I left work at 1:00pm this afternoon, and as I began to cross the street I noticed a man crossing in the opposite direction. I looked up at him briefly, then did a double take. It was Aussie icon Paul Kelly (if the blog title doesn’t make sense now, you are lacking basic musical knowledge and I’m not sure we can be friends anymore [foreigners are excused]). This is the man whose music I was playing just before I left work. The man whose songs about Melbourne make me feel homesick when I’m still in Melbourne. The man whose autobiography I’m pretty sure I’ll never finish because it’s too heavy to carry around and when I’m at home I’m generally too distracted by Facebook and sleep.
For non-Australians and Australians who live under a rock, in a nutshell, he’s like our Bob Dylan. Except he’s talented.
I didn’t have the guts to go talk to him, but what really worried me was that this thought crossed my mind: ‘…should I follow him?’
SHOULD I FOLLOW HIM? What the hell kind of crazy stalker thought was that? No, no I’m not going to speak to him, I’m just going to walk behind him for a while to see where he goes. And you want to know what’s even more worrying than that? I’ve done it before.
The year was 2009. The place was Edinburgh. The person was a reasonably well known comedian. I’m not even a fan, I just saw him walking around and I had some time to kill. It ended when he seemed to realise I was following him and slowed down to a pace that made it impossible for me to maintain the same distance behind him without looking extremely suss. So I walked past him and tried to look as casual as possible. I wasn’t arrested, so I think I got away with it.
The following year at the Melbourne Comedy Festival a similar situation arose with a comedian I am fan of, though I refuse to take responsibility for that one. The reason we were walking in the same direction was because I was on my way to his show. As, not surprisingly, was he. I felt too awkward about standing next to him at the traffic lights as we waited to cross the street, so I sat down on a nearby bench and played with my phone for a while before continuing on my way.
So later tonight I’m going to take Paul Kelly's autobiography down from my bookshelf, place it on my bed so that I don’t forget about it, then proceed to not finish reading it again. Then I’m going to take a good hard look at myself and my thought processes.