Back in May, Kevin Haggerty asked an intriguing question in a blog post: “If you could talk to the you of 5-10 years ago, what would you say to yourself?” (Both Leanne Shirtliffe and Jessica Buttram wrote a gorgeous letters to their 20-year selves. Kevin later went further back and wrote a letter to his 2-year old self.)
I, of course, had to go in a different direction.
Instead of talking to myself, I decided to write a letter to David Crosby in December of 1967.
In real life, I would have been 1 month old. But for the purposes of this exercise, I am going to ask you to suspend your disbelief and please pretend I am 21 years old. You know, so this doesn’t get any creepier than it already is.
• • •
Hi David. I know that you have this thing for Joni Mitchell and everything, but the thing is that I have been crushing on you for a really long time. When you sing “Guinnevere,” I tremble.
Wait, you might not have written that song yet.
Let me check.
No, you didn’t write it until 1969.
But that’s good.
Because now I’m sure that when you sing about how Guinnevere has “green eyes, like yours / lady, like yours,” I am certain you have always been talking about me.
And when you wrote “Triad,” I know you didn’t really want to have a ménage a trois. You were just restless. You wanted out of the Byrds. You were just pushing the envelope. It was the era. Everyone was all about free love and stuff. I like to push the boundaries, too. Everyone once in a while I like to be naughty. Sometimes I sunbathe topless in my backyard or dance on tabletops in bars.
But that Joni? She’s just going to hurt you, David. She’s going to fool around with Graham Nash and Jackson Browne and a lot of other people, too. Because she’s a hot chick with a cool vibe and a guitar. And she is ambitious, David. She’s like a wild horse: beautiful — but you are not going to get that one to settle down.
I know that there are going to be some tough times for you. Unwelcome events like car wrecks which will leave you wanting to escape. I know you will want to pull away from everyone during these times. That you will seek comfort in needles. And being “Wasted on the Way” might work for a time, but I would follow you into the “Cathedral” and hold you while the demons swirl around us.
I know you love to sail. You have seen “The Southern Cross,” floated all along “The Lee Shore,” and have seen time stop on the “Delta.” I’m a Scorpio, a water sign: the most passionate sign in the horoscope. I love to write the way I imagine you love to compose music. I understand the magic of putting words together, how even cigarette smoke can smell beautiful sometimes – if you lay it down just so.
Oh, David, if you pick me, I would dance for you — the way I have since 1982.
So pick me, David.
Let me be your “Lady of the Island.”
Your “Dark Star.”
I’ll be “Helplessly Hoping” forever.
The last time I saw you perform, you recognized me. You waved, whispered to Graham, and then you dedicated “Guinnevere” to me.
“To the girl in white,” you said.
So I’m telling you, David, that I’ll be at CMAC on June 12th, wearing white – along with my magic beads — like I always do.
And when I smile, you’ll know it’s for you.
Only for you.
If you were going to write a letter to someone famous upon whom you’ve always crushed, to whom would you write? And what would you say?
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