July 9, 2006

Heart of Glass

Although born twenty-five years too late, Hart is a punk rocker at heart. He especially adores the rock group Blondie. He worships Debbie Harry. We keep the "Best of Blondie" CD in the car, because it is Hart's favorite. He knows all the songs, and sings along.

Hart has asked me many times if I ever saw Blondie perform. (I did not.) He has also asked many times if he could see the band perform. I have explained that these songs were recorded twenty years ago. Debbie Harry probably doesn't look like her photo on the CDs anymore and she might be a grandmother even, and too old to tour. We have to content ourselves with her recordings.

This summer, when Ravinia Festival announced its season, what do you know? Blondie was the opening act. I immediately ordered tickets. I did not even tell Hart until I had the tickets in hand. It seemed too good to be true. So off we went.

Midway through the concert, I suggested we go close to the stage, so we could see Debbie Harry. We crowded close to the pavilion with the other members of the lawn seat proletariat. We danced. We took turns watching Debbie through our opera glasses. During the encore, Hart blew her kisses. He swears she saw him and blew kisses back. It was an extraordinary evening.

Under the groupie exterior that is Hart lurks a fragile soul. Hart's story is one of great loss: loss of his birth family, his country, his language, then his father (due to divorce) and recently, our geriatric cat. These cumulative losses have created a hole in him that cannot be sealed or filled. Hart constantly feels slighted. He worries that he will not have enough food or toys or money. No amount of love or friends or attention ever seems to be enough for him.

Our evening at Ravinia revealed a different boy. Hart was entirely in the moment. I anticipated complaints about the crowd, our seats, the noise, the bugs. Nothing. Hart even declined ice cream, for fear of missing any of the music. Is it possible that one evening replaced even a tiny bit of what is missing from his heart? I imagine the adult Hart saying, long after I am gone, "As a kid, I loved Blondie. It was my fondest wish to see Blondie in concert. One summer, they performed at Ravinia Festival. And, you know what? My mom took me!"

READ A REVIEW: Atomic Energy of Blondie Rages at Ravinia


Anonymous said...

That was beautiful...brought me to tears. Thanks for sharing such inspiring stories. I really enjoy your blog!

Anonymous said...

I'm spending a delicious afternoon reading your blog. I have found myself laughing outloud, interested and moved. Although I know the blondie story, it was wonderful to read your loving and heartwarming account. Lydia, you really have a wonderful sense of humor and talent for taking that perspective and communicating it. I'm hooked! Ellen