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Your Fantasies
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"LEAVE YOUR FANTASIES ALONE"

Confess. How many of us dwell in our fantasies and say, "oh, if I could just, if only I did, what if I went ahead and did it, etc. etc. etc." while we think of an imagined lover, tryst or clandestine meeting? It's a relief no one can hear our thoughts! Can you imagine if our thoughts could be heard in the middle of a church sermon, or during the third act of a somber play, or maybe in the midst of a Thanksgiving dinner?

Well, I fantasize now as I've fantasized many times before. Sometimes I fantasize within an old fantasy when I cannot think of a new one. The only difference is that now I'm smart enough to leave my fantasies alone. When I was younger and more adventurous I considered my fantasies my major goals. How did I feel when fantasy became a reality? I FELT CHEATED! Yes, I felt cheated and you want to know why? It's because the reality just cannot match the fantasy. How could it? That fantastic dream lover in your head can never be matched by anyone whether it's Hugh Grant or Jeff Bridges (though I won't mind settling). It probably is a lot of hard work to be with a famous celebrity anyway. I imagine they did not become who they were in a tough and competitive world of show business if they were not driven and narcissistic. No one can become a star without thinking of number one first and foremost.

When I was nine years old, my father was an established musician in Honolulu. Because of his popularity he was quite in demand in the day or night to play music in various gigs with the island's biggest stars. He had a collection of wonderful cassettes of one of the world's most popular male singers. (I cannot mention names because he still is very much in demand to this day, so we shall call my idol - Kris Nomad). In the beginning I played these cassettes out of curiosity then later I began to study his music and his style of singing, (a strong influence in my singing - a career I was clearly bound for). To my surprise, I developed this big fat crush for him and that delicious feeling lingered with me through my teen years. I was hopelessly and madly in love with this icon. It all was fine until it became a problem because I found myself comparing every single suitor I had to my idol's stature and accomplishment in life, a tall order for any young boy to follow, I imagine. So I never had a steady boyfriend for a while.

However, to everyone's surprise (including my own) I married Vince Stewart when I was eighteen. I think I must have fallen in love with him when he told me that he liked Kris Nomad's music and that he thought my idol was truly full of talent. Vince also encouraged me to pursue my own singing, a career of mine, which he supported steadfastly, all the way.

I ran the gamut of gigs from the Hawaiian to the Polynesian Islands, to Australia and as far off to Europe. When I finally came to mainland America as a full pledged entertainer, I was a very sophisticated twenty-five, a woman of the world, so I thought. I was touring constantly and Vince was happy and fulfilled managing my career.

We settled in the Bay Area where I landed a much sought after job in one of the finest and oldest hotels there. I became the featured chanteuse in the supper club for a total of five years. The hotel boasted of three showrooms and the main showroom was reserved just for headliners that visited the city fortnightly. It was such a privilege to see headliners like Liza Minelli and Joel Grey, Tony Bennett (who was very gracious to me), Ella Fitzgerald who sadly couldn't be photographed because of an eye problem, The Lettermen who sang love songs to me during their show, Jefferson Starship who used three huge lorries to deliver their sound and stage equipment, Trini Lopez, Jose Feliciano, Lana Cantrell, Lanie Kazan, and even Tina Turner who was working hard on her career as a soloist at that time, and many more glittering names.

One night on my way home after my second show, I saw a glimpse of my idol's name on the hotel marquee. HE IS HERE! There it is! His name in lights! Right in the same hotel I was singing in! I felt giddy and suddenly couldn't breathe. I ran back into the hotel to the front desk for more information. "He will be performing for two weeks except Sundays", said the Concierge. Suddenly I turned cold, and then hot and my hands were all clammy as I trembled right there on the spot. I had a fitful sleep that night which grew worse as the days went by. I even lost my appetite, which alarmed Vince who is familiar with my love affair with food. The next day I was in pins and needles that my dearest husband who had no idea what was going on with me was beginning to wonder if I needed to see a doctor.

Kris Nomad at this time was in his mid-forties and sailing the crest of his seemingly eternal popularity in America. This appearance in the Grand Hotel was in conjunction with a recording he was doing in the Bay Area, thus his manager thought that it was a good tie-up. At his opening night I was so apprehensive about it that one would think it was my own concert! The hotel management kindly agreed to my proposal of doing my shows earlier than usual so every customer can have the option to attend the big event. However, because I was an employee, I couldn't get my own table on opening night but was promised one for the next evening.

Nursing a glass of wine during my break I couldn't stand the thought of waiting another night before I saw my idol in person. I looked at my watch and I saw that I had a good thirty minutes to maneuver my way to the main showroom service door to get a glimpse of my icon from the darkened kitchen entrance.

It must have taken a good ten minutes through the maze of service elevators narrow pathways and skinny staircases before I managed to get into the main kitchen. Breezing past kitchen personnel, I hadn't even noticed that I was creating quite a stir with my sequined, low cut, high slit, and blazing red gown! I had to wade through catcalls and whistles and a few suggestive comments before I finally made it to the showroom kitchen door.

My heart leapt. Notes of my favorite music began to envelope my senses as Kris Nomad walked on to the stage, just like in my dreams.

I cannot tell you exactly how I got closer to the side of the stage. I just knew I was so mesmerized by his voice, by the thought that HE is here in my midst, a living, breathing object of my adoration. My eyes, my ears and all my senses luxuriated to the fullness in my heart. He was singing a song only he can do justice to, a theme to a love story that swept the nation in the seventies. There I was. The adoring one gazing at the adored, venerating, praying he never goes away. Stunned and hypnotized I hadn't realized that my adored one was looking my way. As though entranced, he stayed looking at me as he finished my favorite song to the end, tearing me to pieces and scattering the bits on the wayside. He had that kind of power over me.

Somebody flung the kitchen door hard that it almost knocked me sideways. And, as though the spell was broken Kris Nomad stopped staring as the last bars of the song finished. My ego would tell you that since that very moment, Kris Nomad couldn't keep his eyes off the side of the stage.

I went home that night as though floating on air. I was convinced that Kris Nomad was the earth and the sky. I spent most of my day-off rearranging my vast collection of his photographs, cassettes and albums, polished and cleaned anything that pertained to Kris Nomad, and luxuriating in the thought of the night before.

Two days later, I was in a fit looking for my favorite pair of beaded shoes that matched my cocktail dress. We were on our way to see the Kris Nomad Concert! I was so nervous that my husband said one would think it was my own concert and I was the performer. Indeed I was running around the house like a headless chicken!

Sadly the ringside table promised us was allocated to a visiting dignitary, an old friend of the hotel chain's Chairman of the Board. I sulked all night and did not enjoy the concert.

I spent the whole of next day still sulking and was quite in a lousy mood on my way to work. About 15 minutes before the first show, one of the waiters sidled up to me and whispered, "Someone wants you to join his table after your show."

"Why are you whispering?" I asked.

"Your husband might not like it." Vince was well liked in my place of work and the waiter was probably trying to be careful...of what? I shrugged.

"It's part of my job to have a drink or two with customers, if I please. My husband will understand." I explained patiently as I was putting on my elbow length white gloves.

"Your husband might not like that this customer had ordered a place for you, for dinner and champagne."

"What? Are you serious?"

The waiter winked at me and steered me towards the direction of my mysterious "date". "Show time is in ten minutes, I can't go to that table now" I found myself whispering emphatically to him. Why was I whispering?

Inching my way towards the customer's table, I almost tripped on myself when I recognized Kris Nomad waving at me and motioning for me to come join him.

I think I waved back, I can't remember because I think my heart stopped beating that instant. I struggled to breathe and my palms were clammy.

Needless to say I finished my first show without remembering how I got to the end of it. I had to beg to change to another costume before joining his table, I thought I was drenched in sweat as the room seemed so warm although my hands were cold. I dashed to my dressing room and put on my old reliable black sheath with its matching black suede boots and quickly accessorize it with my old reliable pearls, fluffed my Farah Fawcett hair, glossed, buffed and sprayed myself for my adored one.

Even writing about it now still sends chills up and down my spine, for when I finally stood next to his table and he stood up and pulled the chair out for me, it was a fantasy come true. I noticed he wore Levi's 501 with a black blazer and white polo shirt looking very tanned and healthy as I remember him in one of his films when I was nine years old. There were wisps of Grey in his temples and the same steely blue eyes millions have seen across movie theatres around the world pierced through me as he spoke huskily, "Where is that tight red number you wore the other night?" His eyes were smiling now. You must realize that this special event in my life was probably an everyday occurrence for stars like him. I was also quite well read about Kris Nomad's kaleidoscopic love life.

"I...It's...in my dressing room." I couldn't look at him straight. I glanced all around the room looking at everything and everyone but only really seeing Kris Nomad in my peripheral vision, all the time thinking I am with HIM!

"I ordered us a bottle of champagne and I took the liberty of ordering us dinner while you were doing your schtick."

Schtick. That's what he called my show. A schtick.

"I also took the liberty of inviting ourselves to Dominique's down the street for a late night soiree." He buttered a piece of crusty roll and carelessly placed it in his mouth dropping little bits onto his black blazer. He chewed noisily as he spoke.

"Maybe tomorrow morning you can show me where the best shops are, I need to get a few things. We should go shopping as soon as we finish breakfast." I couldn't speak. I kept thinking that maybe he had me pegged for somebody else. We hadn't as much spoken about anything else and it sounded like he already planned my life out.

The food looked interesting and champagne was poured in fluted crystal goblets but although I could barely eat or touch my drink. I was confused. Our conversation was mostly about his tours, past present and future, his old and new films and what he thought generally about everything. There was no interest in what I do, not even a slight curiosity of who I am except for what I thought of him and how much I enjoyed his last film and his latest hit in the charts.

As the great Kris Nomad chatted on gaily, I glanced around the room and my vision cleared. Like muddy water becoming crystal clear I realized that I didn't like the man who is Kris Nomad. I realized that I was in love with another Kris Nomad, the icon I adored all these years. I also realised that I didn't want him to become real. I found out that as great a name as Kris Nomad is to the whole world my husband Vince spoke with more sense and cared about the people around him, unlike this man sitting across me. "You think this blazer looks good on me?" I could barely hear him as he asked the question.

The evening seemed to drag on, unlike what I thought it might be if I had my idol in the audience listening to me sing. He was too busy signing autographs and posing for photos to hear our music. At the end of my second and last show, I saw him standing underneath the Exit sign, waiting for me. My icon, the man I adored ever since I can remember...waiting for me!

To this day, to this moment as I write this, I still feel sorry that I met him. I told him that I was sorry I couldn't join in with his plans for the night and the next day because of previous commitments. I didn't get the chance to feel guilty about my decision because without missing a beat, he said, "Hey, it was great to see you, maybe that cute number tending the bar might want to come...uh, in your place? Why don't you invite her for me? Tell her who I am.

Out of respect for the other Kris Nomad that I adored, I went up to the bar and told Shirley our bartender about Kris Nomad's invitation. In no uncertain tone she said "No thanks."

I look back now but don't wonder what might have been. Kris Nomad came back to my place of work once or twice still with the same invitation for any of the girls that might enjoy a quick night or two with him in his hotel room during his concert run.

Time heals and once again Kris Nomad has returned to that lofty position whence I found him. He's back in town and once again the fantasy could come alive, but, this time I know it's best to leave my fantasies alone.

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