Baby, We Were Born To Run
Saturday, January 10, 2009

They're hanging out the HELP WANTED sign for the Super Bowl half time show in the big football pirate ship. Arrgghh! We were pirates down here in Tampa long before Johnny Depp and the gangstas of Somalia made piracy all the rage.

The Boss is gonna rock the ship and they need "high energy" performers to dance and jump around during his show. The age requirement is 16.

So, let's face the facts here.

I would love to jump around in all my "high energy" glory while mouthing every single word, every single inflection, in every single one of Bruce's songs. But, alas, when they say at least 16, their unspoken statement says no forty somethin' Moms. If I showed up, the people in charge of the jumping-arounders would smile politely and say, "Um, yeah, we need help hauling equipment off the stage. You look like you'd be perfect for that." And I would pout and say, (in my head), "It's not fairrr!!!"

Because it's not.

Some pretty young things with their triple zero jeans and flat-ironed hair, (they can flat-iron their hair because they have no wrinkles they need to camouflage by distraction through the use of poofy hair), will be selected to jump around and PRETEND they know the words to this man's poetry. They will be selected because they can jump with carefree abandon, knowing that when their tiny shirts fly up, they will not have to worry because their stomachs are as flat as their hair. This is because their ab muscles have never been stretched beyond the laws of gravity, creating a lack of muscle tone along with shimmery pregnancy souvenirs aka stretch marks.

Those flat-ironed, tiny t-shirt wearing jumpers, I hate them.

They have no right to claim him. They are not tramps like us. They are not born to run.

He belongs to those of us who have held lighters, not cell phones, aloft at concerts.

I deserve to be on the stage with that man and here's why: True Story.

I was 18 and The Boss was coming to town. My biggest bro and I decided we were going down to the venue the night before to camp out for tickets. That's how we rolled before computers and cell phones for all you flat-ironed, Bruce-singing posers. We did things the hard way in the olden days. We were about #20 in line. It was a good night, mingling with the fellow line campers and guzzling beer. (The legal age back then was 18 for all you ready to preach.) It rained all night, but we had the beer. By sunrise, everything had turned into rock and roll mayhem. The news stations were reporting that thousands upon thousands of people had shown up for tickets. It was like Woodstock, unexpected, out of control wildness. By morning, our little inner circle was surrounded by burly security guards, news cameras and the maddening crowd trying to edge their way closer to a golden ticket.

When I slipped away to the bathroom, I didn't foresee a problem. After all, we'd been back and forth all night, thanks to the beer. But, the disorganized madness hadn't been part of the equation before this and when I tried to step back into my inner circle, a Mr. Clean On Steroids blocked my earned spot. I assured him I'd been there all night. He'd heard this one before. Unbeknownst to me, while in the potty, they had handed out vouchers to our inner circle. No voucher, no way in. I pleaded, but finally I slunk away, still full of confidence that my big bro would score for us. I'd just fallen asleep in the car when my bro showed up. He was worried when I didn't return and since it was before the invention of the cell phone...

He didn't know about the vouchers either.

We drove home in silent dejection. No one blaming anyone. It was just a crappy twist of fate. We didn't get to see him that tour. Tickets were scalped for way more than an 18-year-old could afford. Since then, I have rocked my way through many years of the Boss's concerts, as we grow old together, Bruce and I. But, I will never forget that feeling of crushing disappointment.

So, knowing I will not be picked for anything but roadie work, I will still be "high energy" when the undisputed Boss of Rock n Roll mans the stage. I will be jumping around my family room or if I attend a Super Bowl party where I am comfortable enough with my fellow partygoers and I am wearing a body suit under my jeans, (you know why), then there you will find me jumping and dancing around just as high energy as those flat-ironed, flat-stomached girls. But unlike them, I will be singing EVERY word of the Boss's poetry.

Cause, Baby I was born to run.

A song to download today: a lesser known song by the Boss called "Valentine's Day." "A friend of mine became a father last night. When we spoke, in his voice I could hear the light of the skies and the rivers, the timberwolf in the pines and that great jukebox out on Route 39. They say he travels fastest who travels alone. But tonight, I miss my girl, Mister. Tonight, I miss my home." And so I say to you, nay not a songwriter, but a poet. Enjoy.

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