Well, she’s real, it’s only the fact that she’s my friend that’s imaginary. I should explain.
Neko Case has a new album coming out in September, and as I listen to the first single from it, I’m reminded of how we were almost BFFs. I’m sure we would be incredibly close if we’d ever actually met.
Let me back up. A while ago, my friend L, whose parents had recently moved out of state, was left with the task of selling their flat in Chicago. “Are you familiar at all with Neko Case?” she asked me one day in an offhand way.
“Sure!” I said. “She’s awesome.”
“Ah, good to know.” said L. “She might be buying my parents’ flat.”
Now, I’m not some crazed fan, nor am I the type to get too starstruck, unless I’m meeting David Sedaris, in which case I turn into a giggling idiot, but there are certain people I’d like to meet and have a few beers with, and Neko Case is one of them. Not only do I enjoy her music, but I had recently seen a piece about her in Best Friends Magazine. Clearly, she was my kind of gal. And come on, Best Friends–clearly that was a sign!
L explained to me that Neko had come to see the flat and was interested in possibly purchasing it. “Hey, if she does buy it, maybe I can get some concert tickets and a t-shirt for you as part of the deal. Better yet, you should come by if she comes to see the place again.”
“Wouldn’t that be kind of weird?” I said, but in my imagination, Neko and I were already sipping wine together and painting each other’s nails, having instantly bonded over the many things we had in common: love of animals, red hair, living in Chicago (at least part of the time for her), creative endeavors…I was sure we’d discover much more.
L waved her hand. “Nah. We’ll think of some excuse as to why you should be there.”
Over the next several weeks, L kept me updated on the impending sale of the flat. There were offers and counter-offers, and for a time, it seemed like almost a done deal. “You’ll have to come to the closing,” L told me. By this time, I was past thinking it would be weird, and I had started telling people I was good friends (well, almost) with Neko Case. I was sure we would totally be pals once we got over that hump of actually meeting.
After a bit consternation over some things found in the inspection of the property and a few other snafus (honestly, I forget the details as I was in my head chuckling about how, when Neko and I went out together, people always thought we were sisters because of the red hair), the whole thing fell apart. There would be no sale, and if I were going to meet Neko Case, I was going to have to do it on my own.
Oh, Neko, I hardly knew you. Actually, I didn’t know you at all, but in my head you were an awesome friend. Now it’s like we’ve never met.
P.S. I feel the need to mention that I’m not actually some creepy stalker, even though that’s exactly the assertion that a creepy stalker would make, but seriously, I’m not.