i’m ready (a true story)

July 16, 2009 upmysleeve83

The magazine is closing, which means late nights, take out sushi, and expensed car rides home. I hop in the cab, tell the driver my addy and we whisk up 6th Ave. I hear the familiar strains of Tevin Campbell’s “I’m Ready.” Me being me–an old-school T.E.V.I.N. (what did that stand for anyway??) fan and the type of person who’s unable to NOT sing along to songs I like/know the words to–I start to sing along–just a little bit.

My cab driver, apparently encouraged by my appreciation for 90s R&B teen hearthrobs-turned-flamboyant Broadway semi-stars, turns up the music and begins to sing along too.

“Can We Talk” comes on as we clear Columbus Circle and we’re both singing along, jamming. Every few blocks, the driver turns up the volume a few more levels. By the time we reach Harlem and are listening to the final strings of “Always In My Heart,” the volume is maxed out, and I’m convinced that my driver has totally forgotten that I’m even in the car. He’s wailing and emoting like he’s channeling Tevin himself, the Broadway version–not the version that sang to Ashley Banks of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air–and I’m highly amused.

Amused like the time I randomly bumped into the singer himself at an event 1Oak last year. It wasn’t exactly what I thought it would be like when I was a pre-teen and his pictures covered my walls, but I did get a picture out of it (and a chance to express my childhood devotion!), my excitement for meeting him– the object of my first-ever crush, my-first ever poster, and my-first ever CD—overwhelming my need to maintain the appearance of being an uber-cool, extra-“over it” industry party-goer.

Looking back, I probably could’ve played that one a little cooler. Offered to buy him a drink or something, maybe chopped it up with him a bit more. Who knows, we could’ve been BFFs, the Stanford to my Carrie B. But alas, I just took my picture and bounced—after all it was an industry event, and reality set in soon-after the pic was snapped.

I thought of that moment as I sat in the backseat of that cab and texted my friend, the one who plus-oned me to that party where I met him. Before she could reply back, though, we were in front of my building and “Back To My World” was beginning to play.

The timing couldn’t have been more perfect. I was over Tevin by the time that album came out–what was up with that hair??–and remember listening to that album exactly one time before deciding that I didn’t like it. (Though, I’m Ready still gets regular rotation on my Ipod.)

Besides, begging someone to come back to my world? That’s not a good look. I’m beyond the fine–well subconsciously anyway, one can’t control one’s dreams–and I definitely don’t want that back.

But those innocent times of my PG-rated crush on Tevin–before the fine (and before I learned of Tevin’s arrest for soliciting sex from an undercover officer), when happiness meant little more than a serenade and a peck on the cheek? I wouldn’t mind getting a little bit of that back.


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