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[April, 1996] Unexpected Reunion

[Two important things to know going into this post:

1. I was deep into the goth scene and frequented a club called The Bank.

2. I nearly appeared on a talk show to reveal my secret crush on Nathan, who worked in a record store I frequented. It never happened, but I told him it was me, anyway.]

[Not a photo of The Bank, which was much darker, more crowded, and grungier.]

April 28, 1996

Went to The Bank last night.

[…Inconsequential stuff about logistics and getting there in time for Switchblade Symphony…]

Then I saw someone about 6 or 8 feet away who looked like Nathan. I kept looking over (and noticed him glancing in my general direction as well) until I realized it was Nathan.

He was with some people, but in any case I decided I would stay right where I was. Less than a minute later he came over and started asking me, “Are you Damiella?”

I gave an affirmative reply and greeted him smilingly (he looked better than I ever remember). He said hi (happily as well) and hugged me (yes hugged me and yes I enjoyed the hug).

I said, “I can’t believe you recognized me with this make-up on” (I had the 3 spikes drawn under each eye). He replied “you look good” in an appreciative voice.

He said that he thought I misunderstood what he said in the store that day (when I confessed) and that when he said it was unfortunate he meant that if he didn’t have someone he was already happy with, he would have done it and that it probably would have been fun.

I got to meet the girlfriend, too (don’t remember her name, must’ve blocked it out). She glared at me and Nathan had to take her hand and put it in mine before she would shake it.

[I still remember this so vividly. I have never been introduced to someone who showed me this much outward hostility before and actually refused to shake my hand. For the record, I had no idea Nathan was in a relationship when I called the talk show, and never would’ve done so if I knew he was. So this girl’s frigid attitude was a bit extreme.]

I always thought if he wanted to get in touch with me he could call or write. Turns out there was a fire in his apartment. I asked the all-important question: was much of your Cure stuff ruined? He said the firemen messed up some of his magazines with the water.

[Nathan is a bigger Cure fan than all of us.]

[Nathan is a bigger Cure fan than all of us.]

So we were chatting about the Cure and he mentioned something about the “Staring at the Sea” video. I said I didn’t have it and he looked at me in disbelief and semi-jokingly asked, “What kind of Cure fan are you?”

Then he started going on about how maybe he could bring it over because he hasn’t seen it in over two or three years and I said, “sure” (though we never made any actual plans nor did we exchange numbers—which is ok, I’ll just call him at work or something).

As for Switchblade Symphony, they were quite good. Tina Root (lead singer) was so smashed but sang well so it only lended a bit of humor to the show.

Another part of the story—I met his sister. Turns out she’s a girl I have regularly seen at The Bank. We talked for about a minute and then I didn’t see her (she left temporarily). But hopefully I’ll see her there again and we’ll be able to chat.

As for Nathan himself, he gave me another hug before leaving and I told him I’d stop by the store.

When I went he wasn’t there (on Monday) so I called him at work and he gave me his number (he’s staying with his parents for the time being). I’ll wait until Thursday to call, not that I’m playing games, I just don’t want to annoy him.

You never forget your first love, or the first guy you tried to bring on the Sally Jesse Raphael show to reveal your secret crush to. It was actually good to run into him at the Bank, because I had only ever seen him on his turf (the record store) whereas I considered the goth club more my turf. And I always made sure to look my spooky best, so I felt more confident than I would have in my day clothes. And it seemed like Nathan noticed, too. Of course, the pesky girlfriend was still around, but you can’t have everything.

I guess it makes sense. Things didn’t work out with Bradley, so it was logical for me to revert to an earlier obsession. And since we bonded over music, I was happy to even embark on any sort of friendship with Nathan. I mean, the whole talk show thing could have been a huge embarrassment, but the fact that he took it in stride and still wanted to get to know me was a great sign—other guys might have taken out a restraining order against me by that point. My attraction to him was always more about his lively and humorous personality than his looks anyway, so I’d be fine with just being friends. Right?

[December, 1995] Secret Crushes Revealed! Part 1

12/7/95

I really, desperately, need to be studying for my Calculus Test tomorrow, but these past few days have been so so strange…

Oh Sally... oh, über-90's-looking velvet choker...

Oh Sally… oh, über-90’s-looking velvet choker…

It was probably more than a month ago that I called the Sally Jesse Raphael Show (the topic was revealing secret crushes). I left my name and number and pretty much forgot about it.

On Monday they called me back. I spoke with one of the producers and told him the Nathan story. He loved it, especially the part about how at first I didn’t find him at all attractive, but as I kept seeing how sweet he was, I liked him more and more. I asked what my chances were and Mr. Laurie said “pretty good” (for being on the show). I gave him the number to Record Rabbit and the next day Mr. Laurie called back (in the morning I was at school) and spoke to my father. He asked my dad if he wanted to attend the taping of the show and he said “of course” (not even knowing or asking what the topic was). Later that night I don’t him he couldn’t go, but assumed (since I came home too late to speak with him) that I’d be on the show.

I finally got through at about 3:30 the next afternoon and was told Nathan was so excited. That he asked “who is it?” and “what does she look like?” (Duh—of course they couldn’t tell him). So it was on.

I gave my address (a car would be picking me & Anita up) and was told to call the next morning to confirm everything.

Just before Anita and I left the Village, I called home and Dad told me the show (my being on it) was “in jeopardy.” 

Oy vey, where do I even begin? 

For one thing, it should be obvious that I watched way too many talk shows back in the day. Ricki Lake, Jenny Jones, Maury Povich, Montel Williams… I wasn’t even above watching Jerry Springer from time to time. It depended more on the topic than the host, though Jerry really was did go over the top more than the others and there were only so many times I could see dumb girls yelling at each other over an even dumber guy and trying to pull each other’s cheap extensions out. The other shows usually attempted to have at least a teeny tiny grain of integrity and once in a while actually were actually helpful, like finding runaway kids or showcasing drug and alcohol horror stories to show the nefarious power of addition. 

My favorites were episodes involving makeovers, reuniting lost loves, and of course revealing secret crushes. Sick days and long weekends—when I could binge on a full day of watching those trashy shows—were the best. I mean, I knew it was brain junk food and I tried to balance it out by watching foreign/indie films and reading tons of books and [insert pretentious activity here] but I won’t deny my deep and utter fixation on talk shows for a period of my teenage life. It’s probably why I don’t watch most reality TV today: between those shows and MTV’s The Real World, I got my fill of that “real life” drama back in the ’90s.

After asking out a couple of (popular—what the hell was I thinking?) guys (with no success) I guess I was building up too much of a healthy ego and felt the need to up the ante when it came to rejection. Why get turned down in private by a guy you like when you could do so in front of a studio audience?

I had no illusions that Nathan saw me in a romantic light, but here’s the great thing about those particular shows: if the person revealing their crush was turned down, they always got an enormous amount of sympathy from the studio audience and host for their honesty and stupidity bravery. Always. So I figured, I might not win the object of my (inflated and unrealistic) affection, but I did have a shot of getting some heartfelt “awwwwws” from the crowd and Sally Jesse herself. The whole embarrassing-myself-on-national-television aspect never really factored into it.