You played a concert at the Arlington Theatre in Santa Barbara last year at the end of October. I wasn’t really familiar with your music at that time – and to be honest, what I did know of it, I hadn’t come to appreciate quite yet.
But you brought a guy to Santa Barbara that weekend, and I’ll forever be indebted to your musical genius because of it. The guy you brought to Santa Barbara went on a date with me the night before your concert. That date turned into text messages, and text messages turned into text conversations, and text conversations turned into another coffee date in the city of Oakland. A few months after that date, I gathered the courage to pick up the phone and call this guy and say the words “I like you.”
Our story started a few months before you came to Santa Barbara when a band called My Morning Jacket performed at the SB Bowl, bringing with it this handsome guy. He came to the park on the Sunday afternoon before the concert and we struck up a conversation (okay, I confess. One of my best friends told me about this guy, so I was intentional about talking to him. But I digress…) Next thing I know, I’m saying: “set me up on a date with him when he comes to see Sufjan”. She texted me a few weeks later and said “you’re going on a date next Friday. Where do you want to go?”
Let’s be honest here: I freaked out about that text message. A date?! Me? What?! NO. My confidence dissipated quickly. Somehow I got it together and went to that bar. I ordered a Moscow Mule. We talked for close to three hours.
This guy loves music more than anyone I know. So, getting to have your concert as part of our story is quite fitting. It’s also the reason I got up the courage to ask to be set up on that date. You’re a creative artist, Sufjan. And the creativity isn’t just in the music – it’s also in the stories that are being created around it.
Sufjan, thanks for coming to my city. When I tell people how I met this man, I almost always mention you. Thanks for coming to my city and convincing this guy that I’ve had a crush on for months now to come and meet me in a bar on Figueroa Street. Thanks for being the reason he was coming back so I had to ask to get set up on that date. Thanks for being part of the start of something incredibly special.
P.S. I forgot to mention – I do enjoy your music now. I played some of the Age of Adz today and one of my favorite Christmas songs to play when December rolls around is “Christmas in the Room”. Perhaps it’s a mix of nostalgia when I listen to it – knowing how special you are to my friends, and to this guy I now get to call my boyfriend. Thanks for expressing so much emotion and meaning in your lyrics. Thanks for creating this art.