I Wonder if Taylor Swift is a Nice Person…
I know immediately it’s her. She’s exceedingly tall, taller than me, I’m fairly sure. She’s wearing her characteristic red lip stick and a polka dotted red and white dress. She’s standing near the back of a long line at an ice cream stand on the boardwalk with a bunch of band-looking dudes; I assume they’re her band. She’s bopping her head side to side while she talks, like she’s just written a new song in her head and doesn’t want to forget it. I approach her tentatively, “excuse me, Taylor?”
She wheels around from her conversation like this happens 4 times a minute and she’s totally willing to do it even if it’s annoying. “Yeah, hiiiii,” she extends her slender arm and shakes my hand gently, “it’s nice to meet you…?”
“Kevin,” I say, “it’s really great to meet you too! I’m sure this happens constantly and I’m really sorry to bug you, but I was just hoping you might be willing to talk to me for a couple minutes about your music. I run a music blog and I really like Red, and I was ho….”
She cuts me off, “OK so you’re assuring me you don’t hate me right?” I nod and she continues, “oh that’s a relief, you would be amazed at the number of people who approach me very cordially and then tell me that I suck or they think I’m terrible. I even had this one blogger who I let interview me for 15 minutes and he took everything I said out of context and made me look like an idiot. But I’m blathering… sure, we can talk!”
“Great! Wanna join me over there on the railing where it’s a little more quiet?” She looks at me and smiles and then turns to her band mates, who look wary. She puts her hand on the arm of the really-brooding one and nods.
“Sure thing,” she follows me out of the line and we walk across the busy boardwalk to the far railing.
“I’m actually glad you came along,” she says, “I mean I love my band, don’t get me wrong, but it feels like we’ve spent time around no one but each other the last few weeks. So you write about music?”
“Yeah I have a blog where I write about new stuff as it’s coming out, link people to streams, that kind of thing.”
“And you liked Red?”
“To be honest it’s the first one of your records that I’ve really listened to all of. I liked certain singles you’ve released over the last few years, but never really got in to any of the albums.”
She’s very weirdly and very definitely refreshed by my saying this. She shifts her weight back to her heels and then forward in an “aw shucks” motion and then smiles at me as she looks right into my eyes. She’s very good at making eye contact.
“That’s OK. I mean, I’ve always taken myself seriously and considered myself an artist, but it hasn’t been until recently that I’ve started making music I feel actually represents me as a woman and not just as a”, she makes air quotes, “‘child star’ or whatever.”
“Well I think you’ve made that transition pretty well, I mean, you’ve certainly got your detractors, but you’ve even got some of the indie world on board these days.”
“Ah!” she playfully covers her ears, “I’m not supposed to hear these things. If I just assume everybody hates me it usually makes things easier.”
“Why would you assume that?! You’re a very talented,” I stammer momentarily, “very beautiful young woman.”
The transparency of her reactions is very funny. As soon as I’ve said this she drops her chin and her cheeks redden to nearly the same crimson color as her lipstick. “Thank you…” she says, a little embarrassed, a little flirtatious. We stand smiling at each other goofily for a moment, and then I snap out of it.
“Hey I noticed you bopping your head over there, do you have something stuck in your head?”
“Ugh,” she breaths with exasperation, “yeah it’s this song that I started writing today but I can’t figure out exactly how I want it to go…”
“Oooh, can I hear it?” I ask, genuinely hopeful, before adding “maybe I can give you some ideas…”
At this her smile widens and she shakes her head at me in bemusement.
“What?” I say, chuckling.
“You’re just funny,” she says, “I don’t think I’ve ever run in to a stranger who has offered me songwriting help within the first five minutes of meeting me.”
“Well I don’t think I’ve ever met Taylor Swift…” This is going really, really well.
“Well count yourself blessed,” she says, then she adds slyly “yeah, but you have to get in here close because I can’t sing it loud…”
“Because I’m Taylor Swift, Kevin. There are already enough people around here who recognize me, I tend to think if I started singing it could get a little too… congested.”
“Right, yeah, duh,” I slide down the railing a little closer to her and lean in, she leans her head forward and brings her mouth in right next to my ear and begins to sing, “I’ve been walking in to this same conversation. Same smile, same frown… and that’s where I can’t figure out where it should go.” She moves her mouth away from my ear after lingering for a slight extra moment, and again smiles at me.
“Don’t overthink it,” I say after a pause, “how about just”, I sing softly, “Same smile, same frown, same situaaaaation.”
When she hears me sing this, her eyes freeze and her mouth falls open in disbelief. “Oh my God, you’re right,” she says, “that’s super catchy too! I love how you did the,” she perfectly mimics my voice, “‘situaaaaation‘. You’ve got a nice voice too!”
“Wow, you have no idea how great of a compliment I consider that coming from you!”
She smiles and then for a moment she looks into the middle distance as though she’s thinking something over….
“Kevin,” she begins, “do you want to be my boyfriend?’
“Will you be my boyfriend? I think I’m in love with you.”
“You’re… Taylor we’ve known each other for five minutes.”
She blusters and throws her eyes to the ground, sputtering.
“Wait, wait, Taylor…”
“…YEAH?” she stifles a sob through her nose and throat, shooting her gaze back up to my eyes.
“I just… how can you be in love with me? We just, I mean…”
“I’ve been waiting for someone like you Kevin, I’ve known you all my life and we just met, I never saw you coming, and I’ll never be the same…”
“Did you just…? nevermind.”
At this she quickly tears up and plunges her face into her arm at the elbow.
“Taylor I….” she looks back up at me, wounded, “yes, Taylor. I will absolutely be your boyfriend.”
Her eyes lighten and the red corners of her mouth curl back up. She wipes her cheek with the back of her hand. “Really?” she says.
I just met Taylor Swift, and now she’s my girlfriend.