervous and said, “maybe.”

Zac reached over and took my camera which was still on my lap with the rest of the contents from my bag, “Yeah! Pictures!” He took one of himself, then took one of Isaac sitting next to him and one of me and Taylor. Taylor put his arm around me in the picture and I really thought life couldn’t get any better, but then after the picture, Taylor didn’t move his arm! I could’ve kissed Zac for taking out the camera.

Just as I was getting comfortable again with Hanson and with Taylor’s arm around my shoulders, Heavy man came to the door.

“Okay, we’re taping in 20 minutes, you boys need to go to make up and I can escort you outside, ok Carmelle?” Heavy man rained in on my party.

“Ok-” I started, but was interrupted by Taylor.

“Nah that’s okay Nat,” I guess Nat was Heavy Man...”Carmelle can wait in here if she’d like, there’s quite a crowd outside...” Taylor said. Oh my GOD! I looked to Nat to see his reaction.

“Well, all right, that is, if you don’t mind waiting in here for 2 hours Carmelle.” Nat said to me.

“Um, no, I don’t mind, that would be great,” I replied willingly.

“There’s a TV, she can watch the show from here,” Taylor suggested. Isaac and Zac went off to makeup and waved to me. Taylor followed and Nat left as well. I was alone, and totally ecstatic! A minute later Taylor came jogging back in the room.

“I forgot to tell you where the remote was!” Taylor said to me. He crouched down on the ground by my feet and looked under the couch, “I remember dropping it around here...”

“Do you need me to get up?” I asked.

“No that’s okay,” He said then leaned his head in toward me as he reached in between the couch cushions for the remote which he got, “Here ya go-” he placed them in my hand. Still sitting on the ground by feet he looked up to me, smiled, and said he’d see me later. He slowly crawled up from his position, once again checking me out in that lusty, uncomfortable way. He paused when his face was an inch from mine. I froze again and just looked right back at him. He moved his face the inch closer and kissed my bottom lip, I also felt his hand land on my inner thigh. This only lasted for two seconds before he got up and just left! I REALLY wanted to call Mariah back now, but I didn’t want anyone to hear me say what happened. It was great, but kinda weird too. Something seemed a little disingenuous about his kiss, but I ignored it and flipped the TV on.

You can’t possibly imagine all the thoughts that were running through my head from the moment Taylor left me in the room until when they finally came back around 5:15 PM. I was worried about what my parents would think. I decided it was too late for them to stop me now so at 5 PM I called home and left a message on the answering machine. I told them not to worry because I was fine, I was in New York and I had met Hanson. I said I would be home late, but that as our rule goes, no matter how late I am, I’ll go to school in the morning. I felt a little better after phoning them... at least now I knew they wouldn’t be calling all my friends for answers, even though none of my friends would have answers besides Joe and Mariah. I began now to prep for their return, I combed my black hair and let it go free against my pale skin. It wasn’t naturally black, I’d dyed it from it’s dark brown color to black because I liked the way it contrasted with my light skin. I reapplied my lipstick as well, which matched nicely with my red shirt as I sat and waited for what I knew wouldn’t be much longer since they weren’t on the air anymore.

“Hey there,” Taylor’s voice surprised me. I stood up to greet him.

“Nice show,” I commented.

“Thanks,” He said, “Well, uh, we’re going to go back to our hotel soon, there will probably be some fans out there, so it would be best if you didn’t go in at the same time we did.” Woah...hotel? Hanson’s hotel? This was too much, however I acted nonchalany and pretended like it was no big deal.

“Ok, cool. So what do you want me to do?” I asked. Taylor gave me a sly smile which left me a bit perplexed before he responded.

“Go now with Rod,” Taylor said, “I’ll introduce you, he’s part of our crew and he’s going back now.”

“All right,” I followed Taylor into a narrow hallway. This was so weird! I was going back to Hanson’s hotel?!? Crazy!

“Rod, this is Carmelle. She’s going to go back with you to the hotel, let her into my room, ok?” Taylor spoke to Rob then to me, “I won’t be long,” he tapped my shoulder then ran his hand down my back and let it fall past my butt. I really liked it, but I couldn’t help from feel a little dirty, I mean, I really didn’t know Taylor well and he wanted me in his hotel room? I can’t lie, I knew he had something sexual in mind, and no doubt I wanted it too. The anticipation killed though. I longed to know what would happen next.

I went with Rod into the parking garage below and into a black Lincoln towncar with black tinted windows. The ride to the hotel was pretty short, but seemed longer because Rod didn’t speak to me. He stared at me which irked me. When we arrived at the hotel, there were about 20 girls waiting outside the steps. They peered into the car trying to see, I suppose, if I was Hanson. The driver opened the door for us and I followed Rod up the steps and in the grand doors while all these girls watched intensely. I have to admit, it wasn’t such a bad feeling. I felt like royalty!

I couldn’t believe how lavish their hotel was! Everything was bright, shining gold! Rod took me up the elevator to the 7th floor where their rooms were. He put the key in the door and said “this is Taylor’s room. Wait here. I’m in 742 if you have a problem. Don’t leave the room though, call.” I thanked him and with that he was gone and there I was in Taylor Hanson’s hotel room. This had to be any Hanson fan’s dream. I couldn’t help but snap a picture. On the floor was a pile of opened gifts. I decided to look to see what they were. They were birthday presents for him from fans. There were tons of cards, some flower bouquets that were just laying on the floor dying for some water and attention. I looked for something to put them in, but couldn’t find anything so I called the main desk and had them bring up a vase. I was surprised to see how quick they came with a beautifully crafted glass vase. I saved the flowers and I continued to snoop... One girl had given Taylor a photo album, with pictures of her and her friends and their Hanson stuff. It was kinda funny, but cute. Another girl sent a white beater. I don’t know why she would do that. It was nice, but in a size small, I really doubted that would fit him! The most outrageous was a necklace that one girl had sent... it was creative, but I don’t think there was ANY way Taylor would wear it. It made me giggle. The note read “I have a picture of you around my neck, so here is a picture of me strung on a necklace for you to wear.” It was a ridiculously large pendant with her photo in it. She appeared to be around 15 years old and was a little bit overweight. I put everything back and sat on Taylor’s bed. It was so comfortable. I didn’t realize until the moment I sat down how exhausted I was. I took my boots off and placed them neatly by the side of his bed and curled up in a ball. I immediately fell asleep.

Some time later I was awaken by Taylor’s hand brushing the hair from my face. I opened my eyes and smiled at him, he smiled back at me as if we’d known each other for years.

“You’re beautiful,” Taylor said to me.

Still a bit sleepy and very giddy, I replied, “So are you.”

Taylor laughed a little and then began kissing me. Not a little kiss like he had in the studio, but long involved kisses. This definitely woke me up. His kisses became more intense by the second, they were so good. I was sure I was dreaming. My wonderful dream slipped into reality soon because less than 5 minutes after we had started making out, Taylor had taken off both my shirt and his own. This was unreal. Taylor Hanson was USING ME! This was something I’d dreamed of a few times, but never did I imagine it to be a reality. I let things flow for a while. That is, until we were both fully undressed and under the covers. He asked me if I was a virgin, when I said yes, he seemed a bit shocked, but replied that he was also. I don’t know why I believed him, because he was lying. He told me he couldn’t believe how well we clicked and told me again how beautiful I was. He said he wanted to be as close to me as was humanly possible. He said he wanted me to be the one. At that moment before penetration, Taylor Hanson even asked me to be his girlfriend. It felt right. He was my boyfriend now and the most gorgeous guy I’d ever met. I let him continue and so it happened. I lost my virginity to Taylor Hanson. It hurt pretty badly though I didn’t bleed. After the deed was done he left me there and he went to the bathroom. He came back 10 minutes later fully clothed. I was surprised by everything that had just happened, not only because I was his girlfriend and we had just had sex, but because I didn’t expect him to be so good... especially since it was his first time, supposedly. I guess I also thought he would want to lay there with me for a while or talk with me, I felt awkward still being naked and I asked him to hand me my clothes.

“Are you leaving now?” He asked. I wasn’t really planning on it but I guessed I should be getting home.

“Would that be best?” I asked.

“Probably, I don’t want my parents to find out, plus it is getting late,” He said.

I dressed as he watched which was also awkward as anything.

“What’s your phone number?” He asked.

I gave it to him and asked for his, he said he didn’t have one because they were always on the road and he couldn’t remember his cell phone number. He told me not to worry because he’d call me the next night. He kissed me goodbye and I took a cab back to the train station. On the 9:05 train home I called Joe to ask him to come and get me. I also called home. My parents were a little bit angry with me, but didn’t seem to care all that much. They told me we would talk when I got home. I called Mariah and we finally got to speak. She flipped out when I called her, she couldn't believe I had met them. I couldn’t hold back the complete story either. I told her the whole thing. Sweet Mariah, she believed me, I knew she would and she shared in my excitement. I was his girlfriend!

It wasn’t until 2 weeks later when my excitement dwindled and I failed to believe Taylor would ever call. For the first week I had just expected that he was too busy. But two weeks? He said he would call the next night and he never did. Maybe he didn’t give me his phone number because he just never wanted to talk to me again? But why? WHY DID HE CALL ME HIS GIRLFRIEND? I was so angry and confused. I cried every night after the two week realization. Finally I got a little relief. 3 weeks and 2 days after my Hanson experience Mariah showed up at my door. I hadn’t seen her in months and I couldn’t believe she came to surprise me! I actually smiled again. She drove 400 miles just to spend the weekend with me.

We sat on my floor and she just let me cry and talk to her about everything on my mind. It felt so good to talk to someone in person. I felt so awful about myself. What was once a dream became a reality and not exactly the reality that I had hoped. All went well until the end, but I was used. Being used doesn’t feel good, even if it is the most gorgeous guy on earth. Taylor never called me, so on my single side of the relationship, I ended it. I told my parents I needed counseling and they were actually supportive of me. My social worker has helped me through a lot, and so have my constant talks with Mariah. It took months for me to come to terms with everything and trust. I now have a new boyfriend whose totally sweet. His name is Tom and he gave me his phone number before we ever touched! Do I regret the whole thing? I can’t really say for sure. I was proud of myself for actually getting out into the world, using my own two feet and getting somewhere. I am happy to have met Hanson, and I still enjoy their music. I regret letting Taylor use me the way he did. I regret being so naieve and letting my new found sexual confidence get out of hand. I learned a lot through the experience...the regular cliche, watch what you wish for, but more importantly, don’t give something to a stranger that you can never have back. Be sure the person appreciates all of you before you give it away for good. And of course, don’t rely on a rock star.